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Fisherman's 'souvenir': The jaws of a giant tiger shark

UPDATE, 4.45pm: LICENSED fisherman Matthew said he'd kept the jaws of the huge 4m tiger shark he caught off the Tweed Coast, and now he's sent the photo to prove it.

Matthew caught the giant shark about three weeks ago, 14 miles off Tweed Heads.

Yesterday he told The Northern Star that he sent the whole tiger shark to the fish markets, except the jaws, which he kept as a souvenir.

He sent us this photo this afternoon, showing just how big the shark was compared to him.

Tweed Coast fisherman Matthew with the jaws of the 4m tiger shark he caught off Pottsville. Photo contributed
Tweed Coast fisherman Matthew with the jaws of the 4m tiger shark he caught off Pottsville. Photo contributed

 

UPDATE 12.25pm: THERE have been mixed responses to the viral photos of a 4 metre Tiger shark that was caught off the coast of Pottsville by licensed fisherman Matthew.

On the Northern Star's Facebook page, some people have criticized the fisherman's actions:

Facebook user Flower Power said we should leave the sharks alone.

"Why (catch) it geez no better that Japan with dolphins or China with whales," Flower Power said.

"That's how they feed, suck it up, respect them or don't swim at the beach," Mark T Albert said.

"Leave them alone," Lianne Penfold said.

These photos of a massive shark apparently pulled out of the water off Lennox Head are circulating on Facebook. http://ow.ly/QMTH9

Posted by The Northern Star on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

However others were on the other side.

"What a joke - they live in the ocean, they are there to keep it clean - if we swim in the ocean it's at our own risk. They don't walk on land!" Mark T Albert said.

"There's thousands upon thousands of miles of open ocean for them to swim in as well, they don't need every inch of the beach as well!" Steve Wood said.

"Well done, good catch," Craig Cox said.

What do you think? Head to www.facebook.com/thenorthernstar to take part in the discussion.

 

UPDATE Thursday: THE Tiger shark caught off Tweed Heads last month was almost as big as a Kombi van. 

The four metre shark was caught about three weeks ago, 14 miles off Tweed Heads, the licensed fisherman who caught it, known only as Matthew, said.

Just before it was pulled aboard, it swallowed a six-foot Hammerhead shark.

"I was fighting the Hammerhead and he came up and swallowed it," Matthew said.

The whole Tiger Shark was sent to the fish markets, except the jaws, which Matthew kept as a souvenir.

 

These photos have surfaced on Facebook, allegedly showing a massive shark hauled out of the water off Seven Mile Beach, Lennox Head. Photo Contributed
These photos have surfaced on Facebook, allegedly showing a massive shark hauled out of the water off Seven Mile Beach, Lennox Head. Photo Contributed Contributed

UPDATE 2.18pm: A HUGE Tiger shark caught off Tweed Heads last month swallowed a six foot Hammerhead shark just before it was pulled aboard, said Tweed Coast fisherman Matthew.

"I was fighting the Hammerhead and he came up and swallowed it," he said.

"You can't turn around and go no, don't touch, to something like that."

The four metre shark was caught about three weeks ago, 14 miles off Tweed Heads, licensed fisherman Matthew said.

Compared to others Tiger sharks he'd seen, Matthew said this specimen was small.

"I'm always on the water; either on it, in it, or under it," he said.

"I dive with sharks; I love diving with sharks.

"I've dived with sharks bigger than that, it's only a little one.

"I've seen Tiger Sharks 24 feet-long off Tweed."

Having been on the ocean since he was four, Matthew said there were definitely more sharks around now.

"I think the numbers are increasing rapidly, very rapidly," he said.

The explosion in social media users, Matthew said has made shark sightings more common.

"There's nothing different to years ago except now when things like this get on social media they just take off," he said.

"They've always been there."

Matthew said Tiger sharks were every bit as fearsome as Great Whites.

"Metre for metre a Tiger Shark's bite is bigger than a white," he said.

