Gold Coast shark control program undergoing inspection following fatal attack

Queensland’s Fisheries Minister says there’s a rare chance that the shark involved in yesterday’s fatal attack was a great white shark, as equipment inspections get underway.

46-year-old Mermaid Beach man Nick Slater was tragically killed after he was bitten on the leg by the shark at Greenmount beach yesterday evening.

Fisheries, council lifeguards and Surf Life Saving Queensland are patrolling Gold Coast waters today, inspecting shark control equipment and potentially tracking the shark.


There’s speculation that a great white, more than 3.5 metres in length could still be in the vicinity, after a large tooth was pulled from the board.

But Fisheries Minister Mark Furner says they can’t confirm it was a great white.

“It’s purely speculation at this stage, generally the shark control program is there to capture, whether it be tiger or bull shark, and very rarely a great white shark,” Minister Furner told myGC.

All beaches between Snapper and Burleigh Heads have been closed today, as inspections begin.

Related article: Southern Gold Coast beaches closed as shark hunt begins

Mayor Tom Tate says the closures will stay in place until they have more information.

I think once we know that the shark is not in the vicinity or we have tracked it, then the beach wills reopened. 

“It just – you just have to know before you make your next move,” the Mayor said this morning. 

“Just give us a day to find out where this shark has gone,” he added.

Fisheries Minister Mark Furner says they’re not too concerned about the whereabouts of the shark, just that the equipment is still working well.

“There’s no certainty whether it will still be in the area, sharks are known to travel large distances, so the mayor’s done the right thing in closing those beaches from the border to Burleigh.

“So let’s see what transpires out of the examination of the lifeguards and Queensland’s boating and fishing patrol.

“We don’t hunt sharks, our primary position is always paramount in protecting human life, so we’ll continue maintaining the shark control program as it stands,” the Minister said.

The state government continues to look at technologies around shark control for the state, with a scientific working group carrying out that work with a one million dollar fund.

But Minister Turner says the program is no guarantee.

“I’d encourage people to follow the principals of not swimming at dawn and dusk, don’t swim with animals, don’t throw food scraps into the water, don’t swim in murky water.

“All those things combined with swimming at patrolled beaches, along with the shark control program, add up to protecting your safety,” Minister Furner said.

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