6 Jan 2011

Perfectly natural for sharks to be close inshore - DoC

10:23 am on 6 January 2011

The Department of Conservation says it is a perfectly natural occurrence for sharks to be seen close to the shoreline at this time of year.

A shark scare closed the beach at Mount Maunganui for several hours on Wednesday.

Shark expert Clinton Duffy of DoC told Summer Report that while bronze whaler sharks are common in New Zealand waters they are not known to attack.

He said female sharks move inshore in about October, and then move out again to start feeding. By late summer, the male sharks head inshore to mate.

Mr Duffy also said any shark larger than 1.8 metres is capable of inflicting life-threatening injuries.