Illegal shark fishing evidence sparks investigation

Media Release

Department of Fisheries, Western Australia

01. February 2018

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Discovery of illegal shark fishing evidence sparks an investigation

  • ​Three illegally caught tiger sharks cut up and left on a Perth beach
  • Anyone with information is asked to call FishWatch on 1800 815 507
  • Fishers urged to reconsider fishing activity that attracts large sharks close to swimming areas

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has urged fishers to be mindful of the safety of other water users after three large tiger sharks were left mutilated and dumped on a popular Perth swimming beach.

A number of pieces of tiger shark that washed up near the groyne at Sandtrax and Port Beach in North Fremantle yesterday have been determined as the remains of three large tiger sharks.

Fisheries and Marine officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development yesterday inspected the remains and determined all three sharks appear to be above the maximum size limit, which means they are totally protected fish.

Tiger sharks caught in Western Australia’s West Coast and South Coast bioregions are a totally protected fish if they have an inter-dorsal fin measurement of more than 700 millimetres.

The Fisheries officers observed that the jaws had been removed from the sharks.

The taking of totally protected fish, due to size limit rules, can potentially attract a fine of up to $5,000 and, if an offence is proven, an additional mandatory penalty equal to 10 times the prescribed value of the fish by weight or number would also apply.

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:

“This illegal fishing activity is very concerning. I’m also disturbed the offender discarded the remains on a beach close to a swimming area.

“The fishing activity appears to have been targeted to attract large sharks and therefore fishers should be mindful of the concerns and safety of other water users.

“I’m concerned that fishing for large sharks on popular beaches could be attracting sharks closer to swimming areas. 

“I’ve asked Fisheries officers to fully investigate this matter.” 

Source: Government of Western Australia

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