HAULING sharks on to the Tathra Wharf is an ongoing problem according to some concerned Bega Valley locals.
A Bega District News article in 2012 highlighted the issue of illegal baiting and luring of sharks to the wharf area by fishers – an article that is eerily portentous of Thursday’s fatal shark attack that claimed the life of Christine Armstrong.
Sam Moskwa of Pambula called the BDN in the wake of Thursday’s tragedy to say she confronted several fishermen on Tathra Wharf in late February this year after they pulled in a hammerhead shark.
She said they were far from apologetic and in fact quite threatening towards her.
“On February 23 we were at the Wharf café about 10.30-11 o’clock when there was a commontion outside that someone had caught a hammerhead shark and was having trouble bringing it in,” Ms Moskwa said.
“I saw the sign on the wharf that said shark fishing was against the law.
“I told him that and asked if he was going to throw it back but he said he was bringing it in and catching it was just an accident.
“He had the large hook on a pole for bringing in large catches though.”
When Ms Moskwa said fishing for sharks brings them closer to where people swim “he called me everything under the sun”.
“He was very aggressive towards me and even followed me back to my car – I felt threatened.
“I reported it to the café who said it was frequent and there was nothing they could do.
“My son reported it to the Bega council and they said they were aware of the issue.
“I don’t know what the answer is.
“I know people like to fish there, but maybe that’s not the best spot for it.
“To bring deep sea fish in to within half a kilometre of the beach and where people swim – it’s an accident waiting to happen.
“I feel very sad for the family of the lady taken yesterday.