01/02/2016 8:34 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Surfer Mick Fanning Pens Heartfelt Announcement He Is Separating From His Wife Karissa


Surfer Mick Fanning has penned a heartfelt tribute to his wife Karissa Dalton as he announces their separation.

The surfer, who last year was charged by a great white shark and lost a brother unexpectedly, took to Facebook to announce the end of his eight-year marriage.

"I have nothing but love and respect for this woman," Fanning said in a Facebook post uploaded on Sunday.

"Karissa has stood by me since we first met in 2004. We have shared plenty of great times but more importantly she has helped me through some of the toughest moments in my life, especially this past year."

He addressed rumors the separation had been on the cards for some time.

"There has been some speculation about our marriage coming to an end over the past six months," Fanning said.

"We refuted those claims because we were both committed to working things out since we separated last February.

"After giving it our all though, late last year we made the tough mutual decision to move on separately."

He said the couple would not make any further statements.

"It feels weird to put our personal life out there like this but we want to eliminate any speculation about this decision," Fanning said.

"We’re still close and there’s a lot of love there."