Fingal Head shark cull sparks community anger.
Fingal Head shark cull sparks community anger.

Shark killer could be fined $88,000

AN investigation has been launched after 15 dead sharks were found lined up in a grisly display at Fingal Head last Friday.

Locals were stunned to discover the slaughtered creatures, believed to be sliteye sharks, dumped on the rock wall beside the Tweed River.

The bag limit for such sharks is just five per fisherman, with anyone found exceeding the limits facing fines of up to $88,000 and a possible 18 months in jail.

THE SHARK PICTURE DIVIDING THE GOLD COAST

A NSW Department of Primary Industries spokeswoman said it is investigating the shocking discovery to determine whether an offence has taken place.

Shock images of the dead sharks.
Shock images of the dead sharks.

"Each fisher can take a total of five of these sharks per day," she said.

"There is no size limit on this species.

"NSW Department of Primary Industries will investigate to determine if there's been any illegal activity."

Banora Point woman Laelia Gardner was enjoying a walk at the picturesque headland with her father when she spotted the sharks.

HUGE SHARK CIRCLES SWIMMERS SOUTH OF THE GOLD COAST

"I was at the Letita Spit with my dad and we decided to walk up on the rocks at South Head when we could smell something really horrible," Ms Gardner said.
"There were 14 of them, all about 80 to 100cm long, just laid out in rows. It smelt so bad and I can only guess they were caught and killed very early that morning or very late last night."

15 dead sharks were found.
15 dead sharks were found.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest said it was likely the sharks had been caught for food consumption.

"The way the sharks have been cut looks like the fisherman was trying to bleed it out to avoid ammonia poisoning and infect the meat," he said.

"For whatever reason the person who caught these sharks has left them behind."

Mr Provest said regardless of whether the incident was found to have been illegal, it was "frowned upon" by locals.

"It is hard to say why the sharks were ditched, especially since the person went through considerable effort bleeding them out," he said. "But whatever the reason, it isn't nice treating wildlife like this. It's such a waste."

An investigation has been launched into the cull.
An investigation has been launched into the cull.

Ms Gardner said she was aware many people caught sharks recreationally at Fingal Head, but had never seen such a shocking scene of slaughter.

"Just the way they were laid out was really sad and it looked like the person who did it was proud of killing sharks like this, just the way they were displayed," she said.

"I've never seen anything like it. It was very low of the person who did it.

"Fingal is a popular spot for recreational fishing but everyone catches and releases so they don't hurt the wildlife.

"It is a bit of a surprise why someone would do this and I really hope by posting these photos online they see them and the reality and impact of what they have done sinks in. There should be a penalty for doing this sort of stuff."



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