Tiger sharks a top catch in region
IT'S no secret sharks live in the ocean.
What you might not know is that Bundaberg in the top three regions for tiger sharks based on number of sharks caught on local drum lines.
With the reef as their jungle, tigers are constantly on the prowl at Kellys Beach, which outranked Nielson Park and Bargara last year.
The striped shark is one of the largest predators beneath the water and second only to great whites for their man-eating tendencies.
While there hasn't been a shark attack in Bundaberg for many decades, if ever, that doesn't mean they aren't lurking.
According to the Queensland shark control program catch statistics, Bundaberg had 32 of the 207 tiger sharks caught in 2016.
While Bundaberg's beaches had 32, Mackay topped Queensland with 51 tigers, Townsville had 46, Cairns had 22, Rainbow Beach had 17, Sunshine Coast North had 11, Gold Coast had eight, Capricorn Coast had eight, Gladstone had six, as did North Stradbroke Island.
The majority of the Bundaberg tigers were caught off Kellys Beach.
Twenty of the 26 sharks caught on the drum lines at Kellys were tigers.
In April and May this year alone 12 sharks were captured - and seven were tigers.
National Geographic says the average size of the tropical and sub-tropical species is between 3m and 4.2m while they weigh 385-635kg - however, they have been recorded as heavy as 861kg.
Last year three monster tiger sharks were caught measuring more than 4m in length, one of which was found in Bundaberg waters.
The monster was caught off Kellys Beach on May 29.
It measured 4.09m.
The biggest shark caught in Bundaberg in the last decade was a 4.25m female tiger shark off Kellys Beach in 2007.
Shark Control Program manager Jeff Krause said there were natural fluctuations in shark numbers which were generally relative to local rainfall and available food sources.
"Shark catches have fluctuated over the past 10 years in Queensland, and vary between areas.”
Statistics on the number of shark catches made by the Queensland Shark Control Program between 2010 and 2016 in the Bundaberg region:
- 2016: 52
- 2015: 45
- 2014: 57
- 2013: 76
- 2012: 56
- 2011: 65
- 2010: 42