Great white shark killed in Mozambique – Updated

Helmut Nickel, Shark Year Magazine,
29. January 2013

Date: 28. January 2013

Location: Inhambane, Mozambique.

Species: Great white shark ( Carcharodon carcharias ).

Size: juvenile

According to social media reports,
this juvenile great white shark (female) was caught and finned by fishermen near Guinjata, Inhambane Province / Mozambique. Below are two photos of the specimen.

( Source and Photo Credit:
Fiona Ayerst on Facebook, 29. Jan 2013 … Quote:
I have posted more photos of this atrocity here- and there is fresh news in- ANOTHER GW shark was killed there last week on the same beach. the fins were bought by Chinese guys who took off down the beach in a 4×4. The fins have a OCEARCH satellite tag in them. It is a contravention of CITES appendix 2 to trade in GWS parts )

Previous reports on white shark catches in Mozambique:

21. May 2012 : Great White Shark caught in Mozambique
30. October 2012: Tagged White Shark caught and eaten in Mozambique


Update,  30. January 2013 :

Thanks to Hannah Darrin ( Eyes on the Horizon ) for forwarding the following information and photos to us.
Eyes on the Horizon is a marine conservation organisation, dedicated to protecting the marine life of Mozambique and uplifting local marine issues.
Correction: Photo credit goes to Adam Baugh ( a dive instructor in Guinjata ).

Eyes on the Horizon

Great White Sharks in Mozambique, Illegal Catch in Guinjata

Marine Conservation in Mozambique: Special Edition 
Great White Sharks

The 28th of January was a sad day for Dive Instructor Adam Baugh at Guinjata Dive Center in Mozambique. He and others at the Resort witnessed the local fishermen pulling in a net with a two and a half meter juvenile female great white shark. Photographs were taken of the shark and of the finning process that ensued. The fishermen set gill nets directly in front of the resort. These thicker nets are not discriminatory and can catch everything from turtles and dolphins to smaller sharks, such as juvenile hammerheads caught the day before and photographed by Adam, and things as big as a whale shark, one of which was found in the area during November. Adam was able to extract a piece of tissue, before the fins were sold to Chinese buyers to feed the market for their shark fin soup. The demand for shark fins in Inhambane province is the primary concern here, not the incidental catch by the local community. The remainder of the carcass was brought to the local village. Rest assured the body was not wasted. The meat is used to feed the local community, however they are unaware that these top predators accumulate toxins, such as methylmercurys in the tissue and are actually poisonous to consume on a regular basis.

We currently have several member from the community trying to determine who are the Chinese buyers in the area. With more information and photographs about the boats that are being launched to pull in the nets we can determine if the fishing and nets are legal. If there is any information about those who are taking the fins we may be able to slow the shark fin trade in Mozambique by eliminating some of the middle-men, and take this case to the national fisheries level. Please help us by emailing here, posting on our facebook or calling at +258842059440, if you have any information, or witness more illegal catches of great whites, turtles, or any marine mammals.

great white shark mozambique jan2013_5_read

Great White Sharks are protected under Annex II of the Mozambican law set in 1999. This entails that under no circumstances can anybody be in possession of the meat, fins, nor teeth and jaws of this animal, such infractions can incur fines up to 10,000 MZN (~3,000 ZAR). Mozambique is also a signatory to CITES, the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The great white is listed under Appendix II stating that any trade in great white products must be strictly observed and export permits are required. Whale sharks, basking sharks and large sawtooth sharks are also listed.

The sightings of great whites in Inhambane Province have been few and far between, however we have reason to believe that there have been increases in sightings. With added fishing pressure along the coastline, there have also been more incidental catches. In May 2012 a great white was brought in near to Coconut Bay, only a few kilometers from Guinjata. In July 2012 two sport fishing vessels in the same area reported sightings of great white sharks. Then, in October 2012 Brenda Fassie, a great white tagged by the OCEARCH research groupsent a ‘ping’ from her transmitter showing that she had been brought onshore by local fishermen south of Guinjata. The transmitter led Eyes on the Horizon representatives directly to the fishing camp. The satellite tag and information about the unintentional catch were all attained in the retrieval mission. If you’d like more information about the sharks’ locations around the world follow the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker.

great white shark mozambique jan2013_6_read


great white shark mozambique jan2013_3_readgreat white shark mozambique jan2013_read


  1. Is there any way of getting length and weight of this GWS?

  2. Angel

    Another sad day for the shark and humanity.
    The find trade is everywhere.
    They pay top dollars for GWS fins.
    These poor fishermen will catch as much as they can.
    I am sure the meat is not wasted to the last gram but still it is not comforting at all.
    What a waste for humanity to loose the great rare shark… and for what ?
    I always say, the nets they use to catch GWS will catch anything that can swim. Even whales are the victims for these nets.
    Cites may have rules but without implementing and enforcing the law, they are just sentences on paper. These fishermen and the Chinese Fin Mob does not give a damn about Cites.

