Shark that bit Sydney surfer just a wobbegong


Source: SMH

A wobbegong has been identified as the species of shark that bit a Sydney surfer on Sydney's northern beaches this week.

A wobbegong shark bit a surfer at Manly.CREDIT:NICK MOIR

The 28-year-old man was bitten on the foot at Manly just before 7pm on Wednesday, prompting a shark alarm to be sounded at the popular beach.

A shark biologist had assessed photographs of the wounds and identifed the culprit as a wobbegong shark, the Department of Primary Industries said on Friday.

The brown-coloured fish, also known as a carpet shark, can grow up to three metres long, inhabit shallow inshore waters and can become aggressive if disturbed.

The department recommends water users download the SharkSmart app, which can teach how to minimise encounters with sharks.

The Herald has reported that wobbegongs, instead of swimming around searching for food, lie on the sea floor and disguise themselves against the sand.

When a fish swims by, they can attack at lightning speed.

In 2014, a wobbegong bit teenage surfer Kirra-belle Olsson at Avoca Beach on the NSW Central Coast. She was left with deep gashes in her left foot and calf and needed surgery.

In 2010, swimmer Paul Welsh became another wobbegong victim. Mr Welsh was in about a metre of water at Basin Bay, just north of Mona Vale Beach, when the shark nipped him on his left leg. He made it out of the water and his wife drove him to Mona Vale Hospital, where he was released after about four hours.


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