THE footage on our Port News website of a fisherman jumping into the water and videoing a grey nurse shark caught inadvertently has understandably created passionate debate on both sides of the argument.
On the surface, the young fisherman’s actions are a little disturbing and draw gasps from the crowd which gathered quickly to watch the fishermen trying to free the marine beauty back into its natural sanctuary.
Seeing the shark writhing somewhat limply from the video under the waterline will turn the stomach of those not familiar with what our fishermen deal with day in, day out.
A few things need to be understood:
■ our investigations give a big tick to the fishermen who released it from the line without a hook in its mouth and in good time;
■ this type of thing is happening on our fishing boats everyday and right across our nation’s vast coastline;
■ those critical of our decision to run the footage need to understand that this IS an issue – it is only 16 days go that a man was attacked by a shark on his surfboard in one of our most popular tourist spots.
Whilst we would not condone jumping in the water next to any form of potentially dangerous marine life, the man with the video camera had diving experience.
It also gives us all a rare footage of what one of nature’s most mysterious characters will do under such circumstances. It’s the kind of insight some our greatest wildlife warriors have spent their lives highlighting.