Recent news hitting international headlines is the record catch of British angler Andy Hales who caught a 6 metre, two-ton great white shark off Cape Agulhas on 25th March this year.
The 55 year old from Birmingham was fishing for yellow fin tuna “and other sharks” with fellow businessman Richard Foster when he caught the great white.
“We were fishing for yellow fin tuna, and when you’re after them you’re always going to get the sharks, and in this case it grabbed the bait.” said Foster.
Hales says he had wrestled with it for two hours and that the shark had towed their vessel for more than two nautical miles before it was tired out and they were able to bring it to the boat.
“One thing you don’t want is a huge angry shark right next to the boat when it’s still got lots of energy.” said Hales. “We knew we had a chance of catching a great white. When we were out there, with bait in the water, the sharks were circling the boat, with the fins all around us.”
“When we got it next to the boat, it was just incredible – it was the width of two shire horses standing next to each other.” said Foster, who went on to say that the shark had not been killed.
It is reported that the skipper of the boat was an experienced shark catcher, having taken part in scientific tagging experiments for many years.
Great White Sharks are a protected species in South Africa; the first country to protect this magnificent species.
“The thing is, it all has to be estimated.” he added, “What you don’t want to do is kill the shark in order to find out exactly how much it weighs.”
Kim “Sharklady” McLean, Chairperson of the Great White Shark Protection Foundation reacted to the news of this catch with absolute dismay, disgust and disbelief.
“When you catch a shark of that calibre, a shark that has fought for that amount of time with a hook in its gut… you don’t know if it’s survived either.” McLean added that the Great White Shark Protection Foundation are seeking support from the compliance sector in government to look into this matter very seriously.