18 Dec 2019
A team of NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium experts has successfully caught and relocated a critically endangered Greynurse Shark that had been trapped in Lake Conjola.
DPI Program Leader Shark Strategy & Threatened Species, Marcel Green led the operation and said non-lethal SMART drumlines were deployed late Tuesday night to catch the shark.
“We deployed SMART drumlines from a DPI vessel near the southern boat ramp in Lake Conjola,” Mr Green said.
“The shark was quickly caught and transported by road to Ulladulla in a custom-built shark transfer crate supplied and managed by SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.
“The shark was then carried out in a trawler from Ulladulla Harbour and safely released offshore.”
Mr Green said weeks of planning had gone into this operation, which was scheduled to take place last month but postponed due to bushfires in the area.
“We made the decision to move the shark due to concerns over dropping water levels and rising water temperatures in the lake, and we became concerned for the shark’s welfare,” Mr Green said.
“We also know there are far more visitors to the area over the summer holidays, so swimmer-safety played a significant part in our decision to relocate the shark.
“The success of this operation relied on careful planning with the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and the SMART drumline contractor working with DPI Fisheries.”
Greynurse Sharks are listed as a critically endangered species in the NSW Fisheries Management Act 1994.
Video footage available: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/VVAuymJIMW
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