On Wednesday, February 8, angler Kai Boyle caught a 10-foot bull shark while fishing the Swan River in Western Australia. Boyle was fishing from the shore at the East Fremantle boat ramp. The catch comes less than a week following a rare fatal shark attack less than a mile from the boat ramp.
On Saturday, February 4, 16-year-old Stella Berry was attacked and killed by a shark when she jumped into the Swan River from a jet ski. The fatal attack occurred in the town of Freemantle. It was the first fatal shark attack on the waterway in 100 years, according to 9News. A bull shark was suspected to be the species responsible for the incident. The attack prompted a temporary closure of a local beach, and some locals quickly called for culls of the river’s bull shark population.
According to a Facebook post, Boyle caught his shark while soaking mullet for bait. After beaching the bull shark, he released it back into the river according to local fishing regulations, which prohibit the take of bull sharks. The catch prompted local officials to issue a shark warning. According to 9News, it also kicked off an investigation involving increased river patrols in the area by local authorities.
Bull sharks can weigh up to 500 pounds, according to the National Wildlife Federation. They’re found in coastal waters across the globe and typically forage on fish, as well as other sharks, marine mammals, birds, and turtles. Though shark attacks are considered extremely rare, they do occur. In addition to great white sharks, bull sharks and tiger sharks are the most commonly implicated species in shark attacks on people according to the International Shark Attack File.
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Officials have not speculated on whether or not the shark Boyle caught is the same one involved in the recent fatal shark attack.