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Shark Alive At St Francis Bay More articles...

Shark jaws were the main attraction for the those out early on Hobie Beach, St Francis Bay one morning last month.

Johan van Staden a competitive fisherman from Port Elizabeth, who is a regular on our shores, caught this ragged tooth shark, after battling for 50 minutes to bring it in - running backwards and forwards with his rod while reeling furiously. His rod was bent over in a semi circle and soon a crowd of beach lovers gathered to watch ‘the big catch.’

Once in shallow water, Johan and friends used a net to scoop it up and then left it a few minutes to show to the spectators. Then this shark, aka Nurse Shark, was weighed and found to be 158 kg. Johan and company then replaced the shark in the net, waded into deeper water, and after cutting the gut, let it go. What an exciting event tow watch.

According to research, thhe Grey Nurse Shark (aka in the US as the sand tiger shark and in South Africa as the spotted ragged-tooth shark), is one of four species belonging to the Odontaspididae family. It has a large, rather stout body, a conical snout, long awl-like teeth in its jaws, and is coloured grey to grey-brown dorsally, with a paler off white under belly.

Grey Nurse Sharks grow to at least 360 cm total length, and are said to be slow but strong swimmers. A Grey Nurse Shark at a Sydney aquarium lived for 13 years; others have lived for + 16 years in captivity in South Africa. In 1984 the Grey Nurse Shark became the first shark species in the world to become protected (in New South Wales, Australia).


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