Tiger sharks have been caught off Gladstone.
Tiger sharks have been caught off Gladstone. Contributed

Popularity of shark deterrent devices increases

SHARKS lurking off Gladstone beaches are keeping tourists and residents wary this summer.

Nearly 40 sharks were caught on drumlines or nets according to September data from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries' Shark Control Program.

Included in those hauls were six tiger sharks, a species that features second on the list of recorded bites on humans, only behind the great white shark.

The most common shark caught off the Gladstone area was the blacktip shark.

There were 24 caught during the nine-month period.

Bull sharks and sandbar whalers were also caught off Tannum Sands. The largest shark caught at a beach in the Gladstone area was a tiger shark, measuring 3.7m.

While only two non-fatal shark attacks have been recorded in Queensland waters this year, attacks occurring interstate, particularly in New South Wales, have stirred up some anxiety for surfers.

This has prompted an increase in the popularity of shark deterrent devices such as wetsuits, leashes and wrist bands fitted with different forms of technology.

Although still a luxury item for surfers, Angela O'Dowd from Last Wave Watersports said interest in shark repellents were rising.

"We've had a few enquiries about deterrent devices but they are mainly from people out of town," she said. "It's not deterring anyone in the local area."