An 11-year-old boy has been injured after being bitten by a shark off Australia's Heron Island.

The child was wading in knee-high water when he was attacked by the black-tipped reef shark which gave him a "significant" bite on his right leg, according to Queensland medical staff.

The boy was recovered from the water by his father and flown to Gladstone hospital where he is in a stable condition.

A Queensland Ambulance spokesman said his wounds are not life threatening.

The attack comes two days after a 31-year-old man was bitten by a shark off Miall Island near Rosslyn Bay, 420 miles north of Brisbane.

The victim survived the attack by apparently fighting off the animal but was left with extensive injuries to his arms.

In November, 20-year-old Sam Morgan's left thigh was mauled by a shark off East Ballina, New South Wales.

Some 22 shark attacks were recorded in Australia last year, according to Sydney's Taronga Zoo.

Four of those took place in Queensland while another 14 occurred in New South Wales, including an attack in which a Japanese surfer was killed.

Experts say attacks are increasing as water sports become more popular and bait fish move closer to shore, but fatalities remain rare.

Last year authorities put a range of shark-prevention measures in place to reduce encounters during the busy 2015-16 summer season, including testing aerial drones to track shark movements.

The surfer, who has a World Surf League junior ranking of 33, swam to shore and was helped onto the beach by onlookers.

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