Severed Head of Tiger Shark Dumped on Car Hood After Fishing Competition

The severed head of a tiger shark was dumped on the hood of a car and the vehicle vandalized following a fishing competition in New South Wales, Australia.

The head was discovered after a video circled on social media showing fishermen hoisting a dead tiger shark out of the water to be weighed. According to ABC News, two tiger sharks were killed during the White Sands Fishing Competition. Their heads were then cut off and their bodies were dumped at sea.

One of the heads was kept for taxidermy, but the other was dumped on the hood of a car belonging to someone from the Jervis Bay Game Fishing Club (JBGFC), ABC News reported.

Police are now investigating the incident. Footage of the shark being lifted from the boat can be viewed here. A photo of the shark heads can be seen here.

The annual fishing competition has categories that include the tag and release of sharks. Killing, however, is not condoned. A statement from the JBGFC provided to ABC News said it did not condone the actions of the fishermen who killed the sharks.

"It came to our attention that the company administrator who posted the video online were the subject of vandalism to their trailer and vehicle," it said. "JBGFC are shocked and disgusted that these events took place and would like the people responsible held to account."

One Jervis Bay photographer posted images of the decapitated shark heads on Facebook on December 5. In her post, she said: "A severed head of a tiger shark placed on the bonnet of a car and paint sprayed all over private property. This is what happens when two amazing young local business people share their opinion of the killing and dumping of two large tiger sharks."

She said she comes from a long line of fishermen and these people are respectful and protective of the oceans and the creatures that live in them. "The actions of a certain few from this weekend's fishing competition are giving both commercial and recreational fisho's a bad name," she wrote.

"Bullying and intimidation is not on [...] I've spoken to the guys who run the local fishing club. They're upset that this has happened too. This behavior is NOT what they want in their club. The guys that have caused this incident and caused damage to private property will be dealt with and names will be passed on to police."

tiger shark
Stock image of a tiger shark. Research from 2019 showed tiger shark numbers have fallen by 71 percent in Queensland, Australia, with overfishing likely the cause. Getty Images

Neurologist and environmentalist Kate Ahmad started a petition to stop shark fishing competition in response to the White Sands tournament and the events that unfolded. "Killing sharks for fun and showing them off for a trophy seems to be entirely out of step with environmental concerns in the community," she told ABC News.

In 2019, researchers found a 71 percent decline in tiger shark numbers over three generations in Queensland, the state to the north of New South Wales. Chris Brown, from the Australian Rivers Institute, who led the research, said the decline was likely the result of overfishing.

"Australia has more imperiled native shark species than almost any other nation with some of the strictest regulations for shark, protection including a ban on shark finning," he said in a statement.

"The decline in tiger sharks, which are a very resilient species, suggests that Australia is not doing enough to protect our unique shark fauna," Brown said.

This article has been updated to remove the name of a person at their request.