Baby great white shark 'bludgeoned to death in front of tourists'

Baby great white shark 'bludgeoned to death in front of tourists'PA

Holidaymakers on a beach in Australia's New South Wales were horrified when a fisherman reportedly hauled a baby great white shark from the water and beat it to death with a metal pole.

Tourist at Sussex Inlet saw the shark be taken from the sea and moved onto a boat ramp where it was bludgeoned to death in front of crying children.

One witness told "My five-year-old daughter was in tears. It was horrible, with this guy beating the shark to death with a long metal pole,"

"There were dozens of people there and people were pleading with the men to stop it, but they just killed it in front of everyone."

Great white sharks are a protected species in Australia, and killing one can incur a fine of up to $11,000 and a two-year jail sentence.

The Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries) is investigating the killing.

Some people suggested the fisherman may have thought it was a mako shark, which can be legally caught in NSW.

But a spokesman for the department said: "It is not an excuse to think the shark was a small mako. People who are fishing should know what various species look like so they can target the right species," a department spokesman said yesterday.

"They are a threatened species and need our protection and we are investigating the reported killing and abuse of the small great white."

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