Jaws blamed for image of sharks
FORMER professional fisherman Barrie Stark, of Woombah, is concerned that a bull shark found by a family at Iluka with its fins cut off is a reflection of the negative attitude toward the creatures by the public.
The Native Fish Australia spokesman said it was unusual to find such a gruesome sight in theClarence River, but the barbaric practice wascommon in South-East Asia.
“I think it's absolutely filthy that someone could do this and leave the poor animal to die,” he said.
Mr Stark said shark finning was not practised by any local professional fisherman he knew, and was more likely the work of an amateur.
“No professional targets aggregations of sharks like the endangered grey nurse but amateurs do. Sharks are part of the bycatch for professionals,' he said.
“But around the world sharks are being killed by the millions every year by having their fins cut off for soup and use in aphrodisiacs.
“They are just thrown back into the water and left to die.”
Mr Stark said the general public's uninformedattitude about sharks stemmed largely from horror movies like the Jaws series and Deep Blue Sea.
“That is the worst press in the world. We are the apex predators, sharks just mind their own business,” he said.
“What we are up against is this huge ignorance of the population that thinks sharks are killers and should be dead.”