Shark expert to deliver facts

MARINE ACTIVITY: Beach closures due to shark sightings are common this time of year. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

MARINE ACTIVITY: Beach closures due to shark sightings are common this time of year. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Newcastle and Lake Macquarie residents were put on high alert when more beaches were closed due to shark sightings this week but Dr David Powter hopes to allay some of the myths and fears about the marine species during a community talk at Swansea Belmont Surf Club this month.

Dr Powter, a shark expert from the University of Newcastle, will deliver a Sharks Facts talk on January 19 from 6.30pm.

The senior lecturer in marine science will talk about sharks common to Newcastle and Lake Macquarie and shed some light on what the risk levels are regarding the species in our waters.

“It’s a fine line between being alert enough to minimise the risks to keep yourself and others safe and to be overcautious and overly fearful,” Dr Powter said.

“Sharks have always been there and will always be there. If we look at some of the aerial patrol data it often shows that numbers of sharks are seen off where people are swimming ... and the number of times that there are negative interactions with people are incredibly minute.

“So, yes, they are always there. The harder we look, yes we’ll see more, but just be careful and don’t be too paranoid.”

More information on Dr Powter’s shark talk at www.eventbrite.com.au/o/explore-our-great-outdoors-12280988333.

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