SAFISH 1987, Vol. II, no. 3, pp 12-13.
Huge 'White Pointer' Encounter

As told to the Editor (Ken Jury)

Robe commercial fisherman, Peter Riseley, and his crew of two, caught more than they bargained for when netting 40 nautical miles south east of Cape Hart on Kangaroo Island recently. 'It was near dusk when we started our next net retrieval', Peter said. One of the crew yelled, 'have a look at this. 'It's just a big skate', said Peter.

As the net inched its way up they were soon to realize what the catch was and its magnitude. They had made an accidental catch of a huge 'White Shark' the second in thirteen years of fishing.
They then proceeded to rope the shark to the back of the boat and struggled to remove the net. The boom winch was then brought into operation in an attempt to lift the shark to the deck.

'We couldn't move the thing and the hydraulic winch, which normally should lift in excess of 4 000 pounds, wouldn't budge it to the point that the hydraulic hoses started to give way', Peter said. The crew then decided to lighten the load by removing a 3 meter section of the tail lobe and the dorsal fin. The winch still wouldn't lift the hulk.

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'It was then that we decided to try and remove the head of the shark while it was still in the water.' 'For the next few hours we took it in turns at hacking the head from the body with the aid of a rope around our waists', he said.

'The excitement caused constant trembling with all of us as we worked toward our goal.' 'Four and a half hours later we had successfully severed the head and, with a now partially inoperative winch, lifted the head to the deck.'

'Even then, the three of us couldn't move the head into a suitable position', he said. 'The head was higher than my waist and I am 6 feet tall. It was 4 feet across.

Eventually. the jaws were removed and transported to Adelaide where expert craftsman. Brian Tonkin of Fishton Agencies, was to clean and set the jaws for eventual viewing. The jaws measure a staggering 0.914 meters (3 feet) wide and 0.813 meters (2 feet 8 inches) deep. They are 2.286 meters (7 feet 6 inches) in circumference.

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Game fishing experts who have seen the jaws and the photographs taken prior to cutting the shark say that it would be in excess of 7 meters long and weigh somewhere between 3500 and 4000 pounds. Adelaide Game Fisherman. Mr. John Johnson, estimated it to be the largest'White Shark' that he had ever seen. I asked Peter what he would do with the jaws.

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He said 'I will hang them behind the toilet door to scare the redbacks away! Seriously, I intend to put them on show at my home port of Robe in the south east to raise funds for the purchase of cliff top equipment for the local CFS.


Added September 1998. Back to previous page
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