Amazing moment divers grab a shark and puts it in giant sock to remove fishing hooks near the fish’s eyes
- Wildlife experts managed to free a female Grey Nurse shark of multiple hooks
- The team had to wrangle the animal into a big clear sock to get her on the boat
- Once on the boat a vet was able to remove three large hooks near her eye
- After she was treated she was released back into the waters off NSW
Wildlife experts managed to remove three large hooks from a Grey Nurse shark after luring her into a giant clear sock off the coast of New South Wales.
Experts from the Sea Life Aquarium in Sydney tracked the shark to Bushrangers Bay, near Shellharbour, after reports from the public she had hooks embedded near her eyes.
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium marine scientist Rob Townsend was one of the divers tasked with wrangling the animal into the large clear ‘sock’.
A team of wildlife experts from Sea Life Aquarium Sydney have managed to wrangle a Grey Nurse Shark into a large clear sock (pictured) in order to remove a handful of large hooks
‘This is the clear sock that we will actually herd the shark into, where we do the final restraint of the animal under water,’ he said.
‘It’s nice and big and clear so they don’t see it as a threat.’
Thankfully the team were able to locate the shark relatively quickly because they were working with limited time and only had three attempts to catch the animal.
‘Pope and I were shadowing her one either side, getting her to head towards the sock. We got her frustratingly close to the sock,’ Mr Townsend said.
When they failed in their first two attempts the team knew it was desperate times with just one more shot at success.
Sea Life Aquarium display manager Hope Nugent said the operation was extremely frustrating at first.
‘You do feel responsible when you can’t get her on that first attempt or that second attempt and you know you only have a third attempt to go. So it is frustrating,’ she said.
‘We were on our last attempt and decided if we were within sight of the bag that Rob would attempt to grab her and my role in that is to actually grab him.’
The team were notified that the Grey Nurse Shark had three large hooks embedded near her mouth and eye by a local fisherman and they immediately went to track the animal down
After safely wrangling the shark the team’s vet (pictured) was able to remove all the hooks before administering antibiotics and vitamins and releasing her back into the ocean
Amazingly that’s how the final attempt played out and they were able to get the shark into the bag and onto the boat.
Once on the boat the vet, Michael Cannon, removed the three large hooks.
‘After the rescue, we administered the shark with antibiotics and vitamins before she swam off beautifully and healthily into the ocean,’ Mr Townsend said.
‘Gang hooks are a common tackle used by fishermen and sadly can have devastating impacts on wildlife.
‘Our advice is to avoid using stainless steel tackle and use barbless circle hooks instead.’
Sea Life Sydney were granted approval for a Department of Primary Industries permit allowing the team to undertake rescues of Grey Nurse Sharks in specified waters off NSW.
They will continue their work to help protect the critically endangered animal.
Sea Life Sydney were granted approval for a Department of Primary Industries permit allowing the team to undertake rescues of Grey Nurse Sharks in specified waters off NSW