CPR First Aid

Are There Great White Sharks in Perth

Are There Great White Sharks in Perth?

Are there great white sharks in Perth? This is a question that many people are asking, as shark attacks have been on the rise lately. Furthermore, great white sharks are known to be aggressive and can kill humans. A great white shark’s bite may cause wounds, injuries, significant bleeding, fractures, and more. All of which may be life-threatening, especially if a first aid response is not made immediately. So, let’s find out below if one of the most feared sea creatures, the great white shark, is found in Perth. Moreover, first aid tips will also be discussed in case you get into a shark bite situation.

Great White Shark Reports in Perth

CSIRO states that white sharks occur in the seawaters of north-western Western Australia, south around the coast to central Queensland. Unfortunately, there have been multiple reports of a great white shark encounter and attacks in Western Australia, this state covers Perth.

Great White Shark Encounter in Perth

A report by 9News states that a great white shark attacked the motor of a Western Australian family’s boat. The great white shark circled them for over an hour. This great white shark attack occurred off the coast of Mandurah, south of Perth. The 3-4 metre long great white shark first tried to grab the catch of a fishing rod. Fortunately, that was all of it and no one was harmed.

17-foot Great White Shark Found in Perth

For Win published an article that a great white shark was spotted on a popular swim beach in Perth. The great white shark was caught using a drum line, measured to be 17.39 feet, tagged, and released. It was first found swimming about 328 yards off Cottesloe Beach. Then, it was spotted by a Surf Life Saving helicopter, which gave the warning to the swimmers to exit the waters.

5.3-meter Great White Shark Seen Chasing a Tiger Shark in Perth

DailyMail released a report regarding a great white shark that was found to be chasing a tiger shark on one of Perth’s most popular swimming beaches. It happened just 300m offshore and was thankfully spotted, so the swimmers were warned. It was caught, measured to be 5.3 metres, tagged, and released.

3.5-metre Great White Shark Rammed a Swimmer in South Perth

7news reported that a great white shark rammed a swimmer on his back who was swimming on Florida Beach, South Perth. The great white shark bumped into the side of the swimmer, who was only 150 metres offshore. It was unable to do further harm as the swimmer was able to exit the water frantically.

18-feet long Great White Shark Attack at a Beach near Perth

One of the scariest great white shark attacks was detailed in one of The Free Library‘s articles. It occurred in Cottesloe Beach, Perth, which is known to be one of the most famous beaches in the city. The great white shark dragged the victim, who was just 50 yards from shore and had his right leg ripped off. It also attacked another swimmer but was only able to cause injury to his legs and feet.

Information about the Great White Shark

Aside from the reports above, there are many other incidents of great white shark encounters and attacks not only in Perth but throughout Australia. Indeed, great white sharks may be considered to be one of the most feared sea creatures. Let’s get more information about this species.

Description of a Great White Shark

Great white sharks that are found in Perth have a shape of a torpedo, according to the Victorian Fisheries Authority. Furthermore, it has the following physical characteristics:

  • Distinctive crescent-shaped tail.
  • Very small second dorsal and anal fins.
  • Large, serrated triangular teeth.
  • Bronzy to blue on the top, white underneath.

Their colour makes it easy for them to camouflage in the water.

Distribution of Great White Sharks

They have been seen on the beaches of Perth and other areas in Western Australia. In addition, the great white sharks have also been found in central Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Southern Australia.

Diet of a Great White Shark

Great white sharks feed on a variety of fish, rays, other sharks, sea lions and seals, small-toothed whales, and otters.

The conservation status of Great White Sharks

Great white sharks are now protected in all Australian states and territorial waters. The same is applied in other cities and countries where great white sharks are found like:

  • South Africa
  • Namibia
  • Maldives
  • Florida
  • California

The latest country to implement a Great White Shark protection status was New Zealand in 2007.

Migration Behaviour of Great White Sharks

Great white sharks in Australia have been observed to migrate to different countries, like New Zealand. The same behaviour was seen in great white sharks in other countries.

Why do Great White Sharks Attack Humans?

In the Daily Mail‘s article, they mentioned that great white sharks attack humans as humans look like seals and sea lions to them. A finding revealed that a young great white shark mistakenly identified a swimmer to be a seal, so it prompted shark bites.  Similarly, research was made where GoPro was attached to an underwater scooter and set to travel at a typical cruising speed for predatory sharks. The result was that surfers and swimmers looked like seals and sea lions in the ocean. However, great white sharks are not the only species accountable for all shark attacks in Perth as there are other fearful species too.

Report of Shark Attacks in Western Australia

WA Shark Attacks produced a comprehensive report of shark attacks in Western Australia from 1939-2011.

Fatal Chronology

There were reported shark attacks almost every year from 1939-2011. Most of them were fatal and there has been an increased rate of shark attacks starting in 2010.

Monthly Distribution

In the early years between 1990 and 2009, the percentage of shark attacks was highest in January (15%), February (14.5%), and December (12.3%) in Australia. It was lowest in May (2.1%) and June (3.7%).

In Western Australia during 1990-2012, it was highest in November (20%) and January (19%). Shark attacks were lowest in April and August (both 5%).

Seasonal Distribution

Between 1990-2012, in Western Australia, shark attacks were highest during the spring season (32.7%) and lowest in the Winter (19.2%).

Great White Shark Attacks

In Western Australia between 1990 and 2012, fatal great white shark attacks were highest during March, July, September, and October (2 reported shark attacks in each month). Non-fatal great white shark attacks were highest during January, October, and December (4 attacks in each month).

Difference between a Fatal and Non-Fatal Shark Attack

A fatal shark attack includes a major shark bite to a human’s body or body part that may lead to a person’s death. On the other hand, a non-fatal shark attack may include physical interaction, minor bites, wounds, injuries, fractures, and more where a human survives and can live.

What to do after a Non-fatal Shark Attack?

If in any case, a great white shark or other shark attacks and bites you, escaping from the waters is necessary. Shouting for help may also aid in alarming the other swimmers. Once you’ve reached the shore, call for emergency help, and treat the shark bite with the necessary first-aid practices.

First Aid Practices for a Shark Bite

Since there are many possible outcomes of a shark attack, knowing how to treat each may be helpful. Especially since a shark bite may cause significant bleeding, if not treated with first aid response immediately. The skills and knowledge in applying first aid and other treatments to emergencies may be acquired in a first aid course at 123C Colin St West Perth 6005.


There are reported sightings and attacks of great white sharks in Perth which lead to fatal and non-fatal incidents. In the latter one, a bitten person may still survive even after acquiring wounds, injuries, or fractures. This may be possible especially if a first aid response is made immediately.

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