Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Killing a GWS in the Med

This is how Ozzie GWS could have ended up in the Med - click for detail

Warning - this is really hard to watch.
What a crying shame - the more as the Mediterranean GWS may only be a very small isolated population with little to no exchange with the stock in the Atlantic Ocean.


OfficetoOcean said...

FFS I really wish I hadn't watched that, what a set of complete and utter wankers.

Sorry for the language but it boils my piss seeing things like that, however, thank you for raising it...

Eurgh, horrible :(

David said...

Absolutely disgusting! I only hope soem puts them in a net or cage and shoots at them repeatedly.

DaShark said...

And the chances of that happening are...?
Wanna maybe start an according petition! to the Tunisian government?

The fact is that this happens all the time!
Not with GWS that are rare - but no fisherman wants a large live Shark snapping away on the deck; so even those who observe the law and don't fin them kill them before retrieving their oh-so-precious hooks and then "releasing" them into the water.

The solution would be to mandate that live Sharks (the majority) are to be released alive whilst they're still in the water, and this by cutting the line (or in this case, by lowering or tilting the net) - but as far as I know, only very few, if any countries have enacted this measure.
And this would also mandate 100% coverage by observers as once the ships are over the horizon, anything goes.

But to be frank, I'm not expecting any of this to happen anytime soon.

OfficetoOcean said...

I have always wondered, is there a way to get sharks this large out of Tuba nets safely? Is it a case of tilting the rim and corralling the shark out or could there be another way? Hooking the shark and steering it out?

I'm not a fisherman obviously and I've always wondered this...

DaShark said...

That's a purse seine if I'm not mistaken, thus there's a mechanism to close it (and probably open it) at the bottom.

But you would lose your catch, or have to first try and get the catch from around a very large dangerous Shark = all dangerous, costly & time consuming.
Very hard to implement, esp if nobody's watching.

OfficetoOcean said...

Could it be argued that, full protection for GWS in the Mediterranean would by virtue of banning the killing of Great White Sharks, then lead to the unavoidable banning of the use of purse seine nets like this?

It's not Shark Finners or Sport Anglers or anyone like that that kills sharks in the Med, it's the Tuna/industrial net fishing industry that kills them pretty much exclusively, I can't think of a single GWS that was caught any other way, as such, targetted and purposefully landed, they've all been accidental.

Stringent protection of Mediterranean White Sharks would surely have to include the banning of indiscriminate netting?

Just a thought...

DaShark said...

Yes could be argued - not gonna happen though!

It's unintentional bycatch & as such, nothing can be done.
These are very rare events & shutting down the fishing industry based on the minute chance of killing a GWS is just not rational - the more as we basically know nothing about this population (nurseries? migrations? population size? hot spots?) and are unable to justify enacting special temporary conservation (= fishing/gear) bans when/where appropriate.

As I said, one could demand the immediate release - but it's a matter of oversight plus as you know, most of them have already drowned by the time they are discovered.
It's a big shame but once again, the very low numbers of such events may even be irrelevant from a conservation standpoint.

This particular incident is revolting of course - but to close this debate, it is what it is & I just don't see any practical (rational & economical) solutions that will prevent this from happening in the future - with the exception of education that will only have an effect many, many years from now, if at all.

OfficetoOcean said...

I must say, I agree with absolutely every word of that.

DaShark said...

Well if you must, who am I to argue! :)