Shark Safety: Tips To Avoid Being Attacked by A Shark

Western Australian waters are known for so many different fish species, and among these species includes sharks.

Great white shark
A great white shark attacking a seal

About Shark Species

According to the Department of Fisheries, there are over 160 species of sharks. Out of these 160 there are three species that can cause severe, if not fatal, injuries to humans.

These sharks are:

  • The Bull Shark;
  • The Great White Shark; and
  • Tiger Shark.

Out of these shark species the Great White, often known as the White Pointer, has caused the most fatalities.

How can I avoid a shark attack spearfishing?

There are a number of steps you can take to avoid a shark attack when you’re spearfishing. These include:

  • Stand your ground and show the shark your confidence;
  • Don’t swim away from the shark as this is when it can attack you;
  • Use your speargun as a barrier between you and the shark;
  • If there is more than one shark and they keep returning (especially after you’ve poked it with your speargun) it’s definitely time to consider getting out of the water – however, try to do this calmly and with little splashing.

For more in-depth tips check out the below video:

How can I avoid a Shark Attack when surfing?

If you’re a surfer here are a few tips that can help reduce the chance of a shark attack.

Avoid dawn and dusk

Avoid what is known as “feeding time”. Sharks are known to feed around dawn and dusk hence if you can avoid being in the water around this time it may help reduce the risk.

Keep alert!

As you enter the water and whilst you’re out there surfing ALWAYS keep your eyes open and study what’s happening around you. For example, if you see birds smashing up bait balls then it’s likely there are bigger predators (including sharks) lurking under the bait balls.

Example of a large shark circling a school of salmon at Hamelin Bay in WA

Beware of deceased Sea Life

Or other known shark attractants are whale carcasses or other deceased sea life that have washed up on the beach or are floating not far off the shore. Once again, these are known to bring in sharks who will travel for miles to have a feed.

Footage of sharks feeding on a whale carcass at Rottnest Island

Be Shark Smart…

Apart from relying on your sea sense to help stay safe the Western Australian government have a website called which is great for viewing the latest reported shark sighting and also tracking tagged sharks. Be sure to check it out the next time you head out in the ocean.

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