“I felt sick, because sharks have been around for 400 million years and it’s only in the past 50 years that humans have been doing such a great job of getting rid of them."
Four days ago, a group of sports fishermen from the Port Hacking Game Fishing Club, competing in a contest off Cronulla in Sydney’s south, hooked an almost half-ton Tiger shark as big as their boat.
The men wrestled the fish for almost an hour before killing it and bringing it to shore for the obligatory victory photos.
Tigers aren’t protected in NSW waters so a fisherman can do pretty much what he wants.
Catch ‘em, drag ‘em board, belt ‘em over the head. Take selfies.
Death ain’t pretty, of course.
And, ocean and wildlife lovers lit up, as you can imagine.
“I had two reactions,” University of WA Professor Jessica Meeuwig, who is the director of the uni’s Centre for Marine Futures, told The West Live. “I felt sick, because sharks have been around for 400 million years and it’s only in the past 50 years that humans have been doing such a great job of getting rid of them. And the other thing is, I felt sad, because a lot of recreational fishers truly love the ocean and they love the wildlife that’s in the ocean, and they’re probably not aware that killing animals like that is basically ocean vandalism.”
Two years earlier, a ninety-pound eight year old boy from the same club spent an entire day reeling in a nine-hundred pound Tiger twenty miles off Bondi.
The kids’ dad told a newspaper that “while 95 per cent of catches are released, this one was a sure keeper.”
“The majority of sharks that are caught are let go,” he said. “With this one, fisheries will take samples for research, and the jaws will get moulded into in a plaque on the wall for Jayden. The rest is fish and chips.”
He that is without sin, of course, throw your rocks.
All those pretty little lambs, mewing like the babies they are, throats hacked open, roasted in ovens, presented as happy family meal; the calves torn from mammy at birth for veal, described as “the pale and tender meat of a very sick baby cow who was tortured to death.”
All the happy salmon and tuna we mow through, gasping on the decks of fishing boats or living miserable lives in filthy pens before getting the knife through the head.
The male chicks thrown into slicing machines, useless, mostly for any commercial purpose.
And on and on.