In its first fatal shark attack since 1963, Australian citizens were rocked after news broke that a man was mauled by a massive shark on Wednesday.
The victim has allegedly been identified as 35-year-old British man, Simon Nellist. According to BBC News, a friend confirmed that he died. However, police have not yet formally identified the victim and his family have not commented.
WARNING! The video below contains graphic content and is not for sensitive viewers.
*NSFW* (Graphic violence, blood, gore)
Man eaten by shark caught on uncensored video in Sydney, Australia. The first fatal shark attack in almost 60 years pic.twitter.com/AxkLYErvmW
— Viral Shid (@ViralShid) February 17, 2022
According to authorities, emergency services were called to Buchan Point, Malabar, off Little Bay Beach around 4:35pm. Helicopters and jet skis were deployed at the scene.
Video footage captured by nearby golfers and surfers went viral. The remains of the deceased are seen bobbing in the ocean as the shark circles and continues to bite into the man’s body.
Now, Sydney authorities are reportedly hunting the shark. Baited lines have been deployed and drones are flying above the big blue in search of the animal. The shark is believed to be at least three metres (10 feet) in length.
“Based on footage provided by the public including eyewitness accounts… shark biologists believe that a great white shark, at least three metres in length, was likely responsible,” the state government’s Department of Primary Industries said.
The department announced that it was deploying “six SMART drumlines” around Little Bay Beach, near where the attack happened.
A drumline consists of a large, anchored float (which was originally a drum) from which a single baited hook is suspended. Animals caught are supposed to be tagged and moved to deeper waters away from the coast.
Can these drumlines harm other ocean species, like dolphins?
According to Sharks Board (KZN), the idea of introducing drum lines is to reduce the bycatch of harmless non-shark species such as whales, dolphins and turtles, which are often caught in traditional nets. The capture of non-target species has been allegedly reduced as a result.
However, concerns for aquatic life have continued to circulate. The use of drumlines is controversial because hooked animals have been known to die before being moved, and non-target species can become snagged.
The question arises: should this shark and other ocean species be placed at risk for hunting in their own environment?
The great white shark, also known as the white shark, white pointer, or simply great white, is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Andy Brandy Casagrande is an Emmy Award winning cinematographer, field producer and television presenter specialising in blue-chip wildlife documentaries around the world. The shark specialist said on Instagram:
“There was a fatal shark encounter in Sydney Australia yesterday involving a swimmer. My sincere condolences to the family, friends [and] all those affected by this unfortunate event. And my sincere sympathies for all the sharks that will be killed because of this. It always sucks when sharks [and] humans collide with fatal results. The last fatal shark encounter on a Sydney beach was in 1963. Australian policy is infamous for its brute-force #SharkCulls [and] #SharkNets, yet these tactics [are] more likely attract sharks to the beaches rather than repel them. Bottom line, sharks are ocean-based apex predators, and if they wanted to, they would hunt [and] kill humans every day of the year, but they don’t. Humans on the other hand, do hunt [and] kill sharks every single day of the year. For any of you that do not understand this logic or the statistics, Google it [and] don’t forget to buckle up [and] drive safely. I apologi[s]e if this post seems insensitive, I’m just a dumb human [and] these are just facts…
“Instead of taking the knee-jerk neanderthal route [and] just killing the sharks in retaliation, why don’t we all join forces to figure out a real solution? With our big brains, big banks, big computers, big ideas, big whatever it takes. Bottom line, sharks are just [strong language] SHARKS, they are top predators that eat things in the ocean that fit within the human-size range, yep our size. So, when we swim around on their dinner tables, that’s a risk we take, and until we as humans are smart enough to figure it all out…Well I guess then, we will just keep killing sharks by the millions [and] they will just keep killing us by the single-digits…” Casagrande concludes, along with a graphic image of a dead shark.
Picture: Screenshot / Tamsin Rose