Shark! Anglers lure creatures close to metropolitan beaches, to dismay of many…..

IT’S late morning at Henley Beach on a summer’s day. As children play in the water, their parents watch a man wrestling with a line stretching from the jetty out to sea. Adelaide NOW reports. 

He drags the line with him as he walks the length of the jetty and on to the sand of the popular family beach.

The angler has hooked something big – and it takes all his strength to bring his catch to shore.

When it arrives, families relaxing and playing nearby are shocked to see a 2m shark on the beach.

Moments after this image was taken last month – by a concerned woman – the angler began cutting up the shark.

Incidents such as this have prompted a call by the Federal Labor MP for Hindmarsh, Steve Georganas, for the practice – which is legal – to be banned.

But the SA Recreational Fishing Advisory Council says if people don’t like it, “they should stick to swimming pools”.

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Mr Georganas said he had been approached this summer by residents reporting seeing fishermen using rotten meat and chicken carcasses – which is against the law – to lure the sharks into shore.

He said the bait was tied to a line and a balloon, then towed out several hundred metres on a dinghy or boogie board.

Fishermen then watched until the balloon disappeared beneath the waves, signifying they have caught a large fish.

“Shark fishing at metropolitan beaches should be banned as it puts members of the public, particularly families with young children, who swim at these beaches at grave risk,” Mr Georganas said.

“Luring sharks into crowded metro beach areas is irresponsible, stupid and plain dangerous and should be stopped immediately.”

Recreational fishing council executive officer Gary Flack said claims that beach users were in danger were wrong.

“I would be extremely surprised if anyone did that (used illegal bait),” he said.

“A chicken carcass wouldn’t attract a shark anyway. I’ve done the research and I couldn’t find any reports of shark attacks near a jetty in SA ever.

“There’s more risk getting in a car and driving to the beach than the possibility of getting attacked by a shark.

“If you go to Goolwa, Port Noarlunga, or Henley Beach, there are sharks, and if people are scared of them they should stick to swimming pools.”

Mr Flack said most shark fishing was done at night, when no swimmers were around.

Phil Peterson, whose son Nick, 18, was killed by two great white sharks off West Beach in 2004, said he’d like to see portable netted enclosures installed at metropolitan beaches, especially when practices such as shark fishing were luring the predators closer to shore.

“I’m thinking of the young families, the mothers and babies, and I can’t understand why the Government won’t sort it out,” he said.

Henley Beach mothers Nicole Durant and Amanda Hawke witnessed a shark being caught near the jetty last summer and were concerned the practice would attract dangerous sharks to the area.

“I think it’s terrible, especially in such a family-oriented spot,” Mrs Hawke said.

Links : http://www.sharksavers.org/

Source : http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/anglers-lure-sharks-close-to-metropolitan-beaches/story-e6frea6u-1226239002305

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