Mark Norval joins Leon Bekker?

6 Nov 2012 at 1 pm – (shades of Leon Bekker from my blog in Nov 2011 and who is going to court tomorrow here in Mossel Bay! ) i

In this  hot newsflash just in- we have –  Mark Norval – from Port Elizabeth showing the same sort of behaviour as Bekker.  Does it appear that he is trying to return the shark without landing it? Why is it that some anglers feel they do not have to regard the law at all ?I wonder whether they ever think about why the law is there in the first place? Norval is an angler with Rock and Surf Super Pro League in PE.

it’s important to get a photo even if it’s breaking the law

In my opinion Norval is in a stance that appears to break the law. What is it about November? Do shark fisher people break the law each November ( see my archives from Nov 2011 ) ?  In South Africa you are not allowed to land great white sharks and certainly if by any tiny chance you can prove you had to, any photo taken of you with that shark, should show you trying your hardest to get it back in the water and not posing proudly with it for photos as it dies. I presume everyone knows a fish cannot live out of water and begins to die as soon as you haul it out. What is happening to the organs of this shark as it lies there squeezed down onto the sand and rocks?  Does it appear that Norval is trying to return the shark without landing it as he is legally supposed to be doing ? Why is it that some ( not all! ) anglers feel they do not have to regard the law ?I wonder whether they ever think about why the law is there in the first place? Norval is an angler with Rock and Surf Super Pro League in PE. RSSPL. I presume they will ban him and if they are responsible they will. Lets see!

In Mossel Bay about 2 weeks ago, Mr Leon Bekker, from George caused an uproar amongst shark loving locals when he hauled a tired and injured great white shark onto some rocks in front of a popular restaurant, in flagrant disrespect for the people watching and of the law. the photos I will post here speak for themselves. Sometimes I feel embarrassed to be human- when I see pictures like this. I mean, who still wants to pose with their foot on a dying animal for heavens sake. All it proves is that you are an idiot. DId the shark die- we don’t know? My partner Ryan Johnson managed to get it off the idiot and back into the sea but it was bleeding badly by this stage. see Melanie Goslings expose on

Critic Mr Petrus Viviers (scroll down to see comments) says that Bekker was not breaking regulation 6 of the MLR Act.. does this look like someone who is trying to immediately return a fish to the sea with as little injury as possible- you decide

the hapless shark- clearly in the wrong place

the idiot

I lose all hope for mankind and then I meet someone like Simon Cowell ( not THE Simon Cowell of X-factor /idols fame) of Wildlife Aid Foundation in the UK – and his incredible film team who I had the pleasure to work with for the past 3 days. Simon owns and runs a wildlife rehab. centre in the UK and he tells me he saves and rehabilitates over 20 000 animals per annum and the center costs him 1000GBP per day to run. What a fantastic thing to do. I love you Simon Cowell.

the saint


39 Comments on “Mark Norval joins Leon Bekker?

  1. Hi,

    You seriously missed the whole story. Ryan Jonstone has a few GWS fisherman in his employment.

    When I made enquieries with the authorities about this practice they pointed to the clause in the act. Called anexure 6. All things taken in consediration it is only media presure keeping the persecution of Mr Bekker alive.

    If you care about the truth you will not publish this rubish.


    Petrus Viviers

  2. Fiona. From what we can see, you have humiliated and belittled this man and his family beyond repair. He has been called a shark slayer, shark hunter, “idiot” and even his children have been called “bastard children”. Wow, must be a real thrill for you. Has this man been caught physically killing a shark? Has he been caught harassing the sharks? Can that be proved? Why aren’t the pictures also on your website of him halfway in the water, putting the shark back? (I don’t remember that shark being reported dead.) According to you this man is guilty. The evidence and witnesses have not yet been presented in court as there have only been two postponements on said matter, but you and your “partner” have taken it into your own hands to give judgment PUBLICALLY. Do you even have a law degree? Who gave you the right to go above the court and insult the justice system in such a way? (And you complain about people with no respect for the law)Who are you to publically humiliate and crucify a man (and his family) when no final judgment has been made by people who are actually qualified to do so after considering ALL the facts? Why don’t you stop this little media circus and leave the matter in the hands of the honorable court or don’t you think them capable of handling this matter by themselves? Is this really about protecting animals? Perhaps sensation? Maybe publicity? Personal even?