  3. Marcella’s length is 11 ft 10 inches but weight is 1154 lbs so it’s not Marcella. They are moving up north and passing by Mozambique where all aggressive fisherman are waiting.

  4. Bender

    F**k these people

  5. I’m sickened by this story and these pictures. Give people a way to make money, they’d sell their own family members, who cares about slicing and dicing a shark? Whether these people are starving or not, I don’t know, but that the meat was used, the whole body not wasted as is typical with finners, is little consolation. Another rare, beautiful, essential predator is gone while the Chinese feast on the fins and the Africans feast on tainted meat known to cause Alzheimers and ALS. The whole thing is sick.

  6. Mark

    This isn’t a shark issue in these parts of the world. We are just as sickened by a dead elephant missing it’s tusks or a dead gorilla missing its hands and feet. What’s really disheartening to me at the point I write this is that these people value these parts of living creatures more than life itself. I don’t even know where to begin with the process of change when it’s so embedded in their culture and mindset. Damn it’s frustrating. Sure my first reaction to the pictures is f::k these people but what is that going to accomplish?  It’s a culture of lack of value in life backed by 100s if not 1000s of years of practice. I’m pissed at the guy cutting off the fins but he is probably a hero to those who know him well.  Our challenge is great in that we must attack deep reenforced behaviors and thought processes of the locals. The balance of the ecosystem in which they live bears no mind to them. It’s only the quick fulfilling answer. They will pay no mind to international law. They will only understand if it is shown to effect their own personal livelihood. 

  7. Angel

    If you notice in every structure build by mankind, it is always about the money as a final result. With money you can buy food, respect and power. So even some ancient traditions suggest slaughters of animals, these days it is not out of neccessity but for passion or fashion. Like furs of clothing industry or the fin soup. Please keep in mind that there are a lot of people who still promotes them and push them through the consumers to keep the demand to justify the kill and of course make more and more money.
    These people which are millions in numbers spreaded out the world will do anything to make money. Others help them either by consuming or supplying them the materials without realising the effects of it.
    In a small scale it seems harmless, but when promoted all over the globe, it is destructive. As an example, one shark kill may not make a significance(in their eyes) but those single sharks combined makes close to 100 million sharks a year is a disaster. Everyone knows that this is not sustainable but they still do it.
    The greed of humans will never end. They mostly consumed the local sources and now they do it globally. It started with whales, continued with tuna and sharks.So it is not only about sharks, it is actually about everything in the oceans. We keep screwing the balance of oceans by almost every possible mean. The question is how can we stop or regulate it before it is too late. ?
    Like land we may have national parks at sea that are controlled absolutely by enforced rules. In every country with a shore line this is doable. All the remaining open vast oceans may be protected as a whole. This may include pollution, fishing even shipping charts. Otherwise, kill over kill will occur day after day. Being poor is ok but being poor with unregulated ignorance is a disaster..

    • Mark

      Well said Angel. We don’t know the answer to either though…At what point does it become too late?  And how do we stop it?  I will always preach education but in the circumstances of small world country fisherman it has to be shown with consequences.  Angel, I fear that we try to come up with answers to problems that far outreach our understanding.  Yes we have our disbelief in actions of humans looking for financial gain but it’s so difficult to show how it truly effects the balance of all of it. Hell, I can barely come up with the words to express my thoughts on it. I figure in the end, it will be a joint effort of many people all driven by the same conservative cause. It comes down to a value in life that superceeds the value of the coin. How we get there?  I wish I knew…

  8. Angel

    I think the human race needs to reach to a certain level of concesness to realize the effects it puts on current and future generations.

    There comes the tricky question. Are we all happen to be at the same levels of evolution ? Is it only about education and traditions or there is more to it. ?

    We faced 2 World Wars, killed millions. Until a few decades ago there was cannibalism in some parts of the world. (PNG, Borneo, etc)

    It is in the nature of humanity to kill and to hunt. Look at the numbers of electronic games that are sold. Most of them are related to killing, shooting etc.

    Who purchases these ? Who plays with them ? Young humans between the ages of 12-25. They play with violence everyday.

    The most popular TV series are about the killing and killers. The books show similar tendency. We used to do the actual kill, now we kill using the books and technology.

    We still kill. So killing a shark does not mean anything to most of the humanity. It means nothing. ! No moral values are attached to any kind of kill including the sharks.

