SHARK CONCERNS: Senior Constable Chris Picker of Coffs Harbour Water Police says discarded fish frames have lured sharks to shore at Emerald Beach.
SHARK CONCERNS: Senior Constable Chris Picker of Coffs Harbour Water Police says discarded fish frames have lured sharks to shore at Emerald Beach.

Anglers luring sharks to shore

INCONSIDERATE anglers cleaning their catch at boat ramps near popular Coffs Coast surf zones have been warned by water police to reconsider what they throw into the surf.

Large sharks were spotted in shallow water off Emerald Beach at the weekend after large mackerel fish frames were discarded near the town's main surf break.

Senior Constable Chris Picker of Coffs Harbour Water Police said there have been ongoing complaints of fish cleaning at several popular swimming beaches with boat ramps.

"We were informed about a shark sighting at Emerald Beach on Saturday around 5pm and locals said it happened after reports fishermen had dumped fish frames in the water," Snr. Const. Picker said.

"We understand cleaning fish near boat ramps can be a common practice at popular surf beaches such as Emerald Beach, Woolgoolga and Arrawarra.

"All we are asking is that people exercise commonsense and are aware these actions could be attracting sharks to popular swimming and surfing areas.

"People illegally cleaning fish on beaches and dumping fish frames into the surf, face prosecution and run the risk of being fined for illegal dumping and pollution," he said.

Saturday's shark sighting at Emerald Beach followed reports from local surfers of shark activity in recent weeks.

Complaints about the dumping of fish frames has not been an isolated incident.

Emerald Beach residents complained to the Advocate last year about illegal fish cleaning on the main beach, after a teenager was spooked by a large shark off the headland, as fish frames lay decaying in the water.