Australia 'Unheard of': The 2.5m shark caught near Gladesville Bridge

06:00  17 july  2017
06:00  17 july  2017 Source:   The Age

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The 150-kilogram mako shark caught by fishermen near Gladesville bridge . Associate professor Culum Brown, a shark expert at Macquarie University, described the sighting as "strange" and "almost unheard of ".

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Shark expert Culum Brown described the shark's presence in Sydney harbour as © 7 News Shark expert Culum Brown described the shark's presence in Sydney harbour as "strange". When fisherman Patrick Melograna felt a tug on his line near Gladesville Bridge over the Parramatta River, he knew he was onto something big.

But the 2½-metre, 150-kilogram mako shark exceeded even his wildest expectations, and he took almost two hours to haul in the mammoth catch.

Mr Melograna, who was fishing for jewfish to celebrate his father's birthday, said he initially thought it was a bull shark.

"It was a team effort to bring this beast on board," Mr Melograna told local newspaper the Weekly Times.

He expressed surprise at finding the shark so far into Sydney Harbour.

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"This is normally a deep-sea species, so to see one this far down the harbour is very rare indeed," he said.

"We measured it at over eight feet long and conservatively weighing in around 150kgs."

The 150-kilogram mako shark caught by fishermen near Gladesville bridge.© 7 News The 150-kilogram mako shark caught by fishermen near Gladesville bridge. Associate professor Culum Brown, a shark expert at Macquarie University, described the sighting as "strange" and "almost unheard of".

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Gladesville Bridge is an arch bridge near Gladesville that spans the Parramatta River, west of central Sydney, Australia. It links the suburbs of Huntleys Point and Drummoyne. It is a few kilometres upstream of the more famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and is part of Victoria Road.

"It's pretty weird, you don't usually get makos this close to land. Even seeing them from the coast is very unusual," Mr Brown told Fairfax Media.

His only guess about the shark's location is misadventure.

Patrick Melograna and friends caught this 2.5 metre mako shark near Gladesville Bridge in Sydney harbour.© Weekly Times Patrick Melograna and friends caught this 2.5 metre mako shark near Gladesville Bridge in Sydney harbour. "Maybe it's lost – that's the only thing I can think of. There's no way it wants to come into Sydney Harbour, it's filthy. It's not even the right habitat," he said.

Mr Brown said the mako, a semi warm-blooded shark, is "super fast and super powerful".

"They have an awesome system in their body that uses their swimming muscles to retain heat."

The mako shark is listed as vulnerable, Mr Brown said, so "technically he shouldn't have caught it".

"But often you don't really know until you've got it on board – by that time it's half cactus. I'm not sure letting it go back into the harbour would be a wise thing anyway."

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