Yanchep Beach in Western Australia was recently closed for a time after a school of about 50 sharks, some over 8 feet long, were spotted in a feeding frenzy less than half a mile from shore. Pilots from a Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter spotted the sharks, who were following a school of tuna, and the beach was closed at about 9:40 AM.
Department of Fisheries shark research scientist Rory McAuley stated that the frenzy is a natural phenomenon, but added that this sort of event rarely takes place so close to shore. McAuley also pointed out that three species were involved – blacktip reef sharks, spinner sharks and copper sharks, adding that “it’s quite unusual to see it (the feeding) so close to shore – 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 goes in to say, “It is spectacular – 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 to the commotion that the tuna were making while feeding on baitfish, just off shore.
Australia has had its share of atypical animal behavior lately – thousands of spiders of recently descended upon the inland town of Wagga Wagga, seeking refuge from flooding in the area.