‘Monster’ Portland shark just a baby

A PORTLAND fishing commentator has downplayed metropolitan media attention to a great white shark which nibbled at a small boat near Cape Nelson at the weekend.

“We’ve got much bigger sharks than that,” said Bob McPherson after studying video footage captured by three Melbourne men who estimated the shark’s length at five metres.

They said the shark circled their boat several times before it became aggressive and attacked the outboard motor propellor.  One of the men had touched the shark as it circled.

Melbourne media outlets described it as a “monster” and a “huge predator”, but Mr McPherson said it was just a juvenile. “People got a bit excited, but this one is not as big as many others around here,”  he said.

“It would be lucky to be more than 200 kilograms.

“Fully grown they would be about seven foot in diameter, as big as a car and probably weighing two tonnes. They are quite common because this is a breeding area. Last year while trawling for tuna I saw several large ones.

“The area is renowned for great white whites and massive mako sharks weighing up to 400 kilograms.

“Sharks are territorial. You’d have more chance of getting into more trouble with a big  bronze whaler shark or diving with great whites while they fed on seal pups. If sharks start playing with a boat it’s because they are attracted to the electrical currents.”

Lady Julia Percy Island between Warrnambool and Portland is renowned for having large sharks.

pcollins@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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