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Aussies to Sponsor Bull Shark Fishing Contest to Cull Beasts from Local Canals

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QUEENSLAND, Australia --

[Editor's note: An earlier version of this article stated that Gold Coast mayor Ron Clarke and the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries were strong supporters of the bull shark fishing contest. Both the mayor and the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries have clarified that they have not and would not support such a proposal. UnderwaterTimes.com apologizes for any confusion.]

Bull sharks, watch out!

An army of fishermen from across the globe is heading to the Gold Coast to trawl our waterways and hunt the predators for prizemoney.

Leading shark-fishing figures yesterday supported the establishment of a bull shark 'classic' tournament as a tourist attraction and to help clean out the man-eaters from local canals.

Gold Coast Extreme Shark Fishing Safaris owner Kurt Mitchell supported a mass shark cull.

"I think that's a great idea and something that I would definitely take part in," he said.

Mr Mitchell, who operates the shark charter from a pontoon, recently caught a 2m monster and said the sharks had begun adapting to the conditions.

"There are heaps of them out there at the moment for whatever reason. But we think some of them know the waterways a bit better and know where they can hide. We've been catching a lot of baby sharks recently."

Mr Mitchell's charter business, which is based at the Broadwater, takes anglers out for early-morning thrill rides at the cost of $160 to reel in a killer bull shark -- the man-eaters responsible for the fatal mauling of two people in Burleigh lakes in the summer of 2002.

They also were blamed for the savage mauling of Sarah Whiley off Amity Point on North Stradbroke Island last year.

Co-ordinator and former Great Barrier Reef charter operator Annette Bristow said the concept, supported by The Bulletin's resident fishing guru Paul Burt, would target VIP and domestic anglers.

The shark hunt will be held annually and Ms Bristow said she would target participants from Japan to the US.

"There's a big market out there," she said.

"We will be tagging the sharks. There will no doubt be some that die from the struggle.

"We will have midnight shark fishing for our new Asian tourists and invite the superyachts to join the tag-and-release tournament.'

The competition is expected to be held behind the Marriott Resort and make its way along the Nerang River.

University of Zurich marine guru Dr Jureg Brunnschweiller will gather crucial data from the tournaments to examine shark movements and migration patterns.

The Swiss-based scientist is considered to be the world's foremost bull shark expert.

Ms Bristow said she hoped to see the concept up-and-running by mid-March.

"Hopefully in four weeks it will be confirmed. There are way too many bull sharks in the water and this concept will help to monitor how bad the problem is," she said.

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of UnderwaterTimes.com, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

17 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

I am continually amazed that there are still people out there that are willing to plunder our oceans with little or no regard. In this day and age, with marine conservation becoming an ever increasing issue, I am astounded at the unbelievable short sightedness and ignorance of people like this. The organisers of this competition and all involved (not least of all the mayor, Ron Clarke), show that there is little hope for the survival of our planet. With 100 million sharks a year pulled out of the ocean, these beautiful creatures are under enormous threat. Whilst I fully understand the hype and fear resulting from shark attackes on humans, it is conveniently ignored that we are in fact invading their territory. Sharks have survived for millions of years, through cataclysmic climatic changes, the evolution and extinction of many species etc. It remains to be seen whether they can survive the greatest scurge of them all ..... man.
   comment# 1   - Mike · Johannesburg, South Africa · Feb 20, 2007 @ 1:04am

I completely agree. Those sharks were there long before Europeans arrived and have a natural right to continue to exist there. These people are basically saying that they don't have a right to live in their own environment. I do not think it's more important for people to be able to surf or to crowd beaches than it is to maintain the balance of the oceans. This article says two people were mauled by sharks compared to the hundreds of sharks that are about to be brutally slaughtered by these ignorant meathead fishermen. This tournament must be stopped and all countries that use shark nets must discontinue their use. People do not have a right to displace these animals, of which have the natural right to the oceans.
   comment# 2   - Travis Estep · Bloomington, United States · Feb 22, 2007 @ 1:53pm

Once again the common Australian blatantly illustrates his ignorance and sense of self-importance! First we had the mutilated stingray carcasses post the death of Steve Irwin; now a public slaughter of one of the oceans apex predators. Adding insult to injury, Rod Clarke is supporting this venture; proof that you need not be educated to be elected as a city official! The World Conservation Union (IUCN) currently lists the bull shark by as "Near Threatened.” The bull shark regularly enters estuaries, harbours, lagoons, and river mouths to use these shallow areas as nursery grounds. What makes this exercise even more ludicrous is the fact that the Grey Nurse or Ragged Tooth Shark, Carcharias taurus along with the White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias, is offered protection in Australian waters, while the Bull gets publicly slaughtered! The final quote from Ms Bristow is a clincher; why listen to scientific research when there’s a charter operator offering comment!
   comment# 3   - Graham Holmes · Johannesburg, South Africa · Feb 23, 2007 @ 9:39am

