BIG GAME: Claude Williamson and the hammerhead shark caught by Evans Head based vessel Santrina.
BIG GAME: Claude Williamson and the hammerhead shark caught by Evans Head based vessel Santrina.

Shark tale now told far and wide

THE story of the giant hammerhead shark caught off the coast of Evans Head has now gone global.

Requests for photographs of the 1200kg monster, which is now in possession of world renowned Australian shark expert Vic Hislop and could become the centrepiece of a museum exhibition, have been coming from far and wide.

Even though the beast was caught by the shark fishing vessel Santrina four nautical miles off the coast of Evans Heads in February, and proved to be popular front page story when it first appeared in The Northern Star in March, it wasn’t until a follow-up story appeared last week that the world began to catch on.

The dramatic photo of the shark, which is much bigger than a Kombi van, was put up on The Courier-Mail’s website yesterday and from there it went ballistic.

Pretty soon it was on Nine MSN and The West Australian’s website and then the calls started to come in from overseas.

Both The Sun and Daily Mail newspapers in the United Kingdom called to inquire about the photo and story.

It was put up on the Mail’s website under the banner headline ‘You’ll never guess what I caught today’.

By late yesterday there had been 130 comments posted about the story, most of them critical that the shark had been caught in the first place.

S. Mills of Glasgow was typical of the comments: “Something that special and rare should have been left in the ocean not murdered so it can hang in a museum. Disgusting. It’s not global warming killing this planet’s animals, it’s humans”.

But a game fisherman from Australia responded: “I’d like to point out the fact that the capture of sharks in NSW waters is 100 per cent legal. I am a game fisherman and I enjoy targeting sharks on a regular basis in both tag and release and capture.

Millions of dollars are injected into the NSW economy every year as a direct result of shark fishing, and I find it offensive that people are passing judgement on a sport they know little to nothing about”.

Mr Hislop has denied claims he paid $13,000 for the giant hammerhead and hasn’t confirmed whether it will go on show at his Harvey Bay-based shark show.

Sharks of this size were surprisingly common, he said.



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