"They just have different teeth and a different biting technique."

Culling sharks was not the answer to preventing attacks, Matthew said, as history showed the animals returned in increased numbers.

"To use the word cull in such a heavily regulated industry is a bit harsh because the word cull is the big divider in public opinion," he said.

"I think the fisheries need to review their quota system because we're restricted very heavily on what we are allowed to take each week

"The current system is not going to put the slightest dint in the population of sharks.

"You've got to fish for your kids future, not your future."

The whole Tiger Shark was sent to the fish markets, except the jaws, which Matthew kept as a souvenir.

 

UPDATE 12.50pm: A FISHERMAN named Matthew has confirmed he hauled in the monster tiger shark off the Tweed Coast and kept its teeth as a souvenir.

Despite rumours the shark was caught last weekend, Matthew said he landed the Tiger 'a while ago.'

"I was the one that took that photo and I was the one that caught that fish," he said.

"I caught it fourteen miles off Tweed Heads."

When he hauled in the shark, Matthew said he was unsure of its exact species.

"I just had to confirm with a bloke that it was a Tiger and not a Great White and I used those photos to show him," he said.

These photos have surfaced on Facebook, allegedly showing a massive shark hauled out of the water off Seven Mile Beach, Lennox Head. Photo Contributed
These photos have surfaced on Facebook, allegedly showing a massive shark hauled out of the water off Seven Mile Beach, Lennox Head. Photo Contributed Contributed

 

UPDATE 11.55: A HUGE Tiger shark believed to be caught off Lennox Head was hauled in off the coast from Pottsville, according to Byron Bay-based group Positive Change for Marine Life.

Spokesman Karl Goodsell said enquiries this morning through several sources revealed the shark was caught off Nine Mile Beach, on the Tweed Coast.

"It looks to be a licensed commercial shark fishing boat from the ID of the boat," he said.

Despite rumours on social media claiming the shark was a Great White, Mr Goodsell said the shark was definitely a Tiger, a species which can grow up to seven metres long.

"From our perspective, after advice from Southern Cross University, it looks to be three-and-a-half to four metres long, which would be a sexually mature shark" he said.

Mr Goodsell said the commercial fisherman who hauled in the massive shark would have been operating under Ocean Trap and Line Fishery regulations.

He said sharks caught by commercial fishermen were sold for fish and chips in Australia, and the fins were exported to Asia to make shark-fin soup.

"Off the Tweed Coast there is a place called Windarra which has targeted shark drum lines out there," he said.

Meanwhile, a man has contacted the Northern Star claiming to have taken the photos.

More details to come.

 

INITIAL REPORT: PHOTOS of a huge dead tiger shark are circulating on Facebook, with reports it was pulled onto a boat off Lennox Head's Seven Mile Beach over the weekend.

Byron Bay-based group Positive Change for Marine Life says it is investigating the incident.

It is also understood the shark may have been handed into the CSIRO.

Positive Change for Marine Life has reposted the images on its Facebook page and is calling for any information about the shark and whether it was caught in Northern NSW.

Karl Goodsell from the organisation said all sharks were "under threat from over-fishing, habitat degradation, etc".

"I'm a surfer and a conservationist," he wrote on Facebook.

"Eliminating individual species that are slow to reach sexual maturation and whose numbers are already under extreme pressure from human activities is not only influencing the balance of our oceans, but it is proven to not make any difference on shark/human interactions in all areas where culls have been carried out.

"These high incidences of attacks are freak occurrences and have been known to happen in other parts of the globe.

"The reality is that we need apex predators to ensure a healthy ecosystem balance in the oceans.

"Removing them while not understanding anything about their behaviour or migration patterns is a band-aid solution, which all science to date reflects will not solve the problem of shark attacks.

"We need long-term funding for research if we ever want to prevent attacks and have a thorough understanding of our interactions with these animals."

Topics:  editors picks outdoor-living shark sharks



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