Barnegat Light Fisherman Nets Great White Shark
About two weeks ago, Timothy Brindley of Barnegat Light was out fishing when he pulled up something in his net he had never pulled up before: a great white shark!
According to the APP, Brindley said he had pulled up all sorts of things before, including car tires and airplane propellers, but never a great white.
Most of the comments on Timothy's Facebook post were impressed, but a handful started to call out the fisherman for killing a protected animal. Arguments between people with varying levels of expertise in fish went back and forth. Brindley himself guessed the fish had already been dead a couple of days when his net brought it to the surface, even though it was still bleeding.
I am far from an ichthyologist, so I honestly don't know if the shark could still be bleeding after a few days. I admit I don't even know how long a net would typically be down in the water; would it be enough time for the shark to get tangled, then die, then be brought up? Or was the shark slowly dying, and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?
John Chisholm of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife even gave something of a contradictory statement, saying "Usually, when it's bleeding, it hasn't been dead for too long. It was showing some signs of decomposition. You can see on the side the skin was starting to slouch." So, if it's bleeding it hasn't been dead that long, but if the skin is already starting to rot, doesn't that mean it's not long for this world?
"Bycatch" is the term used by fisheries for animals that accidentally get caught in nets. Timothy Brindley wasn't doing his best Quint impression and hunting sharks, it's just an unfortunate coincidence that a protected species was killed, but when you're fishing with a net like that, things are going to happen.