A 4m (13′) white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) that was found washed ashore in Western Australia had apparently died as the result of choking on a sea lion, according to Sky News. The 4m shark had no initial visible signs of injury or disease, according to the report. However, further examination revealed a sea lion lodged in the shark’s throat.
The shark was filmed off Coronation Beach by YouTube user CadMonkey two days before it washed ashore. As can be seen in the video, the shark appears to be in distress. Research scientist Rory McAuley told Sky News that the shark might have been trying to dislodge the obstruction.
Perth Now reports that a “catch and kill” order has been issued by the Department of Fisheries after an abalone diver was bitten by “what’s believed to be a great white shark” today.
Greg Pickering suffered serious injuries to his head, arms, chest and face and is currently being treated at Royal Perth Hospital. According to a WAtoday report, Pickering was in stable condition. Pickering survived a shark bite to the leg from a bronze whaler (Carcharhinus brachyurus), also known as a copper shark, in 2004.
Hooks and lines have been set near the site of the attack, according to Fisheries Director General Stuart Smith, who went on to say he would likley give the order to destroy a “sizable” white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) if one is caught in the area. According to the 7News Perth report above, the size of shark is unknown, but white sharks are known to frequent the area where the attack occurred.
It was unclear from reports and Fisheries statements if/how the shark responsible for the the attack would be identified.
Grant Bond got a little more than he bargained for off of Perth, Western Australia earlier this year. Bond was fishing from his kayak when a shark decided to get up close and personal with him. He thought at the time of the encounter that it was a white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) giving his kayak a workout, but after reviewing the footage he was able to identify the species as a shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus).
When Bond first encountered the mako, it was circling his kayak, and after about five minutes he thought the shark had left the area. It was at this point that the shark, estimated at 3m in length, starting bumping the kayak. Rather than playing a game of bumper-boats with the shark, Bond decided to call it a day and head back to shore. Bond believes that the shark was attracted to his kayak by some herring in the foot well. He threw the herring as far from the kayak as he could, cut his anchor line, and headed in under sail.
Bond went on to point out that even though the mako nudged and rubbed up against his kayak multiple times, it never bit the vessel. He said the old adage about the worst day of fishing being better than the best day of work turned out not to be true, after all. Thanks to Grant for sharing this video!
Note: There was a typo in the date on the video, which was shot on March 10.
The first specific order to catch and kill a great white shark is making headlines in Western Australia. The order was made in response to multiple sightings of a white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) reported in the waters off of Dunsborough, WA over the past several days. The kill order is part of a new set of guidelines intended to reduce shark attacks in Western Australia. The policy introduced late last year, after a series of fatal shark attacks in 2011 and 2012. This is the first instance of an order to kill a specific shark (or sharks), since the guidelines were introduced.
WA Today reports that lines were initially set on Sunday with the intent of catching the great white shark (or sharks) seen in the Dunsborough area. A white shark was spotted as recently as yesterday afternoon in the area. According to the WA Today report, two tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) were caught as part of the effort. The tiger sharks, which measured 1.8m and 2m in length, were released according to Fisheries Department spokesperson Tony Cappelluti, who said the tiger sharks weren’t considered to be the “high hazard.” The lines were removed on Tuesday night, but Cappelutti went on to say that Fisheries Department officers would continue monitoring the area throughout the week to assess whether any further attempts to set lines will be made.
Great white sharks are a protected species in Australian waters.
A 4m great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) that was spotted near Leighton Beach, Western Australia forced the closure of a children’s surf life saving carnival on December 2, according to a 7 News video report. Despite a controversial government issued “kill order” for large sharks that pose an “imminent threat” to beach-goers, Western Australia Fisheries Department did not harm the shark, which left the area within an hour. A Fisheries Department representative told 7 News said that killing the shark was not necessary, because it was not a threat with everybody being out of the water. Additionally, the shark was being monitored by boats and helicopters, during the time in was in proximity to the beach.
The beach closure coincided with a Cottlesoe coroner’s official ruling in the death of a Perth man, who disappeared while swimming last year. Part of his swimsuit, which had bite marks consistent with a 3m white shark, were the only evidence recovered from the scene. The police ruled that a shark attack was the most likely cause of death.