A run of recent great white shark sightings has led to an area on New Zealand‘s North Island being called a shark ‘hotspot’.
The Bowentown area in the Bay of Plenty is being visited by an unusually high number of sharks according to marine biologist Dr Riley Elliot.
The University of Auckland graduate says it’s not known why the sharks are going there.
Dr Elliot is awaiting permission New Zealand’s Department of Conservation to launch a study into the phenomenon.
A brave fisherman reels in shark before it suddenly burst from the waters and violently chomped on the bait in New Zealand
‘In the last three years around the Bay of Plenty there’s been a massive increase in human and great white shark encounters,’ he told 9news.com.au.
‘I myself identified 15 juveniles from just peoples’ photos alone, which were sent to me last summer.’
Dr Elliot hopes his study will shed light on why sharks are migrating to the area amid a general rise in worldwide shark attacks which some researchers have suggested is because more people are in the water.
Lifesavers were only 10m away from Kaelah Marlow (pictured) as the shark attacked. They were racing out to check on her welfare since she was so far out
New Zealand’s eight year run free from deadly shark attacks ended in January 2021 when a 19-year-old woman was suspected to have been killed by a shark at Waihi Beach in the Bay of Plenty.
Kaelah Marlow and her family relocated from Perth to New Zealand five years ago and she was swimming with friends when the popular teenager was attacked.
Dr Elliot said to avoid ‘adverse interactions’ people should avoid swimming where people are fishing or are baiting the water for fish.
He said shark attacks were very rare but ‘there is still a risk’.
New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty (pictured) has seen a surge in shark sightings