Thursday, 1 November 2012

Tagged shark 'Brenda Fassie' eaten

Cape Town - A shark tagged by experimental research vessel Ocearch has been captured, killed and eaten off the coast of Mozambique.

The research team posted a statement on its blog site on Tuesday confirming the demise of the 3.6m female shark, which had been named Brenda Fassie.

"Caught in a gill net, the shark given the name Brenda by the Ocearch team was harvested by village fishermen who gave the meat to the village and sold the fins," the team said.

A Mozambican non-governmental organisation, a diving company and a volunteer travelled through remote areas to determine what had happened to the shark.

They eventually documented what had happened and retrieved the transmitter which had been attached to the animal's fin on 8 March in Mossel Bay.

Using the Ocearch's global tracking system, it appeared that the shark made a long journey up the Mozambican channel. It left the vicinity of Maputo on 20 September and was last tracked in the ocean near Quissico on 4 October, before the tag started transmitting signals from the mainland.

Ocearch team leader Chris Fischer said the story had "opened the eyes" of the public to the threat to shark populations around the world.

"Tens of millions of sharks are harvested every year, the overwhelming majority of whose fate is neither tracked or revealed," he said in the statement.

"This event should demonstrate it is crucial for SA and Mozambique to work together to protect these threatened apex predators."


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