DOC says there continues to be regular sightings and encounters with great whites in the Tauranga area and DOC Marine Technical Advisor Clinton Duffy says people travelling to the beach for the Easter weekend need to be aware of the marine animals seen around our coastlines.
“When we’re visiting the ocean, we need to be vigilant and aware of what’s happening around us,” he says.
“Sharks can come close to the shoreline and if you are heading out on or into the water, you need to exercise caution.”
DOC is advising people to swim where there are surf lifesaving patrols, avoid swimming in the main harbour channels and more than 50 metres from the shore. People should not swim or dive alone or berley from kayaks and jet skis when fishing.
The recent shark sightings in Tauranga does not suggest a change in their behaviour and sudden population boom Clinton Duffy says.
The great white shark population is estimated to have been stable or in slight decline since the early 2000s and the species protected under the Wildlife Act 1953. It is illegal to hunt, kill or otherwise harm great white sharks.
Other species of shark protected in New Zealand include the basking shark, the oceanic whitetip, the small tooth sandtiger (deepwater nurse shark) and the whale shark.