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Crays & Sharks

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Poida

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Feb 9, 2004
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Crays = Lobster
There is a movement in Western Australia that is calling for the banning of Cray Pots because they claim that they are responsible for the large number of Shark attacks here.
I would like to hear from other DB members that live in Shark areas where Cray Pots are used, as to, if they have been banned or considered responsible for Shark attacks.
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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Hi Poida,

In Florida, no one associates crays (lobster) or lobster traps with shark problems. People don't like traps for lots of other reasons, but I never heard of this one. I don't think our "agressive type" sharks eat lobster or are at all excited by lobster blood or vibration or by the type of bait used in traps. There are around half a million pots in our waters, mostly in one Florida county during season. Some places the bouys are so thick that navigation is difficult. Nurse sharks eat lobster, but they are pretty docile nearly all the time. I and buddys I know have spent thousands of hours night diving for lobster in an extremely sharky place over a 30 year period, catching large numbers of lobsters and never had a problem. At night we have only even seen two or three, and this in a place where spearfishing would get interesting pretty fast. Lots of other friends dive lobster in the daytime and I am not aware of anybody having problems, not that it might not happen rarely. Generally, the idea seems pretty unlikely to me, but I don't know your area.

Connor
 
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Pablo

Breather... so far!
Mar 9, 2004
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my english is clumsy... but I think a lobster differs from a crayfish (the lobster have claws and they are extremely rare in oceanie)

I would love to see the pots banned (better for the wild life and more cray for the divers :D)... but since the catch is worth billions in export it may be a bit unrealistic...

I still don't see the relation between pots and shark attacks... in NZ we have a lot of both, and we hardly see any attack! in AU they have a lot of both and have attacks.

I've lost fish to sharks (hanging from the boy or the kayak), but never a cray...

I never heard a cray fisherman complain about a shark busting a pot or anything like... If you could explain how pots are related to attacks it may be easier to understand.
 

island_sands

Erection Supervisor ;)
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Jan 19, 2001
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Pablo said:
my english is clumsy... but I think a lobster differs from a crayfish (the lobster have claws and they are extremely rare in oceanie)

I would love to see the pots banned (better for the wild life and more cray for the divers :D)... but since the catch is worth billions in export it may be a bit unrealistic...

I still don't see the relation between pots and shark attacks... in NZ we have a lot of both, and we hardly see any attack! in AU they have a lot of both and have attacks.

I've lost fish to sharks (hanging from the boy or the kayak), but never a cray...

I never heard a cray fisherman complain about a shark busting a pot or anything like... If you could explain how pots are related to attacks it may be easier to understand.


I find that worldwide there are so many different names for crays/lobsters..

Some lobsters (Painted Rock Lobsters) don't have claws. back home i think we call them crayfish. In this part of the world we call them lobsters, with or without claws.

Ne'mind the name.. i don't think cray pots would induce more attacks. Aussie waters have always had large numbers of attacks (there is a whole thread on this somewhere). There were cray pots along the whole coast during lobster season in the Caribbean.. I never heard of sharks coming in at all.

Perhaps they are just looking for excuses...
 

Poida

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Feb 9, 2004
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G'day Pablo
People from other countries may make mistakes in English, but they speak English far better than I can speak their language. To be honest I still have trouble with it and it's the only language I know. Fortunately my wifes a walking dictionary.

Anyway, you are quite right. West Aussies call Lobsters Crays. Our country was settled by convicts from England, they were deported for stealing bread. Obviously marine biologists didn't steal bread at that time and were not deported.
This meant that our ancestors called our wildlife by the wrong name. Hence we call a Lobster a Crayfish.

Anyway to cut a long story short (probably too late now) eventually a marine biologist came to WA, what he stole I'm buggered if I know, probably a computer system or something and advised us that our crayfish was in fact a lobster. The correct term is a "Western Rock Lobster."

But we still call 'em Crays, and we catchem in Craypots.

Shark attacks here are a very recent occurance. Craypots are not. Been used for yonks.

Diving for crays at night, yes been done for years too, no diver been attacked, but now banned because where I live politicians ( I don't know if I've spelt that right, but my wifes not home) like to ban things.

I didn't think that Sharks would eat Crays.

And yes Sara I think there could be an alterior (stuffed that word right up) motive.

