Sharks stabbed, dumped

BILL MOORE
Last updated 08:49 23/12/2013
Carpet sharks
JODIE ROBERTSON
SENSELESS KILLING: Two carpet sharks that had been stabbed in the head then dumped in the sea near Cable Bay.

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Kayak fisher Jodie Robertson targets kahawai, snapper and blue cod for the table but was appalled to find two carpet sharks near Pepin Island that had been stabbed through the head and dumped.

Miss Robertson photographed the small sharks, which she found "reeling on the surface of the water" during a fishing trip from Cable Bay, a popular launching spot northeast of Nelson.

"It is not the first time I have come across such a scene in this area," she said.

"Such a waste. It seems some local fishers do not understand the importance of sharks in the ecosystem and instead are under the common misconception that they are eating all the fish and need to be taken out."

She said she had seen the same treatment meted out to barracouta, and wanted to get the message across that unwanted fish should be released unharmed.

"It's really important to get the message out there that they are important in the ecosystem. Killing all the predators isn't going to increase the catch of your target fish, which is what most people think."

A keen fisher, she said she goes out in her kayak about once a week and fishes from the shore about twice a week as well.

"It's just amazing at this time of year."

Carpet sharks frequent the sea bed, where they feed on crabs, worms, and other marine organisms. They grow to about a metre, but specimens caught in Tasman and Golden bays are usually much smaller. Many other small sharks are also caught in the bays.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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