The Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries has launched a response plan after the latest North Coastal shark attack.
The Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries has launched a response plan after the latest North Coastal shark attack. Barry Cheadle

DPI response activated after latest North Coast shark attack

THE NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has initiated its shark incident response plan following yesterday's attack at Lighthouse Beach in Port Macquarie.

The DPI is assisting NSW Surf Life Saving and NSW Police in responding to the incident.

It is believed the 36-year-old male received lacerations to his leg while body boarding at dusk and is now in a stable condition at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter was placed on standby soon after the incident to airlift the man to John Hunter Hospital but this action was not required.

However, it's believed more surgery will take place today.

The DPI has deployed a staff member at Port Macquarie to identify the species from the bite pattern and forensic information.

"We are working with police and NSW Surf Life Saving to monitor the area and provide any technical advice and resources as required in line with the North Coast shark campaign," a spokesperson said.

This latest attack comes after a string of incidents that began with the death of 19-year-old surfer Zac Young at Riecks Point north of Coffs Harbour on November 30, 2013.

So far this year non-fatal attacks have occurred at Evans Head and Ballina's Lighthouse Beach, with surfer Tadashi Nakahara dying at Shelly Beach in February.

Sightings have seen numerous beach closures including one while the Australian Surf Festival was in progress at Coffs Harbour earlier this month.

The attacks have prompted claims the NSW Government has failed to protect beachgoers.

The Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries said $100,000 has been put aside to trial new preventative measures, but it could still take many more months for trials to begin and be adopted permanently.



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