Fishermen catch monster 320-kilogram tiger shark

It wasn't quite as big as Jaws, but a group of Lake Macquarie fishermen were left wondering if they were going to need a bigger boat after landing a 320-kilogram monster about 30 nautical miles off Swansea.

Ben, 25, told the Newcastle Herald that he battled with this tiger shark for about two hours off the Shelf during the Lake Macquarie Game Fishing Club summer pointscore on Sunday, eventually getting it into his mate's boat.

"I was pretty happy, that's what it's all about," Ben, who asked not to be further identified, said.

"I felt the bite and battled with it for a while – tiger sharks are very aggressive sharks."

The shark was weighed at the entrance to Swansea channel outside Swansea RSL and images of the shark inside the boat and on dry land were posted on Facebook.

Picture: Facebook

It wasn't the first tiger shark to be caught in Hunter waters recently. Last weekend, a fisherman landed a 319-kilogram tiger shark off Port Stephens. The species is known to move down the east coast with the current following food.

But Ben is now facing an online backlash, with critics hitting out at him and his "trophy" photographs.

"No difference to this and the Japanese in the Antarctic. Pathetic excuse for a 'sport'," wrote John Valentine.

Another person wrote: ''What an absolute disgusting disgrace to kill such an amazing animal. Do these idiots have any idea how old these magnificent creatures live to and how long it takes sharks to reproduce?''

Glenn commented: ''If your (sic) brave enough to land a large shark identify yourself and accept the criticism which will come with it. Sharks aren't monsters just majestic creatures of the sea.''

But others have defended Ben and his friends on Facebook.

''I'm sure they didn't intentionally go out to catch this shark,'' wrote Tee Jay. ''I bet most of you sit down and enjoy a nice big steak tonight or maybe fish n chips and not think twice.''

Kody wrote that everyone who was criticising the fisherman should ''go jump''.

''He caught a monster of the sea and should be proud. We are human, top of the food chain. It's how it works. It's not as if he killed a whole batch. I say congratulations for the win,'' he wrote.

With warmer water temperatures and a slowing of the current, increased numbers of bait fish also sparked a big marlin run on the weekend.

Upwards of 70 marlin were tagged on Sunday, heralding the start of the season.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries has been contacted for comment.

Picture: Facebook

Newcastle Herald and smh.com.au

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