Report by Captain Locky Maclean, Steve Irwin
The Steve Irwin recovered a FAD (Fish Aggregating Device) 400nm southeast of the Galapagos Islands World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve.
The device was composed of a PVC and bamboo raft 3m x 2m wrapped in a black fishing net, a net 12 meters in length hanging underneath with a dead 1.4 m juvenile Galapagos Shark (Carcharinus galapagensis) tied inside as bait.
This species of shark is listed as near threatened by the World Conservation Union, as they have a slow reproductive rate and are under heavy fishing pressure.
The raft was attached to a position indicating satellite transponder manufactured by MDS Marine Instruments, the serial number of which has been recorded.
The presence of frigate birds, lacking the ability to take-off from the water, suggests the raft may have been set near the Galapagos islands and drifted further offshore.
The crew of the Steve Irwin have recovered the equipment, deactivated the transponder, dismantled the raft, hauled in the net, and committed the shark to the deep.
photos: Barbara Veiga / Sea Shepherd