Once again a shark has been featured in our news, this time, a Great Hammerhead caught and killed in Australia.  Great Hammerhead sharks were added to the endangered animals list in 2007 and are often dubbed ‘man-eaters’ – a classification which is not justified as there have been no confirmed incidents involving these sharks.

Fisherman Claude Williamson poses with the 1200kg hammerhead shark, caught off Evans Head. Photo / Northern Star

Hammerhead Shark diets include other sharks (as do white sharks), and the adult individual concerned was found feeding off a shark.  It posed no threat nor was it in the slightest bit interested with the humans that found it, however, it was caught and killed by a trophy hunter fisherman and the carcass sold to Mr V Hislop to be displayed at Mr Hislop’s museum.  Mr Hislop is a man who considers himself a shark expert, Aussie hero and legend, and stylises himself as some sort of ‘Quint’ (the Jaws movie Shark Hunter) type character.  This animal, at 5 meters, was fully mature and over 20 years old (the news paper quotes 40 years old), was killed for no reason other than a claim to fame for the fisherman and to turn it into a freak show exhibit.

Mr Hislop is well accounted on the internet with numerous sites and blogs written expressing disgust at his actions and dated 1970’s view of sharks.  It is interesting that Mr Hislop is so sure of his own popularity that his personal ‘Shark Hunter’ web site is not accessible without a password!

We are at a time that, thankfully, education and the real truth about shark’s is now being accepted and understood by the general public.  We sincerely hope this continues and grows in strength.

Words like ‘cute’ and ‘cuddly’ should never come into the equation when referring to sharks, or any other apex predator.  What MUST be understood though, is we the human, are NOT part of the natural menu.  We do not form part of their natural food chain as we do not live in their natural habitat.  We developed long after these apex predators had arrived.  We choose to put ourselves in these animal’s natural environment though, and being as alien as we are to them, they are curious as to what we are… hence we are investigated.

As a Trustee of the White Shark Conservation Trust, it saddens and angers me to see individuals so ready to exploit the sharks anyway they can in order to make money, or nurse a narcissistic ego.  This sort of exploitation is as bad as the trawler fisherman and long liners who decimate the world populations.

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One Response to “”

  1. Dave H Pallett Says:

    It is nice to hear your comments and I agree entirely that the 70’s view needs to be dispelled. A truly great shark killed for the sake of a persons obviously oversized ego. Conservation through education remains essential in our plight to try and recover the already decimated population. Keep up the good work and I am just about to visit your “how can I help page” I have just moved to KSA and after a visit to a local fish-market was dismayed to see what I saw in regard to a large number of mixed variety shark, including hammerheads (all juvenile and some of the white tips you could still see the hole where the umbilical cord was) I am going to try every measure to educate here also. Yours in conservation, Dave “H” Pallett

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