Shark fishing - safety first

Shark fishing is a popular recreational activity in some parts of South East Queensland. However, sharks are dangerous predators and fishing for sharks is extremely risky.

If you target sharks, you must do your part to minimise the risk to yourself and other waterway users.

Be SharkSmart

  • Only fish for sharks away from swimmers and other waterway users. Fishing for sharks near people on and in the water can put others at risk.
  • Don’t throw your scraps, fish frames or leftover bait in the water unless you’re far away from where people swim. Dispose of your scraps and rubbish in a bin on land.
  • Never chum or berley (scatter bait on the water to attract sharks) in areas where people swim. This can attract a large number of sharks, which can be dangerous for other waterway users. Sharks can be caught effectively with the correct rig and baits.
  • Handle sharks correctly. Follow the correct handling techniques below to release sharks safely and assist shark survival.

Correct shark-handling techniques

  • If you catch a shark larger than 150cm, set it free by cutting off the trace/line.
  • If you catch a shark smaller than 150cm, handle it with a wet towel. Where possible keep your hands, feet and body well clear of the shark's mouth. Anglers and bystanders should always stand well behind the animal's pectoral fins, and where possible behind the tail fin. Restrain the animal with one hand on top and behind the first dorsal fin, with the other hand on top and behind the second dorsal fin. Keeping hands behind the dorsal fins stops the hands from sliding forward towards the shark's mouth when it thrashes.
  • Be gentle – do not squash the shark's internal organs.
  • Return the animal to the water as soon as possible.
  • Avoid removing hooks unless preparations have been made in advance. Never remove hooks by hand. Use bolt cutters to remove the barb from the hook, and use pliers or other hook-removing devices to remove the hook.
  • Use rapidly degrading hooks.

More information