A great white shark was shot with a speargun yesterday in False Bay (South Africa), according to the Independent Online. A spokesman for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said that the white shark had not been acting aggressively and had turned to swim away after getting close to a group of divers. One of the divers “shot at the shark” to scare it away and “accidentally” shot the shark in the gill area. The diver estimated the shark to be between 3-4m in length. Researchers and scientists are concerned for the well-being of the shark due to the potentially life-threatening injuries that could be sustained in the gill area. The spokesman for the NSRI encourages any sightings of the injured shark to be reported.
Great white sharks are a protected species in South Africa. The story somewhat reminds me of stories that I’ve heard about hunters firing “warning shots” at deer when they are out of season only to “accidentally” hit the deer. The difference here is that it seems as though the diver reported the incident to the NSRI, which makes it seem as though the diver simply panicked and shot the shark out of fear, despite the fact that the shark had turned to swim away.