It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
The carcass of a giant hammerhead shark would be better off used for science, instead of as a tourist attraction at a Queensland "Shark Hunter" museum, conservationists say.
The monster hammerhead, weighing in at 1,200 kilograms and measuring five metres long, was caught off the New South Wales coast last month.
This week, Hervey Bay-based "shark hunter" Vic Hislop bought the shark and moved it to Queensland, where he is reportedly thinking of turning the massive sea creature into a tourist attraction at his shark museum.
But the Australian Marine Conservation Society says the shark would be better off elsewhere.
The society's marine campaigner, Ben Birt, says Mr Hislop's museum does not promote the right message about conservation.
"Using it for conservation in a well-regarded, accredited museum, that is focused on education and conservation is not a bad thing," he said.
"But Vic Hislop's museum is not one at where the message is about shark conservation. It doesn't promote that, so it's not likely to be used in a positive way that's going to be to the benefit of the species.
"You need to visit his museum to get an understanding. But he's certainly not interested in or focused on the reality, which is that sharks all over the world, including here in Australia, are in quite serious decline.
"They face several threats - the major one being fishing - and really the message should be that they need to be conserved and not hunted."
A FIVE-METRE, 1200kg monster hammerhead shark caught off Evans Head last month is normal, according to Broadwater shark fisherman Bill Litchfield.
The massive hammerhead was caught four nautical miles off the coast in eight feet of water. Its size has astonished locals but big is fast becoming regular, Mr Litchfield said.
With mullet season stretching from March to August each year, Northern Rivers residents can expect increased shark sightings over the next few months.
“They (massive sharks) are out there every day,” Mr Litchfield said.
“With only three shark fishing boats between North Solitary Island off the coast at Woolgoolga and the Queensland border, they will go out two days per week and it would be normal to catch a shark of that size once or twice a week.”
The sharks are sold for their flesh, jaws and fins.
Mr Litchfield believed that because of scare mongering about diminishing shark numbers, strict government quotas had been brought in and he believes that shark numbers are steadily increasing.
“I have been 25 years shark fishing and I am seeing numbers rise,” he said.
“The biggest problem is that stocks like jewfish, snapper and flathead are increasing and therefore, so are the sharks.”
Mr Litchfield saw them as becoming more of a danger to swimmers, surfers and fishermen as they increase in number and come closer to shore for food, competing with humans for the same fish.
“The Government has stopped shark fishing anything above 1.5 metres in Queensland and they will eventually stop it in NSW,” he said.
Queensland and world-renowned shark expert Vic Hislop, who is currently in Evans Head, agrees with Mr Litchfield’s observations.
“Those sized sharks (five metres) are very common wherever there’s salt water,” he said.
“They are always in season. The hammerhead they caught here in Evans Head is a magnificent specimen.
“You wouldn’t want it swimming under your kid’s surfboard because its head is bigger than the average board.”
The final resting place of the hammerhead caught by the Santrina shark fishing crew is unclear, but speculation in The Northern Star’s sister newspaper The Fraser Coast Chronicle is that it could be headed to Mr Hislop’s Shark Show at Urangan in Hervey Bay.
Meanwhile, more than 2.4 million square kilometres of ocean, spanning most of Australia’s east coast, will be considered for marine protection zones, Environment Minister Peter Garrett has announced.
Eight areas, extending from the Torres Strait to southern NSW, have been proposed for further assessment as the Government works towards establishing multiple ‘no take’ (no fishing) and multiple use zones along the eastern seaboard.
The seven areas include the Fraser, Tweed, Clarence, Batemans, Hunter, Clarence, Norfolk and Lord Howe zones as well as the Coral Sea.
FOR weeks there has been speculation the five-metre hammerhead shark which was caught off Evans Head last month was sold to a museum for $13,000.
But those rumours have been dismissed by the man who now has the shark in his possession.
World-renowned shark expert Vic Hislop yesterday confirmed he returned to Evans Head over the weekend to pick up the 1200kg monster.
But he would not say whether the hammerhead would feature in his Hervey Bay-based shark show.
“I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do with it,” he told The Northern Star yesterday.
“I’m going to keep it frozen for now.
“I’m about to go to the Northern Territory to look for tiger sharks, so I’ll think about it when I get back.”
The hammerhead was caught by the crew of the shark fishing vessel Santrina four nautical miles off the coast of Evans Head.
Mr Hislop denied that he paid the crew $13,000 for the hammerhead.
“What’s a shark worth? Maybe $10 or $100? You can’t eat it, because it’s full of mercury,” he said.
“So there’s really not a lot the crew could have done with it.
“They happened to catch this one, so they gave it to me so I could use it for research purposes.”
Although the massive hammerhead received plenty of attention when it featured on the front page of The Northern Star on March 25, Mr Hislop said the size was not unusual.
“I’ve caught them that big before,” he said.
PhD student Adrian Gutteridge had hoped to get a tissue sample from the hammerhead for his research project.
“This was a giant hammerhead,” he said.
“We’ve got four species of hammerheads in Australia, and this is definitely the biggest. They probably get to about six metres.
“I have a friend who had one that was 4.4 metres and he estimated it was 30 to 35 years old.
“So this one, at five metres, would probably be about 40 or 45 years old.
“No one really knows how long they live for – it could be 50 or 60 years as a ballpark.
“The species is endangered worldwide, but the population is unknown in Australia.
“We are currently trying to work out their population on the east coast.
“There’s been no attempt to track these sharks anywhere in the world.
“So at the moment I have some funding to do a bit of research – we put receivers on their fins.
“People are saying that there are more big sharks closer to the coast than ever before, so we want to see if we can prove that.”
I personally would prefer to see this monster in a shark museum than being chopped up into sushi in a lab... What do you reckon?
Soup anyone ?
You can’t eat it, because it’s full of mercury,” he said.
Signs and symptoms
Common symptoms of mercury poisoning include peripheral neuropathy (presenting as paresthesia or itching, burning or pain), skin discoloration (pink cheeks, fingertips and toes), swelling, and desquamation (shedding of skin).
Because mercury blocks the degradation pathway of catecholamines, epinephrine excess causes profuse sweating, tachycardia (persistently faster-than-normal heart beat), increased salivation, and hypertension (high blood pressure). Mercury is thought to inactivate S-adenosyl-methionine, which is necessary for catecholamine catabolism by catechol-o-methyl transferase.
Affected children may show red cheeks, nose and lips, loss of hair, teeth, and nails, transient rashes, hypotonia (muscle weakness), and increased sensitivity to light. Other symptoms may include kidney disfunction (e.g. Fanconi syndrome) or neuropsychiatric symptoms such as emotional lability, memory impairment, or insomnia.
Thus, the clinical presentation may resemble pheochromocytoma or Kawasaki disease.
The consumption of fish is by far the most significant source of ingestion-related mercury exposure in humans.
Originally posted by DrHammondStoat
I'm wondering if the people here saying the fisherman shouldn't have killed the shark are vegans and therefore can safely say they are not responsible for the deaths of any animals? If the sharks are endangered or just hunted down to star in some shark freak show then of course that's wrong. If like it is stated that there are plenty of them, why can't they be hunted for food?