In a previous blog, I wrote about how NZ is free of just about anything that actually wants to kill you — Day 8: NZ Doesn’t Just Want to Kill You. But then today I was going through pictures and realized I forgot about sharks. NZ doesn’t have a big shark problem, especially not compared to Australia. Between 1958 and 2014, there were 234 fatal shark attacks in Australia and only 9 in NZ. So my previous blog is still mostly true. It’s also interesting to note that there were no fatal shark attacks in NZ between 1976 and 2013 so we went for more than 30 years without a fatality — a great white is believed to have killed a swimmer in Auckland in February 2013 and that was the first confirmed fatality in the country since 1976.
Nobody here ever talks about shark attacks and it isn’t at all a concern. So you can imagine our surprise when we went on a road trip earlier this year to Kaipara Harbour and saw a sign warning us about great white sharks when we stopped at the Jetty on Shelly Beach for coffee. While we drank our coffee, we asked the waitress about the signs and did some Googling. It turns out that Kaipara Harbour may be a breeding ground for great white sharks — there were eleven of them spotted in a single site in the Harbour in February 2015.
The waitress said that the sign deters some of the tourists from going in the water but the locals grew up there and just ignore it. On that day, we decided to stick with the tourists :-).
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