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By Marz

Craypots attracting sharks in our South West were is the proof?

Sorry about the delay crew, but have had major dramas with the main drive on the computer as this is a non-profit site I had to wait till I had some bucks to get it fixed.

Now, there have been a lot of crew out there blaming the crayfisherman/pots for the increase in shark numbers in the South West and a lot that have said it has nothing to do with the so called "bait bombing".

So how do you explain the areas where there are no craypots in the vicinity that have had numerous shark sightings, not only in the South West, but also the Metro and Mandurah areas?

Blaming craypots solely for the increase in shark numbers is wrong. A craypot with bait in it will not attract a shark as much as you hooking a Salmon or other large fish off the beach and reeling it in.

There is no record or scientific evidence that I can find that has a craypot being smashed by a shark trying to get the bait out of it and really, wouldn't this be the case if the bait is supposedly attracting them?

Factors that have been associated with the so called increase in shark numbers are:
when the salmon or bait fish start running, whale carcasses getting washed up on the beach (we all know how good those bottles of whale oil you used to buy to mix with your burley up were, to attract fish used to work), small seal colonies popping up in the area, a change in water temperatures and currents, depletion of fish stocks (now this is happening globally, hence is why people are starting to make a living out of man made fish farms to supply a world seafood shortage) and more people in the water seeing sharks.

Six years ago in the Southwest you were lucky to see more than 300 surfers stretched between the surfing breaks between the capes. Now that number has more than tripled on weekends and holidays. There are more surfers/people in the water, so naturally sightings are going to be more prevalent as more people are using the water and seeing what the small amount of crowds in the lineup, that there used to be, didn't.
Also six years ago at my local beach, I could catch Brim, Whiting and Herring on any given day, the last 3 years you are lucky if you catch a blowy. Fish stocks are getting lower.
Here are some facts before the South West corner had the arrival of the so called excessive bait bombing of the area by the increase in cray fishing. These are the actual reports that were placed on this website at the time.

John Mc Taggart and his Blue Groper
Taggs and his mate decided to go for a dive out the back of Boat ramps at Margaret River. Upon being dropped off by boat and left there, John speared himself a nice Blue Groper (around 25lbs).
But something else wanted Johns catch, yep you guessed it another bloody shark. This time it was a Bronze Whaler around the 8 foot mark.
"I raised my arms up into a kind of a human starfish position to scare it off" explained Taggart, "It didn't work, the thing just hung around for 20 minutes till we gave it the Blue Groper, I had just caught."

It seems there has been a number of shark sightings down the coast.
Young Thomas Trigwell was out surfing at Bears with a friend the other Thursday, when a 15 foot White Pointer decided to check out him out. "I was looking out the back in between sets, when I saw this huge splash out the back" said Trigwell, "the next thing you know, this Great White is swimming along side me, eyeing me off" he added. >
Fisherman and surfers have been talking it up, about this predator who has been doing the laps around Bunker Bay, Other side of the moon, Windmills and Bears.
No, it's not a story to scare some of the crowds off, it actually happened.

MARCH 13/2/2000

MARCH 9/3/2000
Last night on dusk local Margaret River surfer Garth Gibbons was bitten on the leg by a shark. Gibbons who is employed by Maurice Cole Surfboards was "Screaming I've been bitten by a shark", everyone thought the guy was tripping.
Till he showed them the teeth marks on his leg from what looked like a small Bronze Whaler. There has been heaps of fish activity in the water up and down the W.A. coast with sharks circling surfers at Surf Beach last week and one chasing W.A. Junior Surfer Josh Harrington all the way into the beach at Singleton 2 weeks ago.

Alan Ladhams, brother of legendary shaper Col Ladhams was chased out of the water last year down South by a 16 foot Great White near Injidup, it's happened again, but this time up at beachie North of Perth.
"We were sitting in the line-up and I saw this thing cruising in a swell out the back" said Ladhams, "It had a big, bulgy underside and was heading our way, I didn't have to look again, I've seen that shape before" added Ladhams.

MARCH 2001
A.S.P. boys free surfing out at Southsides (South of Mainbreak), bumped into some of the local crew last night after the masters.
Richie Porter and Glen Best found the local crew, which consisted of 6 to 8 Bronze Whaler sharks of between 4 to 6 foot overwhelming.

March 2001
Contest director James Clarke, A.S.P main man Matt "Rally King" Wilson, Local Judge Micky Ploughman and Beach Marshal Brian Kovic were sitting out at Grunters when they had there close encounter.
"I was sitting out there by myself and saw a whole heap of the sharks going nuts about 20 feet in front of me. I spun around and started paddling in and then I saw the rest of the guys coming out, so I waited for them" said Kovic.
"It brings you back to the reality, that you are in their environment", described a goose bumped James Clarke.
Clarke had an 8 footer catch the same wave as him, where upon he belly boarded his surfboard in.
"The water started bubbling like a spa bath, they were everywhere" said an excited Matt Wilson.

These are just a few there are shit loads more, before the era of the so called craypot "bait bombing" saga, so that's it, end of story. No more shark shit.

Take a look at the side of the road on your way down the coast and see how many white crosses mark it from some of the innocent and tragic deaths on the highway, maybe then you can get some car stickers made up to put on your car windows saying
"No Cars on the road in the South West".