They are in the man made canal systems and thriving like you would not believe...conditions are perfect! its natural for these sharks to swim upstream i respect and admire these sharks particulary...there has been a few deaths within the gold coast canal systems in recent times (and literally in my own backyard) Beau Martin and Bob Purcell were savaged and unfortunately for them they died from their wounds... they entered the sharks domain. I used to swim in these canals all the time and never once seen anything out of the ordinary but they are definately in there all right... i'd be quite happy to tag these sharks and release them but culling them is ridiculous...it would be pointless and futile as the bull shark will always thrive in gold cast canals..
   comment# 4   - Luke Adams · Gold Coast Australia · Feb 24, 2007 @ 1:54pm

it's a man made cannal, therefore it is not there natural habitat, so go for it and have a great contest. funny to hear the south african comments considering they have decided to cull thousands of elephants because they think there are too many?? go figure
   comment# 5   - david · auckland, new zealand · Mar 1, 2007 @ 12:13am

its the sharks territory yea sure tag and realease but dont cull them the canals are the perfect habitat for them. this is just like saying there are too many people in the world lets cull them the ron clarke you have lost my vote
   comment# 6   - ashley · gold coast australia · Mar 22, 2007 @ 1:44am

Some real muppets out there. This boom in numbers of this particular species is not natural but is a man man problem, these sharks are now causing problems for other shark species in the canal systems. I'm all for protection but not at the expense of the other species disadvantaged through our over development of the canals. Lets tag and trace, find out if the problem is as bad as detailed and then fish the numbers down responsibly. Heh if there is an excess then commercially fish them in the canals and not in the open ocean where they are not a problem.
   comment# 7   - Brendan · Maroochydore · Dec 10, 2007 @ 12:18am

I'm an Inuit seahunter from the arctic Circle. I've killed more of God's creatures than those greenies have had hot vegan meals.I'll be bringing my shark hunting A-game downunder to get some of that Gold Coast action Japanese whaling style! As we say in the Arctic circle, "Hell Yeh!".
   comment# 8   - Chuchim Narby · Arctic Circle · Feb 17, 2008 @ 4:29pm

"...just like saying there are too many people in the world lets cull them" - ashley gold coast australia FANTASTIC IDEA. if only euthanasia was legalised. it's well overdue!!!!!! set up community centres where we can propaganda people (especially the depressed and stale - aka 57 yo women that smell of mothballs & wear curtains as dresses) into modern yet humane martyrdom. there's not enough living space.
   comment# 9   - steven binnion · gold coast, australia · Feb 24, 2008 @ 1:46am

I'm with you Chuchim little buddy. Nothing like a little Southern fried shark. I bet we could show those down-under boys a thing or two about catchin and killin. As we say in Texas, "God Damn!"
   comment# 10   - Merle Steele · Texas · Apr 7, 2008 @ 8:35pm

G'day Chuchim and Merle, You fellas are welcome to stay at my place if you come to our tournament. I live 10 minutes from the water and I have a boat set up for "catchin and killin" ready to go. Be glad to show you the best spots. Consider myself a bit of an expert. Caught 53 bull sharks to date. Biggest a 6 foot female full of babies. The babies tasted especially good. Real sweet and juicy! As we say on the Goldy," The only good shark is a dead shark!".
   comment# 11   - Steve Brimmer · Gold Coast · Apr 9, 2008 @ 3:22am

Ashley and Luke Adams, Thank you. How come two local lads are the only ones to realise what is going on. relax greenies and animal protection people. If you are worried get in touch with us. We are helping inform and conduct research on live fire wire. watch this place.with 'shark cam' http://sharkhunting.com.au Thank you Annette. coordinator of project.
   comment# 12   - Annette4214@bigpond.com · Gold Coast Australia · May 24, 2008 @ 3:48am

I have just been to the Gold Coast on a holiday and there were packs of sharks following the pilchard baitfish up the coastline. This was very scary for me!
   comment# 13   - Takahiri Hashimoto · Tokyo · Jul 24, 2008 @ 1:17am

With so many sharks available why are people so angry with the shark fin trade?
   comment# 14   - Jiro Matashi · Asia · Aug 7, 2008 @ 11:20pm

the bull sharks should be left alone the planet is already being destroyed by us and now your taking animals out of there enviroment leave them alone they have not done anything and it is wrong
   comment# 15   - michael · australia · Aug 30, 2008 @ 5:56pm

I am a recreational shark fisherman based in Cape Town. I am shocked that competative anglers would even entertain culling sharks in a competition or any other fishing event. As competitive anglers in South Africa we tag and release all sharks caught at competitions and at recreational outings. Furthermore we are desperately attempting to halt a recent surge of commercial shark fishing in our waters that has occured as a result of demand from Spain and Australia over the last 3 years. Yes the "fish & chips" sold in Sydney is actually smoothound shark meat. An absolute waste of a magnificent gamefish. Shame on the South African Government for leaglizing the fishery and shame on the Australian and Spanish consumers who are driving the demand for this fishery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
   comment# 16   - Zane · Cape Town South Africa · Feb 3, 2011 @ 4:45am

I cannot believe all you "do gooders" out there, concerned for the environment and gods creatures bla bla bla. These animals are in plague proportions at the moment, and will multiply dramatically. You people may change your views WHEN one of your family or friends is savagely attacked by these creatures. I caught 18 bull sharks last week in 3 hours in the Logan River at Carbrook, while people were wakeboarding less than 500 metres away. Cull them BEFORE something turns bad. The government needs to adopt their "HOME SAFE" campaign here, as they do for workplaces.
   comment# 17   - Dave · Logan City Australia · Jan 4, 2012 @ 1:25pm
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