VIDEO: Shark’s life saved in complex rescue at Julian Rocks

A still image from a video of a Sea World rescue team saving a grey nurse shark at Julian Rocks.
A still image from a video of a Sea World rescue team saving a grey nurse shark at Julian Rocks.

A SEA World rescue team has saved the life of an endangered grey nurse shark found at Julian Rocks with a 1m long hook and trace stuck in its mouth.

The team was called in by a volunteer diver from Sundive Byron Bay and the NSW Department of Primary Industries over fears the 2.4m animal would starve to death.

In a complex and dramatic operation, the team had to capture the shark, exhaust it and bring it aboard their boat, Sea World One, so the hook and trace could be surgically removed.

"We feared that the hook and trace, which was over a metre long, would prevent the shark from feeding properly and result in its eventual death by starvation," Sea World director of Marine Sciences Trevor Long said.

"Once the shark had been located, the rescue team was able to secure a rope noose around the body of the shark and tire him out, allowing him to be slowly brought to the surface.

"The rescue was made somewhat more challenging as there was average visibility under water, strong currents in the area, and to top it off, the shark was also quite feisty, putting-up a real fight once it had been roped.

"After the shark had been tired out, it was craned aboard rescue vessel Sea World One and placed in a specially designed 4000 litre tank where he was placed in a dormant state by turning him on his back, ready for the operation.

"The operation involved inserting a large PVC pipe into the shark's mouth to keep it open whilst our vet conducted a delicate procedure to remove the hook, which was lodged in cartilage of the jaw.

"Following the 25 minute operation to remove the hook the shark was released after its identifying marks were recorded.

"With less than 1500 of the critically endangered Grey Nurse Sharks living along the east coast of Australia, every single animal is so important."

The shark was expected to make a full recovery.

Topics:  grey nurse shark julian rocks sharks

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

EXCLUSIVE: Juanes, the Latin heartthrob coming to Bluesfest

ON STAGE: Juanes performs at the 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Fleetwood Mac at Radio City Music Hall on in New York.

He has sold 15 million records and won 20 Latin Grammys

Helping out our Younger Heroes

HEROES: Damien Schofield with some of the attendees at the most recent Younger Heroes camp at Mount Warning

Yonger Heroes score bank award.

These Vampires live on jazz

MUSICIAN: Alex Boneham.

The Australian Music Prize nominated jazz-world band play this week

Local Partners