Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fisherman's task: Catch island paradise's killer shark

Krzysztof Galica / NBC News
Daryl Green, a fisherman known in the Seychelles as "the guy who can catch anything" on the trail of the killer shark.
By Stephanie Gosk, NBC News Correspondent
PRASLIN ISLAND, SEYCHELLES – The sun wouldn’t be up for another hour when we met Daryl Green, a fisherman known on this island as “the guy who can catch anything.” Green always gets up early, but for the last few days he has had something other than the day’s catch on his mind.

Green invited us into his home for tea and explained in detail how he was trying to catch the killer shark that is terrorizing the Seychelles. In just over two weeks, two tourists have been killed off the island of Paslin, where Green has lived and fished for more than 50 years.
The latest victim was Ian Redmond, a 30-year-old IT specialist from England, who was here on his dream honeymoon. Redmond was attacked just 60 feet off shore while snorkeling. By the time locals brought him to the beach in a small boat it was too late. His new wife Gemma held his hand as he died on the beach.

His death and that of a French tourist on the same beach in less than a month has shocked this island. Shark attacks are supposed to happen in places like the United States, Australia or South Africa locals often say.  The last fatal attack in the Seychelles was over 40 years ago.

But there are definitely sharks here. On his coffee table where most people would place a coaster or a photo, Green has a bowl of shark teeth. With the expert skill of someone who has done the demonstration many times before, he showed my camera man and me exactly how easily and cleanly a shark tooth slices through paper “like a razor.”

“Imagine 400 of those, ripping into you, each moving individually,” he graphically explained. “When I look at a shark, I see a killing machine.”
Krzysztof Galica / NBC News
Daryl Green pulls on some lines he set out hoping to snare the killer shark.
The demonstration was followed by a photo display of all the sharks Green has caught including several very large bull sharks, the kind he believes is responsible for the two attacks.

For the last three days, Green’s son has gone out at night just off the beach where Redmond was attacked and baited a 400-yard fishing line with 30 hooks.  In the morning, the seasoned fisherman heads out on his 20-foot boat and pulls the line by hand hoping one of the hooks will have the shark that he thinks could be as big as 18 feet long.

There is actually no proof that the same shark is responsible for both deaths, but that is the widely held opinion here, and the Navy and local fishermen have begun a dedicated effort to the track the shark down. The government has even called in shark experts from South Africa to help lead the search.

Officials have been criticized for not adequately warning visitors earlier, but now the beaches are closed and the shark hunt is on, according to Seychelles High Commissioner Patrick Pillay.
Krzysztof Galica / NBC News
Daryl Green's son pulls in a shark - but unfortunately it's not the "big one" - just a Guitar shark.

“There’s now a very strong coordinated and concerted effort by various agencies and people to try and do everything within their powers to locate the shark in the area and try to catch it,” he said.
Green isn’t overly confident that he will be the one to catch the shark but he said, “the shark’s chance of making it out alive are nil.”

As we cruised along in his boat Friday morning gliding through turquoise waters and winding through small islands, it was hard to imagine that a place this beautiful and idyllic could have been the scene of such horror only a few days ago.  
Just off Anse Lazio beach, where both tourists lost their lives, Green slowly and methodically pulled up the line and then he stopped.  There was something caught on one of the hooks.  He looked up at me and said,


“we got one.”
Krzysztof Galica / NBC News
The Seychelles fisherman, Daryl Green, searching for the killer shark caught something Friday, but unfortunately it was just a guitar shark - and not the 'big one.'


Anonymous said...

Job well done Mr Gacila for acting where Pp could not.This was also what we said should be the approach in order to catch the shark,isn't Psssedoff?

Jeanne D'Arc

Anonymous said...

Correction-Mr Galica

Anonymous said...

We are working in full cooperation with fishermen on Praslin to catch the attacking shark.

Hotels have rallied to the call.

Please let the fishermen do their work now.

We call on government to do what they can as well.

We will sort out the back room issues in due course.

Priority now, is to catch the shark. Any one of us, or our children, could have been a victim.

Seselwa Unite!

Sesel Pou Seselwa!

Christopher Gill

Anonymous said...

Parti Lepep thought it could give great white sharks the same treatment it gives to the opposition - ignore them and they will go away.

Anonymous said...

Articles like those posted on this blog will create much worse public opinion worldwide than the attacks themselves. Everyone suddenly became a shark expert and of course knows that blind hunting is the only solution. Reasons or backgrounds are not of interest. The pride about beauty of seychelles nature, including marine life and therefore also sharks, suddenly has disappeared. Instead very weird conclusions (see this blog) are being made. It has to be a migratory shark, cause local sharks wouldn't do such bad things, would they. And in regards to public opinion you should have a look at this link:
But it seems Mr Gill knows best; he is a racine after all, right?

Anonymous said...

Local sharks have done most damage to this country. On land at any rate. With help from migratory ones.

Anonymous said...

Seychelles to protect sharks from illegal fin fishers