Saturday, March 9, 2013

Great White Shark Shot in South Australia, Jaws Removed

Australian authorities with PIRSA Fisheries are appealing for information from the public, following the discovery of a great white shark in the Port Lincoln National Park that appears to have been illegally killed.

The shark was discovered by a member of the public on Sunday 24 February, washed up at September Beach, 20km South of Port Lincoln.

It appears that the shark had been in the water for several weeks before it was found with multiple gun shot wounds and its jaws removed. According to Regional fisheries manager Andrew Carr, "It appeared to include perhaps half a dozen holes around its head area which, put two and two together, suggests it may have been shot," he said.

Minister for Fisheries, Gail Gago, urged anyone with information that could assist investigations to contact FISHWATCH. "It's deeply concerning that people would kill a protected species," Ms Gago said. "What's even more disturbing is that it appears in this case to be a deliberate act to kill the shark for the purpose of retaining the jaws as a trophy or selling for commercial gain."

Minister Gago said world-wide concerns for the population status of White Sharks had prompted their listing as a vulnerable and protected species. "White Sharks are listed internationally as a 'vulnerable' species and are protected in all Australian State and Commonwealth waters," she said.

In South Australia, under fisheries legislation, it is an offense to take, injure or interfere with white sharks, with a penalty of up to $20,000 applying. In addition, anyone involved in the sale, purchase or possession of White Shark or any body parts including teeth, could face a fine of up to $20,000 and a two year jail term.

"PIRSA Fisheries Officers are investigating the circumstances of the shark's death and are calling for members of the public to come forward with any information that may assist their inquiries." Anyone with information is urged to contact the 24-hour FISHWATCH hotline on 1800 065 522. Callers can remain anonymous.

Information from PIRSA press release and 7 News
Photo from Australian Museum.