An Australian angler beached a 13-and-a-half foot tiger shark, took pictures, and released it. Now he’s in deep with the Department of Fisheries.
In the waters of WA tiger sharks are a protected species. If an angler catches one, it must be immediately released or the fisherman may face a $5,000 fine.
This is the issue that faces a young man that was fishing off of Cheynes Beach.
Nick Shoevaart, a 23-year-old who landed the massive shark, was fishing off the beach near Albany when he latched into the biggest fish of his life. His issues began when pictures emerged of the young man and his friends posing with the big tiger.
While there’s no question as to the release of the big shark, the remaining issue was one of when it was released. Being that the pictures were taken after the hour-and-a-half struggle with the shark obviously on the shore, and that multiple pictures were taken, the Department of Fisheries is now investigating.
Natalie Banks, Sea Shepherd spokeswoman, was adamant that anglers needed to show more respect to sharks saying, “These sharks are vital to keeping our oceans healthy and we’re seeing more and more of these images coming through and it’s a real shame because we really should be giving them a lot more respect.”
Shoevaart was just as unyielding when he said, “As soon as I caught it and released it, the next morning I rang fisheries straight away to let them know there’s a potentially harmful shark to humans there,” adding, “Next time I’ll definitely get a video or a picture of (the shark) swimming off so people have nothing to whine about.”
Whatever the case if there’s a rule about releasing a tiger shark immediately perhaps it should state that the fish never be brought ashore, or shallower than a few feet. Any fisherman making such an outstanding catch would want to take pictures of it.