Monster bull shark shocks fishermen in Sydney Harbour

·3-min read

A huge bull shark was reeled in by two men in Sydney Harbour last week, and one of the fishermen says it's not the first time he has caught one in the area.

In a TikTok video shared by user @huss_fisho, viewers were treated to an up-close look at a catch and release, as one of the fishermen tried to get the shark back in the water.

One of the men grabs the bull shark by its rear and tries to drag it back out to sea. But the shark, with a large hook still in its mouth, keeps thrashing around in the shallow water.

"Whichever way he's going, go the other way," a man off-camera says.

A bull shark, left, stuck in shallow water at Birchgrove and, right, a fisherman tries to get it off the sandbank.
Two fishermen released a bull shark they caught at Birchgrove in Sydney Harbour. Source: TikTok/huss_fisho

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the man behind the video, Hassan Alameri, 23, said the shark in the footage was the third biggest he had reeled in, having caught over 10 in Sydney.

"It’s such an adrenaline rush seeing such a big creature come out, it’s quite the fight too, I wasn’t quite ready for it," he said.

He estimated this shark to be around 2.5 metres long and said it was pretty heavy.

The men made the catch when fishing from Birchgrove ferry wharf and Mr Alameri said it was important people didn't play around with the sharks.

He said throughout the release the shark was always in the water and had water running over its gills, adding it was on the bank for just a few minutes all up.

Warm weather could be drawing more sharks into harbour

Mr Alameri's catch and release comes after 15-year-old Casper Carriol spotted a pair of bull sharks hunting in Sydney Harbour last month while at Jeffrey Street Wharf in Kirribilli.

“Oh, man, it was so cool,” he told Yahoo News Australia.

“I’ve never really seen proper sharks in person like that in the wild.

Humane Society International marine biologist Lawrence Chlebeck previously told Yahoo News Australia sharks have always been in the harbour, but the warmer water temperatures could be drawing more in.

“It remains to be seen if this will be a cyclical thing, or if it’s going to be happening year, after year, after year due to global warming,” Mr Chlebeck said.

“But those warm waters will definitely bring more bull sharks and tiger sharks to the area.”

Bull sharks frequent Sydney Harbour in the summer and autumn. Source: Instagram/nsw_sharksmart
Bull sharks frequent Sydney Harbour in the summer and autumn. Source: Instagram/nsw_sharksmart

When can bull sharks be found in Sydney Harbour

Due to tagging and tracking efforts, NSW's Department of Primary Industries knows quite a bit about bull sharks in Sydney.

The government's program Shark Smart said bull sharks swim in Sydney Harbour during both summer and autumn, but also venture to Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers, to Middle and North Harbour.

During the day, bull sharks can be found in deeper water, but swim in more shallow water at night.

While bull sharks are happy to swim in Sydney's waters when the water temperature is around 20 degrees, when it drops below 19 they migrate north to Queensland for winter and spring.

Though there might be more sharks in Sydney's waters, Mr Chlebeck doesn't think we need to be any more worried.

“We just have to be make smart choices making when entering the water,” he said.

“That means we're swimming with a buddy, but also not swimming in extra cloudy water, or right after it rains, or in the middle of a ball of bait fish.

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