A video of a huge tiger shark being caught off the WA coast has been shared online by a local shark fisherman who has defended his right to catch the predators, and says shark fishing does not contribute to increased attacks on humans.
The footage was captured a week ago off Port Kennedy in Perth, fisherman Bryan Rogers told Yahoo News Australia, however, was shared on Facebook on Monday — the same day a surfer was bitten by a shark near the Boat Ramp surfing spot at Gnarabup Beach, WA.
The video shows Bryan's friend, and fellow shark fisherman, laying face down on the shoreline after reeling in a mammoth 3.6-metre tiger shark. Bryan said it took about an hour, but they eventually pulled the shark in from the ocean.
The fisherman said he's caught over 200 sharks and goes fishing most nights at beaches across Perth. "It's a sport, me and a few friends have always loved to do it," he said.
"There are a lot more sharks than people think and we land sharks most nights," he added. But a proposed state ban on shark fishing across WA could put an end to it altogether.
State-wide shark fishing bans could be introduced
In May, it was revealed Fisheries Minister Don Punch will soon act to ban shark fishing along the metropolitan coastline, which will include the city of Joondalup through to Mandurah — and locations along the Swan River — suggesting it contributes to the number of attacks on humans.
In the past two years, there have been two fatal shark attacks at beaches in the Fremantle area. In November 2021, Perth man Paul Millachip was killed in a fatal shark attack at North Fremantle's Port Beach. Meanwhile, 16-year-old Stella Berry was killed while swimming in a suspected bull shark attack in the Swan River in East Fremantle.
Local fishermen against fishing bans
Bryan said banning fishing is not the answer and said it will do "absolutely nothing" to reduce the number of attacks in Aussie waters.
"Sharks will always be there it’s their home it’s where they live," he told Yahoo. He said he could "pretty much guarantee" fishing sharks was not to blame for yesterday's attack at Gnarabup Beach, 280km south of Perth.
Previously, another local shark catcher Kai Boyle suggested he received backlash for sharing photos of a bull shark he pulled from the Swan River just days after Stella Berry was fatally attacked.
"Why not let people know what's in the Swan River?" he said at the time.
He said it was a reminder of "how big they get" and warned female bull sharks, which grow bigger than males, are in the Swan River to have their pups.
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