Young Great White Shark killed in NSW Australia

Baby great white shark bludgeoned to death in front of children

By Mal Holland, Environment Reporter, The Daily Telegraph,
13. January 2012

FROM the shore, the group of small boats appeared to be doing the right thing – herding a shark that had swum into the long shallow channel back safely out to sea.

But the throng of holidaymakers who watched from the shoreline at Sussex Inlet, on the New South Wales south coast, soon realised the shark had been hooked by a fisherman on one of the boats and was being fought to a standstill, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Minutes later, the shark, a protected baby great white, was hauled on to the nearby boat ramp and bludgeoned to death in front of crying children, despite the pleas of their horrified parents.

“My five-year-old daughter was in tears. It was horrible, with this guy beating the shark to death with a long metal pole,” one of the witnesses, who asked not to be named, said yesterday.

“There were dozens of people there and people were pleading with the men to stop it, but they just killed it in front of everyone.”

Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries) officers are investigating the slaughter of the juvenile great white shark, which is fully protected in all Australian waters.

Photographs of the 2m great white on the boat ramp on Tuesday show wounds that appear to have come from a gaff hook being thrust into its body to secure it beside the boat, as well as what appear to be propeller blade slices.

“The bloke who was beating it was a tanned Anglo man who looked to be in his 40s,” the witness said.

“A little while after it was killed this guy came round and asked anyone who was camping or holidaying if they wanted some of the shark to eat.

“Some people said it was a mako shark and I didn’t know what type of shark it was.”

Mako sharks can be legally caught in NSW waters, and look similar to great whites.

Killing a great white can attract a fine of up to $11,000 and a two-year jail sentence. “It is not an excuse to think the shark was a small mako. People who are fishing should know what various species look like so they can target the right species,” a department spokesman said yesterday.

“They are a threatened species and need our protection and we are investigating the reported killing and abuse of the small great white.”

Small great whites sometimes cruise up Sussex Inlet hunting fish and occasionally enter St Georges Basin.

Source: The Herald Sun. Photo Credit: PerthNow.



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