Yanchep Beach in Western Australia was recently closed when a school of about 50 sharks, some over 8 feet long, engaged in a feeding frenzy less than half a mile from shore, according to PerthNow. The event was captured on video.
I wonder what terrified person may have been in the water when this frenzy started? Hopefully the frenzy happened too early for most vacationers. The beach was closed at 9:40 AM after pilots from Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter saw the sharks feeding hungrily on a school of fish.
Department of Fisheries shark research scientist Rory McAuley told PerthNow that it was a natural phenomenon, but that it happened unusually close to shore. He and others indicate that the sharks consisted of three species: blacktip reef sharks, spinner sharks, and copper sharks.
(Blacktip Reef Shark; Image: Wikimedia Commons)
“It’s quite unusual to see it (the feeding) so close to shore . . .Â that really demonstrates to me that we have a remarkably healthy marine ecosystem out there and we’re really lucky to be able to see these sorts of things so close to a major city,” McAuley was quoted as saying.
“It is spectacular,” he continued. “It’s not something I’ve seen a lot of. I’ve heard of similar events, mostly outside of the metropolitan region every few years. It’s a big treat … it’s something we should all be very proud of.”
The sharks were attracted by tuna, which in turn were feeding on something else.
“They (the sharks) were feeding on a reasonably large school of fish, and there were also some larger predatory fish, probably feeding on the same thing,” McAuley said. “I saw some tuna in there hitting the smaller fish … and then sharks being attracted by that commotion and coming in for a feed themselves. The sharks may have been feeding on the small bait fish as well as some larger predatory fish.”
You can see the frenzy in this video:PHOTO: Blacktip reef sharks feeding on tuna. A similar event happened recently off the coast of Perth, Australia, and was captured on video. Image: Eric Benacek