An Australian spearfisherman filmed a close encounter with a great white this weekend that ended when he attacked the shark with his speargun, using the unusual tactic to keep the predator at bay.
Trevor Ketchion spotted the great white lurking a few meters below the surface, near where he and a friend were spearfishing off Queensland’s Sunshine Coast on Sunday, The Daily Mail reports. Rather than wait to see if the white shark approached the pair, Ketchion took matters into his own hands, descending on the animal from above. Wielding his speargun, Ketchion jabbed the shark in the back, in an attempt to shoo the massive predator away from the area.
While the tactic may seem surprising to a layperson, it is common practice among spearfishermen to act aggressively toward a shark. By lashing out at a great white, fishermen can deter the animal from attacking by asserting themselves as a predator. In Ketchion’s case, the maneuver worked; the great white appeared unperturbed by the jab, and was filmed slowly moving away from the area, as 9 News noted.
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Ketchion’s caution while dealing with the shark is well founded, as great whites have been responsible for several recent attacks in Australian waters. As the Inquisitr previously noted, 50-year-old British expat Paul Wilcox was killed earlier this year after he was struck by a shark while surfing in Byron Bay. More recently, a surfer lost both hands and most of one arm during an attack that is believed to have been carried out by a white shark.
Following an attack on 23-year-old Sean Pollard in Esperance, Department of Fisheries officials used a baited drumline to catch and kill two white sharks, which are normally a protected species. A proposed cull that would have used similar drumlines to keep sharks away from populated beaches was canceled earlier this year, after Western Australia’s EPA recommended against the plan. The EPA cited an uncertain impact on the local shark population, particularly great whites. A three-month-long trial program was instituted earlier this year, however, leading to an international outcry and disproportionally affecting larger sharks such as great whites.
Ketchion posted video of his encounter with the great white shark to social media, much to the amazement of his followers.
[Image: Trevor Ketchion via The Daily Mail]