13.2 C
Byron Shire
June 20, 2024

Diver saves shark from slow death

Latest News

Murwillumbah Hospital celebrates 120 years

A community campaign for a hospital in Murwillumbah led, in 1899, to two committees and a Board of Trustees being formed, and the selection of a 15-acre site. The hospital itself opened in May 1904.

Other News

Greens Councillor Dr Nola Firth is running for council again

Dr Nola Firth has announced that she is again running for Tweed Shire Council in the upcoming 14 September...

Arnold’s tourism role recognised

If tourism is the lifeblood of the Byron Shire, then Cameron Arnold is one of its key haematologists.

Occupiers of North Lismore buybacks report no eviction past deadline

Supporters of people occupying otherwise empty bought-back houses in North Lismore say Monday passed peacefully without any eviction attempts.

No ‘key worker’ or ‘affordable housing’ for Ballina Council’s Wollongbar development

On the second last piece of Ballina Shire Council-owned residential land they have decided to develop the land with no affordable or public housing components. 

Supporting women’s mental health in Ballina

Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety, and one in five women compared to one in eight men suffer from mental ill health or disorder.

The danger years for food allergies

A University of Queensland project aims to make the teenage years safer for Australian children diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies. 

Did you know that in the winter months divers come to Byron Bay to experience diving with the Grey Nurse Sharks that come to the Cape Byron Marine Park around Julian Rocks? Spanish diver Inaki Aizpun, who has been taking divers out to the marine park over the last five years with Sundive, knows that this endangered shark needs all the help it can get to survive.

Inaki Aizpun, the diver who removed a fishing net from the jaws of a Grey Nurse Share. Photo supplied.

‘We sometimes encounter grey nurse sharks with a hook and rope in their mouths,’ said Inaki.

Grey Nurse Shark off the coast of Byron Bay. Photo supplied.

‘There is not much we can do for this except cut the line. This time we could see a fishing net coming out of its mouth. I could see that the shark was going to die because the net was stopping it from eating.’

Inaki was concerned that the net in the shark’s mouth might also be attached with a hook, but after an initial tentative tug he was relieved to discover that it wasn’t. After a few attempts he was able to pull the fishing net out of the shark’s mouth.

‘It wasn’t aggressive at all and was trying to cooperate,’ said Inaki enthusiastically.

‘It was a big long net with bait in it. I was so excited and happy and I still remember the eye contact that the shark had with me.’

‘Grey Nurse sharks are harmless and don’t attack humans,’ said Inaki.

Critically endangered

The east coast Grey Nurse Sharks are now on the critically endangered list with many being injured and killed by both commercial and recreational fishing.

According to the department of environment and energy  , ‘An autopsy of a Grey Nurse Shark in 2000 revealed that the cause of death was the perforation of the stomach wall by numerous small hooks of the type used by recreational fishers.’ It is also noted that shark nets, illegal fishing and accidental capture continue to have an impact on the species. 

Shark nets

Inaki also highlighted the fact that over the last two years, when the shark nets that have been in place over the summer, they have had a negative impact on the marine life around Julian Rocks.

‘We saw a decrease in the number of manta rays and we did not spot as many endangered logger-head turtles,’ he said.

During the 2017 shark net trial out of the 145 animals ensnared in the nets 58 were killed including a range of protected species.

As a result community support for shark nets on the north coast has declined and future trials were abandoned in August this year.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Iron Gates L&EC appeal hearing comes to an end:  decision reserved – Part I

The long-standing, controversial Iron Gates case came to an end in the Land & Environment Court (L&EC) last Friday after a two-week Hearing commencing at Evans Head on 3 June and finishing in the Court in Sydney on 14 June. 

Supporting women’s mental health in Ballina

Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety, and one in five women compared to one in eight men suffer from mental ill health or disorder.

Lismore’s Freedom of Entry Parade

Lismore is set to host a Freedom of Entry Parade by the 41st Battalion, a time-honoured tradition dating back to medieval times

Inequity underpins solar-battery rebates

Over 3.2 million Australian households now have solar systems, and NSW leads, with a million systems (rooftop, heated pool or hot water).