Retired fisherman and shark hunter Laurie Waters has issued a
warning to Dunedin swimmers.
He said swimmers were more vulnerable to attacks by white
pointer sharks at this time of the year because the small
fish they ate were closer to the shore and there were fewer
fish to eat than before, so sharks were hungrier than ever.
''They'll attack whatever they can to get a feed. This is a
bad time of the year for sharks to be in close at Dunedin
Sharks could sense a storm and were more likely to
''violently'' attack anything edible before the storm hit.
Sharks attacked four hours before a ''strong southwest wind
change'' on a hot day with northwest wind, he said. Swimmers
and surfers should beware of the forecast change in weather.
''Each shark attack has been at this critical time.''
He had helped kill a shark in Dunedin after a spear fisherman
was killed by a shark at Aramoana in the 1960s.
Mr Waters said he started his career as a commercial
fisherman in 1950 when he was aged 15 and he set the first
shark nets in Dunedin in the 1960s.
Dunedin City Council parks manager Mick Reece said shark nets
were expensive and ineffective and would not be returning to
University of Otago marine science senior lecturer Associate
Prof Stephen Wing had not heard the theory of a four-hour
shark feeding frenzy prior to a storm, but said sharks were
more active in summer, especially in seal pup season.
''The best advice I've heard is: don't swim in open water
near seal colonies.''