Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tiger Shark

Fremantle Harbour had its own resident Tiger Shark for some time during the second world war.  Efforts were made to kill it off, but they were not successful.  I never heard that this Tiger Shark itself killed anyone.

                                  Dutch submarine Tjigerhaai  (Tigershark)

In 1964 I taught at Madang Technical School in Papua New Guinea.  The school was a boarding school and I thought I would catch a shark to augment the student rations.  I set a drum line near the harbour entrance and the following morning took a school boat with a couple of students up to the harbour mouth to check the line.  We had caught a large Tiger Shark.  We towed it back to the school boatshed and I started to cut some filets to cook for breakfast.  The students would not eat it because they all knew someone who had been taken by a shark at their coastal villages.  I tasted some, but it had a strong ammonia smell/taste.

I am ambivalent about the state government’s catch and kill policy for large sharks, but I do know that you ‘never smile at a crocodile’ or go swimming with a shark.  Mamalian sea creatures seem to be happy around humans.  Protesters should visit an abattoir.

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