An Australian teen has spoken out about his unusual hobby of catching sharks by hand from local beaches after besting a stunning amount of the animals, including three massive specimens just this month.
Max Muggeridge is a lifeguard from Australia’s Coomera, located in Queensland, and though he is only 19-years-old, the angler has already managed to catch over 200 sharks. His unusual techniques, which see him fishing from sandy beaches instead of a boat, have allowed him to catch a wide range of sharks, including some massive specimens. As MTV News points out, Muggeridge made international headlines earlier this year when he successfully landed a 12-foot-long tiger shark.
— The Daily Telegraph (@dailytelegraph) September 23, 2015
The teen doesn’t kill the sharks, however, and keeps most of them out of the water for a scant 60 seconds. According to Muggeridge, who appeared on Australia’s Today show on September 24, his actions are all done in the name of science.
“It’s all for research — for tagging the sharks,” he said. “[I catch them] just to get a bit of understanding of what they’re doing, where they are, what time of year they’re moving up and down the coastline and just to gain a bit of general knowledge on them.”
WHAT http://t.co/p4qkD9rhlj pic.twitter.com/vk0KGCVmi8
— Hayley Byrnes (@HayleyByrnes) September 24, 2015
Muggeridge’s fishing techniques are nothing if not successful, as Buzzfeed reports. On a recent fishing trip which took him to “secret beaches” in New South Wales, the angler managed to land a tiger shark measuring 3.86 meters, a 3.78 meter hammerhead, and a 2.7-meter-long bull shark. He uses a non-barbed, circular hook that he claims can be removed from the sharks’ mouths in just seconds, allowing him to minimize the time that the animals are out of the water.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) September 24, 2015
With the help of his girlfriend, Muggeridge tags the sharks before releasing them back into the sea, taking a photo with most of them for posterity’s sake. The angler uses a marlin reel to bring in the sharks, and his bait is usually laid some 600 meters offshore by kayak.
Australia has seen a notable uptick in shark attacks over the course of this year, particularly along New South Wales’ North Coast. Muggeridge expressed his feelings on the matter while talking to Today, citing the amount of fish taken out of the sea by anglers each year, while admitting he is no expert on the subject. The teen also hopes his effort to catch and tag sharks will help shed light on the spate of attacks plaguing the coast of Australia.