Fisheries Queensland says 18 baited hooks have been illegally removed, potentially raising the number of sharks around popular Sunshine Coast beaches.

Sunshine Coast beachgoers have been warned to be alert as shark control drumlines have been stripped of baited hooks.

Fisheries Queensland shark control program manager Jeff Krause says whoever removed 18 hooks at Yaroomba and Currimundi is putting people in danger.

“This is very dangerous and illegal, and compromises the effectiveness of the shark control program, putting lives at risk,” he said in a statement.

Mr Krause said that drumlines, when used with nets, reduced the number of sharks around popular beaches.

People who interfere with the fishing equipment face an on the spot fine of $1100 and a maximum fine of $55,000.