Two sharks have died after being caught in nets off the NSW south coast, with one so big it apparently couldn’t fit on the boat collecting it.
Footage has emerged of the 3.8-metre Tiger shark being removed from the water near Austinmer, north of Wollongong.
Onlookers told theIllawarra Mercury the weight of the dead shark caused the removing contractor’s boat to list to one side as it winched the carcass from the water, and even after it was dragged into the boat the shark’s head was still hanging over the side.
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The shark in the footage was one of two caught in the nets, the NSW Department of Primary Industries said, with another similarly sized Tiger shark dying.
A smaller, 3.2-metre Tiger shark caught in the nets was released alive.
The net was being checked by a government contractor as part of the Shark Meshing Bather Protection Program, designed to prevent sharks establishing territories and reducing the risk of an encounter in areas frequented by beachgoers.
The nets are checked at least every 72 hours with further checks when the conditions allow, the Department said.
Austinmer is one of 51 beaches with nets in NSW.
Last week the City of Wollongong was telling locals to stay out of the water after huge numbers of sharks were attracted to a whale carcass that washed up at the nearby Bulli Beach.
Beaches at Bulli, Thirroul, Sandon Point and Woonona were closed.
A shark estimated to be as big as six metres believed to be a white pointer shark was one of the huge sharks spotted in the area.