Great white shark
Image: Clinton Duffy | DOC

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


DOC's shark specialist reminds people travelling to the beach for the long weekend to be aware of those marine animals seen around our coastlines this summer.

Date:  29 January 2021

DOC marine technical advisor Clinton Duffy says the public need to remember they are sharing the coastal waters with a number of different shark species.

“There are always sharks around our coastline and at times they may come close to the shore."

He says there has been several confirmed and unconfirmed sightings of great white sharks in Tauranga Harbour recently.

“It is not unusual for them to be there, however when we’re visiting the ocean, we need to be a little bit vigilant and aware of what’s happening around us. Swim where there are surf lifesaving patrols, and don’t swim or dive alone."

If you are heading out on the water in Tauranga Harbour over the long weekend we are advising you to exercise caution and avoid swimming in the main channels, or berleying from kayaks and jet skis when fishing .

Great white sharks are protected under the Wildlife Act 1953. This means it is illegal to hunt, kill or otherwise harm them. 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.  

Report details of sightings, captures or strandings to DOC or to 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).


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