Great White Shark caught on drum line in South Africa
22 July 2011,
by Dave Savides, Zululand Observer.
A Great White shark weighing 345kg was hooked on a Sharks Board drum line off Alkantstrand on Saturday. Crew of the skiboat ‘Lady Cat’ noticed the floating buoy with its catch drifting in the water on the eastern side of Naval Island and towed it to the Richards Bay Ski Boat Club. Local Sharks Board officials were then called and the predator has been taken to the head office in Durban for dissection. While the shark would have posed ‘negligible’ danger to bathers, the catch does confirm the effectiveness of the drum lines, which were introduced about four years ago as an alternative to shark nets. ‘Although shark nets have diamond shaped mesh measuring 25cm on each side, they do unfortunately snare a lot of by-catch such as turtles, rays and dolphins,’ said Dr Sheldon Dudley of the Natal Sharks Board. ‘Drum lines, essentially baited hooks on anchored floats, are far more discriminate and target potentially dangerous sharks. ‘We are now using drum lines in combination with nets and have had similar success with catches of Great White, Zambezi and Tiger Sharks as we had with nets alone – but with the by-catch reduced by 50%.’ The Northern Breakwater (Alkantstrand) is now protected by three drum lines and 100 metres (previously 200 metres) of shark nets. ‘We did this especially to stop the by-catch of Humpback Dolphins,’ said Dudley.
Source and Photo Credit: Zululand Observer.