    • yes,I do in fact have a law degree. I am an attorney and have been practising law since 1989. In my reply to Mr Viviers you will see what the law says on this issue and the photos show that Bekker broke this law. is not a thrill for me to belittle anyone. It is also not a thrill to see someone treat animals in the inhumane manner in which Mr Bekker appears to think is OK. I love photos as they tell the truth of the story. I could put up even worse photos here of what he did to and with that shark but in an effort to save him even more embarrassment I decided not to. It is my sincere wish that we could all live in peace with animals and stop harassing them. The only reason that shark went back in the water was because he was stopped and accosted by Mr Johnson who put the shark back in an attempt to save it even though it was almost dead by then.

    • This guy needs to be humiliated and skinned alive. If a grown up adult can blatantly ignore the law – let him suffer! Did he care about the precious Great White Shark he killed so that he could boast on social media about this achievement – he did not – so let him and anyone receive the full wrath from those who actually care for the environment; and particularly for our sharks. So he is just that – an utter disgusting bastard! And I hope the courts crucify him and everyone else that crosses his path!

    • See, what you don’t understand is that this man totally broke the law and had all of this coming, the fact that his children are being called “bastard children” is a little over the top but that is mostly due to the media and has nothing to do with Fiona’s case. Personally I’m glad that this case is as heated as it is becasue maybe it will actually put a stop to animal cruelty.

    • typical arrogant human. more worried about the ego of a selfish cruel human than the life of an animal. hope bekker gets what he deserves! stupid anglers leave our sharks alone!

  3. Mr Viviers
    I am publishing this because I cannot wait for the truth to come out. Mr Bekker is the author of his own misfortune and I can only hope the court will make the correct findings and not be blind-sided by shortcomings in the Act. As Mr Johnson is my fiance I prefer to leave you with the words of an independent scientist Ms M McCord-Grey “In South Africa, anglers are prohibited from targeting white sharks and fisheries law states that incidentally captured animals must be released immediately. This means white sharks cannot be landed and anglers must cut their line if they accidentally catch this easily recognizable animal. But one man – a well-known angler in the Mossel Bay area – has taken it upon himself to compromise the health and survival of great white sharks – a species which forms a critical component of our natural heritage – purely for the sport of it. ” Unfortunately the photos of Mr Bekker posing for photos with the shark lying on the rocks – do not help his case one bit…
    I have seen many photos of him in a fishing shop in George – holding the same pose with other great whites and so justice will – I hope- prevail

  4. Well done Fiona. Thank you for standing up for these magnificent creatures. I hope this will prevent anglers in the future from taking similar actions and will hopefully provide the Great White shark with the protection it is lawfully entitled.

  5. My five year old has just seen these images and can see it is wrong, he has said why can’t you just put the shark back in the water rather than hurt it so much, shame he said, you cannot even eat them. I think that this statement speaks for itself, this just after viewing 3 pictures.

  6. the like and comment button on photo 3 doesnt work

    • hi belle- thats coz its a copy of a jpeg from facebook. it is best to just comment at the bottom of the others in the blog itself, like this. I look forward to it. fiona

  7. You nailed it Fiona, and kudos to you for not only following the events so closely but also to your awesome rebuttals.
    The oceans need friends, and it seems they have a good friend in you.

  8. The law is clear and ignorance is not a efence. A speeding driver knows that the excuse of ” I didn’t hurt anyone” is not going to stand up in court. I have been fishing for many years and I make it a point to know and understand the law at any given time. It doesn’t matter whether I am fishing for edibles, sharks, fly-fishing in the Vaal or Carp fishing in the North West Province. Ignorance is no excuse. That said, I am confident that Mr. Bekker was not ignorant of the law. His repeated offences are the acts of a man who shows only contempt for the law.

    The issue surrounding the “accidental” capture of GW’s has been debated on angling forums for years now. There are a lot of valid points supporting the safe catch and immediate release of these sharks (under perfect circumstances) but it makes no difference. The law is the law. You have as much legal right to catch GW’s (not forgetting the time taken to pose for a photo) as you do shooting a Rhino.

    Quite frankly, I refuse to target sharks unless I am 100% sure there is a safe beach that will allow me to land them. It doesn’t take a genius to understand the anatomy of a shark (and for those of you who cannot find the answer, it’s called Google) and to determine the best, safest way to enjoy the sport associated with this practice in a manner that is guaranteed to result in a successful release. Otherwise, what is the point? There simply is no rational argument for Mr. Bekker’s actions. As for Mr. Viviers, he has been defending Mr. Bekkers actions on Facebook since this story broke. Be it because he agrees with Mr. Bekker or because he simply loves playing Devils Advocate, only he will know. Try as I might, I can’t figure his irrational arguments out. I doubt any intellectual person can.

    Fiona, let me end my rant by congratulating you. I, and every responsible angler I know, applaud you.

  9. Spot on Clive! There can be NO grey area when it comes to conservation, we all shout for maximun penalty when rhino poachers are caught (all too seldom) so why not do the same for GWS and other endangered species? Name and shame those that have total disrespect for the law. Well done Fiona, never give up!