    Just the opposite, when you see the pictures or videos taken around a dead great white, you see pride and glory in the eyes of the people. They are proud of the kill.

    This is true in every country and in every culture.(See shark tournament pictures taken in the USA) There is not one single picture with a sad face on it.

    It may be the psychology of the killer that is build in humans genetically. You can not take it away just by education or morals or religion etc.

    Not all the killers are non educated poor people who lives in rural poor areas of the world. In a sense, the CEO of a global company who will destroy the nature to make money

    falls in the same category, He may not be doing it with his hands personally, but he still does it knowing the consequences.

    So we all need an enlightment to realize the fact that we have one planet to live in and there is no where else to go. Everything on Earth, including the sharks are valuable.

    They are not to be treated as commodity or a good that you can do whatever you want to with.

    For this to happen, we all need to value the life of everything as it is our own. Are we close to that kind of a mind set ?

    You tell me…

    • Mark

      I believe to a certain extent many are “wired” for the hunt. I don’t know if that comes from old ways of survival. However, I do believe that many of those wouldn’t want kill if they appreciated life more. For instance, Angel, you have undoubtly seen many videos and read many articles showing the value of sharks, the beauty of sharks and just the basic information of sharks that dispell the numerous myths about them. 

      If this comes down to an issue of direction of society we probably need to hit rock bottom. The almighty dollar just feeds into these primal urges.  I was thinking the other day how cool it would be to go to schools and teach shark conservation. There’s not a young child on this planet that wouldn’t be mesmerized by sharks. They end up being mesmerized by sharks in the movies, which gives way to unappreciative nature of their place in the ocean. 

      Hell, I sure hope we don’t have to come back from rock bottom on this issue. I suppose our time is finite to teach, teach and teach. 

  9. Angel

    I agree. Keep teaching and learning…
    vast amount of research is bing conducted on oceans and sea life in the past decade. All shows the hanging by a thread kind of volnurability in Ocean eco system. Many people does not have a clue what oceans means to thier survival. How much oxygen is produced by the oceans, its effect on climate and land mass. Its being the major means and source of survival of themselves. We need to teach and educate. At the same time we need to protect the oceans until the value of it is understood clearly.

    • Mark

      The earth in general has become a waste basket for so many. We kill animals everyday with no consequence or mind. Hell we kill each other with same regard. I’m glad that there are still a few people out there that care more than most.  How do we instill a value in life and this earth that’s greater than the consequences of the current disgusting behavior?  One person at a time?  It seems to be at that point when I read the news of the world. 

  10. It’s too bad considering theres a tracking device on the one shark that something couldn’t be done or should be done about it. We know that these people killed a shark that was illegal to kill in that part of the world now we’ll be down more sharks b/c it was a female they killed which has now eliminated not one by a whole line of great white sharks.

  11. brad

    if im not wrong gods stated anailmals are placed here to feed us, if the meat wasnt wasted whats the issue? mozambicains only kill what they eat trust me! well educated people with a heart of gold! 

  12. Matchole

    This killing was not about money. Was not just to sell. This shark has been killing locals for months, and it was being hunted by the fishermen. In the last 30 days, at least 5 died because of shark attacks. So, please, stop thinking that we, Mozambican, only kill sharks because of money. I am afraid our lives are also valuable for the planet, aren’t them?

  13. Marnus

    I would be sad if it were a dolphin or killer whale but not a great white. They can kill crocodiles and great whites as many as they like. If your relitive died from a great white attack on a surfboard then I guess your views will differ. Whites are only responsible for controlling the seal population and there aren’t any seals. And killer whales also hunt seals but never hunt humans. So go ahead, kill as many whites as you can. It is only the shark diving companies that will express their compassion for these fearsome beasts.

    • M.S Matthysen

      Just a joke. I really object to the killing of any shark. This is sad. I was really drunk when I posted this comment.

    • Matt

      Sorry but this is the most ridiculous comment I have read in a long time. Even if you have a relative who has died from an attack by a great white shark, that shark did not walk up onto the beach and kill anyone. When you enter the shark’s domain, you accept the risks that come with it, just as you would when you enter any other natural habitat. If you choose to swim where there are sharks, you must accept that there is danger and there may be potential consequences of that. It’s good that we don’t all have the “go ahead, kill as many whites as you can” attitude otherwise that would be another species pointlessly destroyed. Then what exactly do you think would happen to the marine life food-chain with no top predator?! The sharks are there for a reason and that is not for us to kill them! And no, I don’t work for a shark diving company, but I do have respect and compassion for animals. But none for people who like to desecrate nature.

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