According The Northern Star, Sarah Moerman, an Iluka woman, discovered a bull shark in the Clarence River that had been finned and left to die. Authorities suggested that the woman put the shark out of its misery by dropping a large rock on the shark’s head. Moerman commented on the indifference to the shark’s plight stating, “that would never happen if it was a dolphin.”
After calling the coastguard, a ranger, the Clarence Valley Council, and the police, Moerman said her husband eventually killed the dying shark with a sledgehammer, after an hour had passed with no action on the part of the authorities.
The Northern Star interviewed a professional fisherman about the incident who stated that he did not condone the act and believed the finning was likely the handiwork of an amateur. Cutting the fins off of a live shark is illegal in Australian waters. Penalties for doing so can include automatic loss of a professional license, which the fisherman said was worth a “six-figure sum.” He went on to say that no professional fisherman would risk such a loss for “$70 worth of fins.”