There's stickers now on the back of cars. Stop Shark Attacks - Ban Craypots.
If I see a driver parking his car with a sticker on I'll ask him what his beef is.
Poida
P.S. For all the eggheads I was only joking about the marine biologists O.K!!
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
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Igonorant people with a motivation for good are an easy tool for people with alterior motives. Examples are very abundant. It's very easy to start those wheels in commotion.
I'm sorry to hear that you're a victim to such unjust.

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. :)
 

Pablo

Breather... so far!
Mar 9, 2004
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Asking around I found that surf casting fisherman's use cray heads to catch lemonfish (a shark... Rig, Spoted Dogfish, Mustelus lenticulatus)... not exactly George Lucas idea of a toothy star!

You'll save more lives by banning those damed jetsky than cray pots... but hey!!! they are cool, and make plenty of $$$$ where most cray fisherman's are just some local dude trying to do a living. The law in NZ says a cray pot must have two boys, and those make a fantastic gate to aim with the machine... a diver's boy is mistaken by one of those, and a couple of times I've heard one of those bullets on top of my head :rcard . By the time you hear them they are already far away, and in most of the cases they wouldn't even notice if they hit you.
I could say some more about motor boats drivers in general :mute ... but is not the thread subject!

Lost cray pots are a wild life killing machine, and crays in general are in decline... reasons enough to ban them! but don't make again sharks responsible for it, because for some people it may be one more reason to kill them :head
 

kmo

Fish killer
Oct 31, 2005
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I know this is an old post, but I've only just seen it because I'm a newbie.

I'm from Margaret River where they want to ban the pots, and where the relatively recent shark attack occured.

The reason people are blaiming pots for extra shark action in the area is the concentration of craypots and cray bait around popular surf breaks. Basically, good surf occurs in the same place as good cray ledges once the crays move inshore. People feel that having a lot of dead fish in the water will burley up and bring in the predators.

My personal opinion on the attack on Brad Smith at Lefties, is that the dead whale that washed up 500m up the beach about two weeks after the attack was probably floating around further out for a while and attracted the big white in.

People in MR are looking for any excuse to get rid of the crayboats. They are a new addition to the area and it upsets some people that they can't go down to the seaside and not see, and hear, up to 4 boats within a couple of hundred metres of the coast. The pots being close to surf breaks also brings the additional perceived hazard of entanglement.

The death of a young boy hit by a crayboat on autopilot hasn't helped public opinion in the area. It is also fair to say that most of the cray fishermen are not from the region, so the recent movement down the coast of this fishery has had no positive impact on the local economy to offset any negatives.

These aren't necessarily my opinions, but Poida was wondering why they wanted to ban the pots so hopefully this has cleared it up.

I might add that friends of mine claim to regularly get small wobbegongs (carpet sharks) in their cray pots, so thats one shark that is attracted to the fish frames used for bait.
 

Poida

New Member
Feb 9, 2004
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Hey a Margaret River boy.
Great place KMO
Best diving spot I know down there is diving into the chocolate factory.

So you reckon there is an alterior motive to banning craypots and it's got bugger all to do with shark attacks.

Wobblygongs are bottom feeders and would most probably swim into a cray pot much the same as a cobbler would swim into a cobbler pot. Not to get the bait because you don't bait a cobbler pot, they're just placed so the cobbler will swim into them.

Now, you may not know what a cobbler pot is as they have been banned for yonks, and you may not be as old as me and have never seen one. But basically a trap that the fish can swim into and can't get out.
 

kmo

Fish killer
Oct 31, 2005
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Yeah Margs was an awesome place to grow up, if I could stay sane working in vineyards or tourism I'd still be there enjoying the lifestyle. A local tip - The diving in the semillon vat at Voyager Estate may rival the chocolate factory, especially as a second dive.

I think for lots of people its not the extra shark sightings that are driving them to protest crayfishing in the area, but there has been a lot of shark sightings at swimming and surf beaches and a fatal attack in the last two years.

It could be a statistical anomoly, and it might just be that shark numbers are on the mend after the whites became protected. But the basic premiss that dead fish attracts sharks does make sense. The sharks are passing the coast at the start of the cray season due to whale migration, so maybe the bait provides incentive for them to come inshore and have a sniff around.???

Who knows, maybe for the next 5 years no one will see a shark in Margaret River (no one who will call the media and tell them about it anyway) and then when they reappear we'll find another source of blame.

I reckon that the wobblys get in the pots for the free food of either bait or crays, but who knows what drives those ugly little buggers.
 