  10. This is the same guy that Mike Barron and I saw catching a juvenile 1.5m great white on Diaz beach right infront of seal island. We confronted him and demanded that he release the shark, and we proceeded to help him cut the line and free the shark. He was very confrontational and clearly didn’t like us telling him that fishing for great whites is illegal.

  11. Im not sure how anyone could argue that this is correct. I totally agree that sometimes images can be slanted to portray a false image and whilst these images do not show this man catching the shark, they certainly arent showing him attempting to help it either. In my book if you have your photo taken with a dying animal like this you are as guilty as the one that landed it. I hope he gets what he deserves and whilst i dont condone him or his family suffering abuse of any kind, im very glad to hear that he is being subjected to this as it means that there are plenty of people in the world that still care and think what he has done is wrong.

  12. No Mr de Viviers does not have a point – this issue has clearly constructed two sides but Mr de Viviers has consistently backed the perpetrator of this event since it occurred, and has constantly insulted Mr. Johnson for his actions in this regard. This SHOULD be an issue of media interest – if no one is to speak against the plundering of our oceans (all in the name of the big fish) then who will. Thank you to Mr. Johnson for continuing the fight to bring this fisherman who has flouted enough rules and decent angling behaviour to book.

  13. Well done too you all,I hope Leon Bekker and now also Mark Norval get what they deserve….. Please let us know what the out come of the court hearing is…..

  14. This is unbelievable!!!!!!! You want to compare my husband to Mr. Bekker but can you see any damages done to the shark or that there is any blood? Or even a Gaf….NO!!!!
    You looking at this picture all wrong, you would rather him leave the shark in the water with a gut leader around her neck, which might with time cut into her flesh and cause infection, which she could have died from, then see that he cut the gut of and put her safely back in the water.

    And if you will also look at the his picture… Its pitch black outside’, so should he have used his “night vision”to see that its a great white?

    What he did was wrong by posing with her, and a law was broken, but which fisherman would not do this… NO harm was caused. He didn’t ride her like a pony. He handled her with care.

    It’s this kind of attitude that upsets the good fisherman out there. So before this blog accuses my husband of being a shark killer and a monster, hear his side also.

    • Megan. I have never accused Mark Norval, your husband, of being a shark killer or a monster. What I see in the photo is what I report. There he is- in plain view posing with a protected species which should be swimming free. What I have said in all posts is that he is breaking the law and that is it. Fish do not belong out of the water and so I cannot accept that no harm was done.

  15. Thanks for the defamation of my character and name on a public forum, no idea how you got this pic but i will open a case against all parties involved. If you wanted to prosecute me you should have taken the right channels, not the one were you personally attack me in public. we will see each other soon.

    • Um Mark how is this deformation??? Pray tell ??? its plain for ALL to see, you posing with a protected species that is illegal, SIMPLE!! You don’t have a case but I would say they do!

  16. Well done Fiona! As always you have handled the negative backlash like a true professional. Emotions are clearly running high, but one cannot deny the irrefutable evidence as portrayed in the images and from the eye witness accounts. Despite that, we know this disregard for protected species continues. I applaud your tireless championing of the greater cause, particularly in the face of the criticism you encounter. You keep going and know that you enjoy the support of many ecologically minded anglers, divers and enlightened citizens out there. To those ‘less enlightened’ critics – it’s time to pull your head out the sand (or wherever else it seems to have rammed itself).

  17. Well done Fiona! As always you have handled the negative backlash like a true professional. Emotions are clearly running high, but one cannot deny the irrefutable evidence as portrayed in the images and from the eye witness accounts. Despite that, we know this disregard for protected species continues. I applaud your tireless championing of the greater cause, particularly in the face of the criticism you encounter. You keep going and know that you enjoy the support of many ecologically minded anglers, divers and enlightened citizens out there. To those ‘less enlightened’ critics – it’s time to pull your head out the sand (or wherever else it seems to have rammed itself).

  18. Mahatma Ghandi – The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats it’s animals. I feel truly distraught and heartbroken looking at these pics Fiona. That is unbelievable to me, and hundreds of others who truly care about the animals of this planet, and the need to co-exist peacefully with them. Inhumane, and I too am ashamed at being a member of the human race!

