Australia, 29-10-2005

After a recent Current Affairs show featuring fishermen deliberately targeting juvenile Great White Sharks, the NSW Fisheries Minister, Ian Macdonald, has moved to ban the practice.

The fishermen, members of a local gamefishing club, claimed to be contributing to research on the endangered species, but an unnamed source withing the Fisheries department confirmed that the fishing took place without sanction.

The fishermen had been using entire fish as bait, paddling the baited hooks out past the surf break at Stockton beach, using surfboards.

The Minister cited concern for both surfers at the beach, and for the animals themselves, as being the reasons behind the ban on using wire trace and baits over 200g at Stockton Beach.

The juvenile Great White Sharks, ranging from five to seven feet in length, are known to congregate at Stockton Beach to feed on Australian Salmon schools. The juvenile sharks do not pose a threat to surfers or swimmers, as they are exclusively fish eaters at that size.