Mr. X

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Poida said:
...
I would like to hear from other DB members that live in Shark areas where Cray Pots are used, as to, if they have been banned or considered responsible for Shark attacks.
Well, there are a lot of lobster pots around the UK coast* & have not heard of any shark problems (I suspect the temperature has more to do with it though!). We seem to get mainly large Basking sharks (plankton eaters) & small, docile dogfish -- there were sitings of 14ft Mako off Cornwall last year but opinion seems to be they were more likely Basking sharks. I have never heard of any association with lobster pots -- I would think the lobster fishermen would know best though -- and would be least likely to tell, since their precarious livelihoods would be most threatened.

It does seem possible though -- as presumably they are baited with fish guts & heads...the blood & fish oils that are intended to attract lobster could, presumably, also attract other predatory fish. On "River Cottage" TV show, they built a special large lobster trap to catch a big lobster seen on scuba ... unfortunately, they ended up catching a huge conger eel instead (which provided food for many). How many times have we heard on this forum that we should not carry shot fish on a belt stringer in sharkey waters (& better yet -- boat them, rather than use a float stringer).

[*Despite this, you rarely see lobster eaten in Britain (expensive) -- apparently much is shipped to France. People are getting noticeably more interested & discerning about food here in recent years - so maybe that will change].
 
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Shadowkiller

Digital Hunter
Jul 30, 2002
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As far as I know Thresher Shark feed on fish and Squid. Maybe you mean Megamouth or Whale Sharks?

My dive spots are usually littered with cray/lobster pots and I dont see that many sharks, despite the huge salmon schools that local Great Whites feed on.

I suspect that dangerous sharks are attracted to burley in open water where they can get into feeding mode, not to stationary burley hidden in reef.

Also: Northern Lobster = clawed lobster
Southern Lobster/Crays = spiny lobster.
 

naiad

Apnea Carp
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Oct 11, 2003
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There are Basking sharks around the UK. They are like Whale sharks but smaller, still very large. I think there are also small species like Porbeagles.

Lucia
 
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Mr. X

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Oops My bad:naughty. Yes I meant Basking sharks ... I'll edit that to avoid further confusion. Thanks Naiad & Shadowkiller.
 

Mr. X

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naiad said:
...I think there are also small species like Porbeagles.
I have heard of these but know nothing about them, so I looked them up: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/sharks/species/Porbeagle.shtml
"...potentially dangerous shark...Embryos are cannibalistic in the womb". You live & learn!

Also found this: http://www.worldseafishing.com/boats/begginer_shark.shtml

"BLUE SHARKS
... blue sharks ...which tend to average less than 100lbs in UK waters, with a ceiling of about 200lbs.
...
PORBEAGLES
Finally, graduate onto porbeagles which easily attain 100lbs in most areas, are fairly common at 200lbs. The UK record now stands at 507lbs and porbeagles are known to grow to 900lbs and may attain the magical 1000lb barrier in the northern seas south of Iceland and in deeper water off Scandinavia. When after porgies, you never quite know just what you might sink your hook in?!
...
WHAT ABOUT MAKO'S AND THRESHERS?
These are the rarest of our sharks. Threshers show with some regularity over the Isle of Wight grounds, but even here, it's very hit and miss. Mako's too, were once almost common down in the waters off Cornwall, but none have been taken sine the early 1970's on rod and line in UK waters to my knowledge. We know both threshers and mako's frequent the Irish Sea, off the south and west coasts of Ireland, and into Scottish waters, but factual information is thinly spread. These fish can be classed as a lucky and casual catch in all but a few cases.

OTHER SHARKS
There are other types of sharks in British waters...we'll leave these specialist sharks for the future. ..."


[That last link is quite an eye opener, esp. given belt stringers are generally considered safe in the UK. The more sensational first link also mentions their eating habits: "The porbeagle feed on fish (mostly mackerel, squid, cod, hake, flounder and other bottom-dwelling fish) with its long, sharp teeth."& "BLUE SHARK ATTACKS
Blue sharks are considered dangerous, and there have been attacks on people."
]

So maybe lobster pots are not an issue? Are sharks scavengers, hunters or both? (I am thinking probably "both" or "depends on species").
 
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naiad

Apnea Carp
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I thought porbeagles were small... *gulp*

I still want to go diving though. :D
 

Mr. X

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naiad said:
I thought porbeagles were small... *gulp*
Me too...probably because it sounds like it might be a type of dogfish (as in Port-Beagle!).:D
 

naiad

Apnea Carp
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Now I'm imagining a shark with a drooping face and long floppy ears, it doesn't seem so scary. :)
 
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