Breaking the law of the land


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!

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7 Comments on “Breaking the law of the land

  1. Hi guys. Yes I did land the fish. No I did not target it. I did target raggies the.evening and when I was on with this fish I was so glad because I knew I had my 200kg raggie. When in the shore we relized it was a great white shark and saw that my steel trace and leader was wrapped around its neck. We got the fish to the shallows safe enough for us to take the leader and trace off for her not to swing around and bite us. If I had to cut my line and left it to swim away she could.have died at a later stage, but would never know. I do not say that landing her was the right thing to do but I have peace of mind knowing my trace is not around its neck. I took a quick pic with the fish and suppose if I think of it I could have left it. I’m sorry sorry for my actions and taking a pic. Trust me if I tell you that I was so dissepointed to see a white and not raggie. Most would think it rubbish talk and that I’m trying to talk my way out of this but that is your opinion. A white is not a fish you want, not just because its illegal but what’s the use of catching a fish and you can not brag about it? No matter how much of the truth I say no one will beloeve me as they wernt there. Thank you fiona for trying to safe these animals and.making it a pasion to aware people. From my point of view I feel like I’m being bashed in from All points, nothing I van do about human nature. Regards mark

  2. Thanks Mark for leaving your post here. I do think it’s brave of you and I applaud you. It is one of those situations where there is unfortunately very little middle ground as most people who care for these sharks are super passionate about it- as are the fishermen! I thank you for saving the shark but if you had not had that tackle out there in the first place it wouldn’t have had to go through all that stress. That is my opinion and I am aware that there are many people who feel just the opposite to me. I guess I don’t believe animals are here just for us to get enjoyment out of and to use- but I am lucky- that is the way I was raised by my parents. That’s where it all begins……..

    • Quote: “I don’t believe animals are here just for us to get enjoyment out of and to use” In other blogs you clearly get enjoyment out of these beautiful creatures as you go shark cage diving. We all enjoy the animals on our planet, whether it’s buck, rhino, elepahnt, sharks, or whatever, in one way or another.

      I am an avid fisherman and I can tell you that if a person wants to catch big sharks, not talking about GW’s now, you need big tackle. What’s the use in targeting big sharks with inadequate tackle? The result will be a dead shark as you will have to fight it for so much longer until it beaches itself. With big tackle you can get the sharks out quicker which will result in them having enough energy to swim off.

      I have never hooked a GW before, and as Mark said above, I don’t want to either as you can’t “brag” about it. I would far more appreciate a catch of a 200kg+ Raggie, Bronzie or Zambie.

      Perhaps you could have contacted Mark first to get his side of the story before just posting anything here. All this is really bad for all recreational shark anglers, and yes I know thye photo doesn’t help our case, but still.

      We don’t catch sharks to kill them, we catch sharks and release them once measurements are taken, in most cases tags put in, and then a photo or 2, which usually takes a couple of minutes, if that.

      So to every one that doesn’t fish for edibles or nonedibles, please speak to someone with a bit of knowledge before posting all sorts of silly comments to a blog like this.

      Cheers, I’m outta here.

  3. Fiona,

    As someone close to Mark I can surely say that when it comes to protecting / preserving he is one of very few fishermen out there that would never hesitate to release whatever it is that he caught. Mark is a responsible fishermen often telling me of the big catches he had released and myself often witnessing this. Yes it is unfortunate that he had caught this shark – at night – unable to see what it was until it was landed – cutting the trace from its neck. Releasing the shark back to the water it came from. I doubt that the 3 seconds it took to take the photograph would have made a difference – the point is: the shark once identified had been released alive, swimming off to wherever. I can understand that you are passionate about this cause and would do anything to protect this species, however labeling Mark as a criminal is a little unfair and also in comparing him to certain Mr. Bekker. You dont know Mark so certainly you cannot be the judge, jury and exocutioner here. Surely you as an attorney should know better than this. Just a thought though……………

  4. “but if you had not had that tackle out there in the first place it wouldn’t have had to go through all that stress”………. What the hell?
    So we cant practise angling as a sport just because we might hook a GW???

  5. Fiona, do you also keep animals at home? like birds or dogs or cats?
    Do you not get enjoyment from them?

  6. Mark is a responsible angler and although photographed with this white it was most probably a bycatch. Yes whites can die out of water (just like any other fish btw) and are protected, yet mcm knows very little about these animals due to their lack of success with tagging programmes for whites.

    Why not legalize the tagging of whites that are caught as a bycatch by recreationals? Tagging kits are issued by ORI and anglers who apply for kits need to justify their reasons for tagging. It is also only the responsible and conservation-wise anglers who spend the time and money in acquiring these kits.

    If for example an angler then tags large numbers of whites he is clearly targeting them. If a dead white is found which is tagged it can be traced to the angler rather than assuming each and every white that is landed WILL die!

    Mark doesn’t appear to be using extremely heavy gear that is associated with TARGETTING whites which leads me to believe that it was indeed a bycatch.

    Why not have this shark and many others benefit from situations like these? Tagging these animals will allow us to understand and protect them for times to come. There is more to recreational angling than what is depicted in this article.

    Also is it better to fight a fish, then once you realise its a white cut your line leaving the animal trailing a leader, metres of line and a steel trace? This could do more harm than being out of water for 2mins? And although the hooks may rust out it could inhibit the shark to feed, damage the gills or even the eyes in the long run. Whites are tough animals and may recover better from a release than damaged organs.

    Landing a shark safely (as on a beach in this case), removing the hooks and returning it may be a better option than just to cut the line. There are many aspects that aren’t mentioned or considered here so yes it remains illegal and was wrong to photograph the fish but rather than tarnish a respectable anglers name along with his club ( which will most likely give him flack as a result of this) for something that could’ve been a positive contribution to understanding these majestic creatures.

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