Australia’s The Telegraph is reporting that onlookers claim a juvenile great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) was “bludgeoned to death in front of crying children.” The incident reportedly took place at Sussex Inlet in New South Wales. The 2m shark had been hooked by a fisherman and then landed on the boat dock where eyewitnesses claim the shark was beaten to death with a metal pole.
The killing of a white shark in Australia is punishable by a fine of up to $11,000 and a two-year jail sentence, according to The Telegraph.
It was reported that some of the people on the scene claimed that the shark (seen in this photo) was a mako (Isurus oxyrinchus), which is not protected in Australia. A spokesperson for the Department of Primary Industries, who are investigating the incident, said that thinking the shark was a mako was “not an excuse.”
In a follow-up to today’s earlier post regarding internet rumors of a white shark being illegally caught and killed at the Star Island Yacht Club Shark Tournament, The East Hampton Press is reporting that a great white shark weighing between 300 and 400 lbs. (which would make it a relatively young white shark) was confiscated by the National Marine Fisheries Service after a participant in the Star Island Yacht Shark Tournament brought the shark in. (The great white shark has been a protected species in U.S. waters since 1997.) The article reports that the fisherman who caught the shark was neither fined nor arrested on the scene, according to Lesli Bales-Sherrod of the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement. However, he could face a civil charge at the conclusion of NOAA’s ongoing investigation of the event.
The East Hampton Press quoted Rich Janis, a manager of the shark tournament, as saying that the fisherman mistook the shark for another species. Janis went on to say that it was “an honest mistake” and noted that there was “no benefit” to the fisherman for bringing in the shark.
The information in the The East Hampton Press article is in stark contrast to the rumors that appeared on a few online angling forums, in which claims of an arrest, fines, boat seizure, and even a child endangerment charge were mentioned.
A quick video follow-up on the guy driving around with a bull shark carcass in his pick-up truck in St. Petersburg. According to WTSP-10, Josh Lipert drove the shark to Gandy Beach and “carved it into steaks, which he gave to friends.” Mmmmm, bull shark steaks. Nom nom nom. (Wait, BULL SHARK steaks? Seriously? Note to my friends: please don’t ever give me bull shark steaks.)
Lipert kept the jaws as a “souvenir” (aka trophy).
A juvenile white shark that was once on display at the Monterey Bay Aquarium has turned up dead. The female great white was “collected” by the aquarium on August 12, 2009 and subsequently released back into the wild on November 4, 2009.
According to satellite tracking tags attached to her prior to release, the young female white shark (which can be seen in the video above) had initially traveled from Monterey Bay to Baja. She was near Ensenada, Mexico the last time she was “heard” from, according to the aquarium’s Sea Notes blog.
Unfortunately, Sea Notes goes on to report that about two months ago, the shark’s satellite tracking tags started reporting from land. Oscar Sosa-Nishizaki, a Mexican researcher, traced the satellite tag movements to the home of a fisherman who acknowledged having caught the shark in a gill-net, according to Pete Thomas’ Outdoors blog.
Great white sharks are protected species in Mexican waters, but it is not entirely uncommon for younger white sharks to end up being caught accidentally by fishermen and sold as “swordfish” at Ensenada fish markets, as the Underwater Thrills blog reported on last year.
While another white shark is gone, hopefully her death will help bring more attention to the problems that the species is facing.
Expatica.com is reporting that Friday’s reported “shark attack” on an 11-year-old British girl at Sant Salvador de El Vendrell beach is now actually believed to be a bluefish attack. According to the report, “maritime experts later concluded that the bite suffered by the girl was too small to have been caused by a shark and was compatible instead with the marks that would be left by a bluefish.”
A blue shark had been seen, prior to the attack, 20 miles away from Sant Salvador de El Vendrell. In a knee-jerk reaction, maritime police caught and a killed a blue shark in the area after the attack, prior to the “shark attack” being debunked. Neighboring beaches were closed after the non-shark attack but have since been re-opened after maritime police patrolling the beaches found “no signs of bluefish.”
The knee-jerk tactics of attempting to hunt sharks down after a supposed attack is utterly absurd given the scientific information available today about shark attacks on humans. It’s also ridiculous to think that bluefish are no longer in area where bluefish live, as if a rogue bluefish swam in from some mystical bluefish hiding spot to bite someone and then left the area. The thought of maritime police patrolling for bluefish is comical, at best. No word on whether or not the police were able to sleep soundly after executing the wrong perpetrator.
Here’s to hoping that the 11-year-old victim of the bluefish bite heals up quickly and is able to enjoy the rest of her vacation. An animal bite which requires stitches is no less severe regardless of the species.