'Magnificent' shark mystery at Noosa
UPDATE Thursday 5pm:
Shark Control Program manager Jeff Krause says there were signs of a shark caught on a drum line off Granite Bay at Noosa on Tuesday but there was no sign of the massive tiger shark upon inspection.
"The Shark Control Program received a report about a shark caught on a drumline at Granite Bay, Noosa," Mr Krause said.
"Upon inspection, there were signs that a shark had been caught on the drumline, however, the shark was no longer there.
"The shark either released itself or the carcass was removed by an unknown person."
IF ANYONE'S afraid of ending up in the mouth of a big fish you'd think it'd be a bloke named Jonah.
But it was awe rather than fear that Noosa ocean lover Jonah Cooper was struck by during a close encounter with a 4.5m tiger shark off Granite Bay.
The long-time ocean lover and regular Noosa jetski rider, surfer, swimmer and free diver was only metres from the mouth of a "majestic", massive tiger shark when he was cruising around the Noosa National Park yesterday.
While it may be a relief to some swimmers and tourists to hear the sizeable shark became hooked on a drum line soon after, Mr Cooper reckons it was a travesty to see up close such a sleek creature harmed.
"It went past the first drum line then took the second one," Mr Cooper recalled.
"It wasn't being aggressive or anything (when he spotted it)... it was a beautiful spectacle."
He said the shark was bigger than the 3.5m jetski he was astride.
"They are a magnificent beast," he said.
He said there was an Australian fur seal also out and about yesterday. He spotted it on his way towards Granite Bay.
As he got towards Granite Bay he noticed the tell-tale 'footpath', a flat spot created by the shark as it swam just underneath the crystal clear surface.
The encounter was the closest he's had while on a jetski but he said there was no need for anyone to be afraid of the creatures which were always out there.
"My name's Jonah, I'm the first one that gets eaten by anything in the water," the long-time Sea Shepherd member said with a laugh.
"There's no need to be scared."
He said it was a "real shame" when he saw the shark take the drum line, a tool he said provided no real benefit.
He believed there was far better technology in place including GPS-fitted drum lines and nets that alerted authorities to live catches so they could free entangled animals.
He said that would help save some of the sharks and other marine life, specifically whales that became entangled in nets and lines.
Mr Cooper said he'd seen plenty of sharks and marine life caught on the inside of nets, even at Noosa Main Beach.
Tiger sharks and hammerheads were the most common species he'd seen out there as well as blacktip sharks.
Mr Cooper said he alerted the authorities when he saw the shark hooked on the line and hoped they'd been able to free it.
The Daily has approached the Department of Fisheries to find out whether the shark was freed or not and the Shark Control Program Manager Jeff Krause confirmed an initial report had been received about a shark at Granite Bay but more details wouldn't be forthcoming until a report tomorrow from the local Shark Control Program contractor.
In June there were two bull whalers caught off Noosa in nets (1.42m and 1.55m respectively) while there were two great hammerheads caught in nets in March and April.
Six long nose whalers have been caught off Noosa from February to June while one sandbar whaler and one tiger shark were also recorded as caught off Noosa so far this year.