Mick Fanning: ready to fight shark fear at Jeffreys Bay | Photo: Miller/Red Bull

Mick Fanning confirmed he will travel to South Africa to compete in the J-Bay Open 2016 at Jeffreys Bay.

The Australian surfer was attacked by a shark last year while competing in the final against Julian Wilson. Fanning was surprised by a 12-to-15-foot great white shark, fought back, and escaped the lineup uninjured.

The event was called off, but the situation left psychological marks on the three-time winner of the South African contest. Mick Fanning took his time, returned to the water, and announced he was making a pause in competition.

"When I decided I was only going to do a few events this season, J-Bay was always on the cards. Even if I decided I didn't want to surf in the J-Bay Open, I was always going to go back. I've had so many great memories there that to leave J-Bay on the note from last year just didn't seem right. I want to go back and right the wrongs and move forward," notes Fanning.

"I trust the WSL and the measures they've put in place. The first surf is going to be a little bit tricky to get through my head. I've surfed lots of different places and have seen sharks since then and haven't felt too concerned. It's all part of surfing. We're not going to go out and put a cage around J-Bay."

Mick Fanning will be surfing the first heat of the event against Conner Coffin and Alejo Muniz, but he doesn't have strict plans for the next couple of years.

"2016 has been really fun to have some time off and do different things. It's been really fulfilling for me personally to go to places where I haven't been able to before. I've made an effort to distance myself from the tour. As far as 2017 goes, I couldn't tell you right now - whether I'll be back or not full-time," explains Fanning.

The J-Bay Open 2016 runs from July 6th to 17th.

World Surf League will improve the surveillance and response systems with additional water patrol and effective sonar technologies in the lineup.

J-Bay Open 2016 | Round 1 Matchups

Mick Fanning (AUS), Conner Coffin (USA), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Italo Ferreira (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
John John Florence (HAW), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Adriano de Souza (BRA), Josh Kerr (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS)
Gabriel Medina (BRA), Dusty Payne (HAW), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Davey Cathels (AUS), Steven Sawyer (ZAF)
Filipe Toledo (BRA), Kelly Slater (USA), Matt Banting (AUS)
Adrian Buchan (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Jordy Smith (ZAF), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS)
Caio Ibelli (BRA), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Julian Wilson (AUS), Nat Young (USA), Jack Freestone (USA)
Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Michel Bourez (PYF), Stuart Kennedy (AUS)

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