Murdoch University researchers are advising river users of the presence of bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) in the Swan River.
Three sharks ranging in size between 70cm to 1.1m were caught in the river this week between the Maylands Yacht Club and South Perth foreshore.
Murdoch’s Dr Chris Hallett and Dr Steeg Hoeksema are undertaking an Estuarine Health Index Validation Project for the Swan River Trust and caught the sharks in their research nets, later releasing them back into the water after the specimens had been positively identified and measured.
Dr Hoeksema said bull sharks are known to occur in parts of the Swan and that river users should be aware of this when wading or swimming in the river.
“Bull sharks can be aggressive under certain circumstances, however these individuals were small juveniles and are likely to stay away from people,” he said.
“We don’t know a lot about bull sharks in the Swan River as there hasn’t been any targeted research done on them, however anecdotal evidence would indicate they seem to occur mostly in the deeper waters of the Swan between South Perth and Maylands.”
River users in the Maylands area are advised to be aware and careful if children and dogs are wading in this part of the river.
Shark sightings should be reported to the Water Police on 9442 8600. The number is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Shark safety tips are available on the Department of Fisheries website.