Call for greater Great Barrier Reef security
A DEAD shark tangled in fishing line found by dive crews at the remote Osprey Reef has prompted calls for greater protection of the pristine area before the Federal Government's Marine Reserve zone comes into effect in 2014.
Tourists and crew diving during a tour by Mike Ball Dive Expeditions came across the dead grey reef shark on November 10, one week before Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke announced the introduction of marine reserves covering more than 2.3 million sq km of ocean around Australia
Passenger Jane Bowman made the discovery alongside tourists from the US, China and Germany.
"The shark had a very large hook in its mouth and had heavy duty fishing line wrapped around it," she said.
"It was obvious the shark had become trapped and entangled by the line and fought and fought until it drowned."
Osprey Reef, about 90 nautical miles off Port Douglas, is set to be a protected green zone by 2014, but Mike Ball Dive Expeditions operations manager Craig Stephen has called on a level of interim protection to be introduced.
"Our concern is we have two years before it becomes official so where do we go until then?" he said.
Mr Burke last night said: "The Conservation zone itself didn't establish the MOU.
"The agreement between rec fishers and the dive industry was established with some principles which worked for both sectors while the bioregional planning process was being conducted.
"I would encourage all parties to continue to act in good faith that has characterised that agreement."
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Grim find: Divers recover the dead shark found on Osprey Reef.