It was a gross scene of bloodied shark heads, guts, and a pile of big grey livers dumped by an unknown fisherman on the rocks at Batemans Bay boat ramp on Tuesday.
People looking over the pile at the Clyde St ramp included boaties and some fishermen, who were understandably disgusted.
Their question was why?
A local surfer Peter Oates, and his son were worried that the dumped remains of what had been between 20 and 26 sharks included the protected species of grey nurse from the waters of Batemans Marine Park.
Mr Oates said it looked as if the fisherman had just left the carcasses to rot on the ramp and he questioned why the remains had not been dumped at sea.
“It’s ignorance or they just don’t care,” he said.
One of the sharks still had green rope with a hook attached in its mouth, indicating it was caught by long line fishing.
Mr Oates and his son said they counted as many as 26 shark heads and estimated the sharks had been up to 2m long.
District fisheries officer Sampson Hollywood inspected the waste and found none came from a protected species.
A NSW Department of Primary Industries spokesman said the waste was from a range of common shark species including broadnosed seven gill sharks and gummy sharks. These sharks are not protected under threatened and endangered species legislation and are commonly caught both by commercial and recreational fishers along the South Coast.
Fisheries officers are investigating to determine who left the waste and remind the fisherman responsible of the need to dispose of waste responsibly.
It is not an offence under the Fisheries Management Act or Marine Parks Act to dispose of fish waste in this manner.
However, Mr Hollywood reminded fishers to use fish cleaning tables where provided and dispose of all litter and fish waste responsibly.
One local fisherman, who did not want to be named, described the scene as grotesque and needless, saying it was a shame and not good for someone taking their child fishing.
“It is an irresponsible act by the fisherman(responsible),” he said.
“Ninety-five per cent of fishermen are good blokes but this shines a bad light on fishing. It gives greenies fuel for their fires by saying look at these fishermen raping and pillaging the sea.
“I haven’t seen it like this in the Bay before. It annoys me for a fisherman to be so complacent and not caring.”
Eurobodalla Shire Council’s environmental services director Lindsay Usher said council received no complaints although it was normal practice for fishermen to dump offal in the waters beside boat ramps.
Mr Usher said council could prosecute if the offal was illegally dumped on land under its Protection of the Environment Operations Act. Penalties began at $1500.