  19. Why put me in the same boat as leon? Compare the pics. He was inhumane to the gw and he targets them, he went to get one. I did not! Foul hooked the fish, the hook broke off as you can see in the pic, the gear I used was not to target or catch this fish. The only reason I did land it is because my trace and leader was wrapped around its body. I pulled the fish out without a hook in it, I kept the trace to show whom ever wants to. I yreaded the fish as fast as I could like all the fish I catch. The fish was landed and trace removed off the body I snug in a quick pic. A pic only 1 not like bekker with 30 pics that would tell a story and how long the fish was out the water for. Unfortunatly I’m being accused of killing the fish witch is far from the truth! I did not target the fish, it picked me up, there was no way I could tell what it was until it was in the shallow water were it was identyfied as a white and that the leader was wrapped. I don’t have proof of this but I know wats true. Please stop saying I’m inhumane as I’m far from it.

    • Mark- perhaps you can explain the latest photo I have loaded too, as it looks like you are happy about having this little shark out of the water too…it certainly doesn’t look to me like you are trying to get it back into the water fast?

  20. Too many people are WASTING THEIR EFFING TIME on fisherman who serve conservation. So FIONA, answer me this question. You have experienced fisherman like Mark, who has successfully landed and released a great white shark. So… would you rather have him cut his line so that shark gets to swim around for the next decade with 200lb steel and 20/o circle hooks in its mouth!!!?? Lets be a little realistic about this whole thing. Firstly, you dont even have the facts to be publishing a blog about this story, and secondly, if you are so proud of what you do, why not divert your energy to more important things like the 200 000 sharks that are killed EVERY SINGLE DAY for their fins. You should keep your head out of business that doesnt really affect you and start understanding that 90% of fisherman that catch sharks, do so in the best interest of conservation. Sure, Leon is a part of that 10% fishing population that doesnt respect the successful release of sharks, but you cant go ahead and pin Mark as being in the same category as him. You should be ashamed of yourself for posting articles like this when you dont even know the person or the story behind the person.

    • I am a director of sharklife and I am the local representative for SASSI. As such I spend a great deal of time and energy trying to help educate people about fish and sharks and to fight for their rights. The business of mistreating animals IS my business and I care enough to try and do something to help them. I don’t know what facts you are referring to but I have spoken to witnesses and as I am a lawyer, my training helps me to make sure I have all the facts before I post anything.

    • I didn’t reply because I don’t really know how to reply to this comment . If you really want a reply then here you go . As a director of sharklife ( I do try to do my bit to help sharks albeit small ! The mistreatment of animals affects all people on this planet and anyone has a right to say something or to intervene if they see it happening. Mark is the same as Leon in one obvious respect- the manner in which he is posing with an animal that is protected ( protected for good reason too ) . Did you know that scientists estimate there are around 3500 great whites left on this planet. Harming one, even fishing for one, has been likened to hunting or maiming Rhino’s in todays terms

  21. I posted this on Ryan’s FaceBook page : Ohkey…. Ryan… What does the law say you must do if you see you have a great white on your line? Cut your line? Then it should be the same to all the other species on the prohibited list and out of season fish…. So if I see I hooked a shad of 1kg I must cut my line? That shad will surely not survive with a 5oz sinker trailing behind him… The law doesn’t makes sense to me… It says you may not ‘catch land control or disturb any species on the prohibited list’ but it doesn’t tell us what to do if we do hook one…

  22. That is probably the first fish Leon treated that way… I know what he did was wrong but…. Look at the photos of the tons of other sharks he had caught… all were treated in a humane way… According to the law… the moment you hook a white shark you are breaking the law because it states : You may not catch,land disturb or be in control of a GW shark… The moment you hook it you are disturbing and controlling it…. Then more than 80% of all shark anglers have broken the law… Almost all shark anglers have hooked a White shark…

    • Yes, on a narrow interpretation of the law. But , I want to know if it really necessary to get the sharks to lie on sensitive organs and potentially damage themselves…. all in the name of a thumbs-up photo. A photo which looks stupid and assaults the senses anyway !

  23. Ok guys and girls. I took this way to far! Should have stopped it when it came out. Will post a swarn statement tonight on mu fb page.

  24. Mark, as a shark angler you should know the laws and abide by them, there is no grey area in the law it clearly states that a GW may not be landed, and your excuse of it being wrapped in the leader is a load of rubbish, if you really cared about the well being of the shark and wanted to stay within the parameters of the law then you should have cut the leader off the shark in the water and set it free instead of pulling it up the beach to take some photos.

    It’s people like you who have no regard for the law that give the law abiding fishermen a bad name, all your stories about saving the shark and looking out for its best interests went out the window when you posed for the photo. You made your bed now lie in it.

  25. Pingback: was it really a once off? | Fiona Ayerst's garden route Blog

  26. To all the critics (Petrus Viviers and the merry bunch from the circus) , you all just made such fools of yourselves….this dog was found guilty and fined $13000.00.

    Well done Fiona.

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