A fishy tail – the true facts about “Yeppoon’s” recent shark attack

Exaggerated media coverage of the shark bite has spread nationally, and this has the serious potential of damaging the Capricorn Coast’s reputation.

Thousands of tourists come to the Capricorn Coast every year because they know it’s more than a picturesque destination, it’s a very safe one. Recent figures released by Tourism Events Queensland support this with the National Visitor Survey revealing record breaking figures for tourism expenditure and visitation.

“It would be a major blow to the tourism industry and our local economy if we were to see a drop in forward bookings because of the recent exaggerated shark attack coverage,” said Mary Carroll, CEO of Capricorn Enterprise.

This morning a national television channel released a breaking news story on one of Australia’s most prominent breakfast programs stating that “there was a serious shark attack at Yeppoon, on the Capricorn Coast.”

“We are heading into one of our most important tourism periods. People are starting to think about their Christmas holiday plans, and this sort of ‘out of proportion’ media coverage has potential to have a negative impact on the summer holiday season,” said Ms Carroll.

The potential loss of forward bookings in tourism sectors could also have a flow on effect to other industries as well with local cafes, shops and restaurants having potential to be impacted.
Without all the correct facts, this sort of sensationalised story could have a negative impact on our local industry with the potential for detrimental flow on effects to the local economy in the Yeppoon and Capricorn Coast area.

To put the facts about the recent shark attack into perspective:
1. The man was bitten while fishing from a boat – not while swimming.
• The 55-year-old man suffered a bite to his shoulder as he tried to pull the shark into a boating vessel while fishing. The man stated he caught a large reef shark and as he went to pull it on board, it turned and bit him on the upper arm.

2. This was not an attack, but a bite that was provoked.
• The shark did not attack, it defended itself when it was pulled out of the water by the fisherman.

3. The attack happened a very long way from Yeppoon and the Capricorn Coast.
• The attack happened at Swain Reefs which is 220km from Yeppoon, approximately 10-12 hour boat ride from Roslyn Bay Harbour. See attached maps
• The Swain Reefs is a massive reef system that is a revered location for reef and pelagic fishing.

This is a beautiful time of year and this region has so much to offer. Without all the correct facts, this sort of story has a negative impact on our local industry.

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