A whale carcass was seen floating offshore of Amanzimtoti early last week, before 14 tiger sharks were caught in the nets at Scottburgh on Wednesday.
Mike Anderson-Reade, head of operations at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, confirmed on Tuesday in a statement that the board had been informed of the sighting.
He said whale carcasses were notorious for attracting large white and tiger sharks.
“Should these carcasses drift close inshore, the sharks that are scavenging on them may present a threat to bathers and surfers,” he said.
“If the Sharks Board is informed of the accurate position of a drifting carcass, attempts may be made, in the interests of public safety, to tow it offshore into the current and away from the coast.” Anderson-Reade said this would likely reduce the number of sharks caught in the nets.
The whale spotted offshore of Amanzimtoti was believed to be a humpback whale.
“The annual humpback whale migration appears to have started earlier this year, with a number of animals having been reported over the past month,” Anderson-Reade said.
The Sharks Board appealed to boat anglers, aviators and the public to call 031 566 0400 to report the accurate position of any dead whales seen floating off the coast between Richards Bay and Port Edward.