In a wierd twist within the Osearch Shark Tracking story we started to follow last week, one of the tagged Great White Sharks was caught and killed by the Natal Sharks Board at none other than our favourite surfing beach – Sunwich Port, down here on the south coast of Kwazulu Natal!
The beautiful fish weighed 300 odd kilograms and was taken to the NSB headquarters in Umhlanga for analysis and whatever else they do to the carcasses there.
The shark took a drum line bait and must have died a horrible and gruesome death…much like a snared wild animal poached in a game reserve.
The Natal Sharks Board have systematically decimated the local shark population of Zambezi, Tiger and other sharks here on the KZN south coast and unfortunately, pelagic sharks like Great Whites also fall prey to their killing methods.
Drum lines are a move towards lessening their indiscriminate impact on the environment…but gill nets are still deployed up and down the beautiful Kwazulu Natal South Coast. These gill nets have been killing dolphins, turtles, rays, sharks (lethal and non-lethal) and other forms of marine life like whales for the better part of half a century now.
A bureaucratic organization – funded by municipalities and the tax payer…the Natal Sharks Board and it’s staff and management can be credited with the most cruel ocean animal killings imaginable.
All to protect the tourist dollar as inland punters flock to the Kwazulu Natal coastline each school holiday.
The shark nets do not cordon off a beach from sharks at all – many, if not most sharks are caught on their way back out to sea…on the inside side of the nets. What the nets and drum lines do is reduce the local population of lethal sharks in an area…seriously unbalancing the ecology in that immediate area.
Twisting the story even further…another shark attack was recorded at Port St Johns, down the coast in the Transkei. Port St. Johns has the highest incidence of shark attacks in the world.
Solutions? Many solutions to the shark attack problem are available. Shark spotters are deployed in the clear waters of the Cape…sonar has been proposed to the NSB as a monitoring system in dirtier waters of KZN, but was ignored completely…
Observation and avoidance using technology would far outweigh simple killing and eradication.
Check out the Osearch project here…http://thesardine.co.za/?p=1153