Monday, October 24, 2005

Fisherman's largest catch is treated like a hero

A Raglan commercial fisherman got the catch of a lifetime yesterday when a 4.6m great white shark estimated to weigh more than 1.5 tonnes came up in his net, and this one day before some of the world's top surfers are to surf in a contest in these same waters.

Warwick Harris arrived back at the Raglan wharf about midnight towing the monster behind his boat, The Reaper. The huge fish with a girth of more than 3m was dead when it was pulled in. It is the biggest Mr. Harris has caught and the biggest Raglan Sport Fishing Club secretary Sheryl Hart has seen.

Mr. Harris was pulling up his net about 11km off the coast north of Raglan expecting a good hall of snapper and gurnard "then this thing popped up. My deckie Steve was going to gaff it, then it rolled over . . . and he very quickly put the gaff away." Mr. Harris said the net had a strange feel when they first started pulling it in so he suspected something odd in it. The shark was too heavy for them to get into the boat so they towed it home.

This morning in Raglan a stream of onlookers came to see the shark, which was lying on the boat ramp at the wharf. Shark expert Clinton Duffy was on his way from Auckland to pick up the shark for research, however Mr. Harris said the metre-wide jaws would probably wind up on auction website TradeMe.

A similar set from a great white shark landed off Waiheke Island two years ago fetched about $14,000. Mr Harris was waiting for Mr Duffy to arrive before cutting open the fish.

The end of the Maori warrior dance welcoming Andy Irons, Occy, Sunny and Parko this same afternoon in New Zealand for the Vodafone Surf SessionsPhoto courtesy Surfing New Zealand

The monstrous 1700 kg shark hauled in by a Raglan fisherman has been laid to rest on a local farm. The 4.8 metre long Great White was pulled in by a commercial fishing boat. Scientists believe the female was around 13 to 14 years old. A Raglan digger driver was working on a local plantation when he got the call to help transport the beast's carcass from the boat ramp to a nearby game club.

Rob Poolton says it had been thought was the shark was pregnant - until DOC staff opened her stomach. He says a fur seal the size of a teenager was found inside but its jaw was large enough for a human head and shoulders to fit inside. He says he does a fair bit of fishing but has never seen anything so big in his life.


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