PETA Awards Hero Scuba Diver Who Saved Shark Tangled in Fishing Gear

Posted on by Laura Weyman-Jones

Not all heroes wear capes –some wear wetsuits!

While scuba diving near Byron Bay, Inaki Aizpun noticed that a discarded fishing net was stuck between the jaws of a grey nurse shark.

Instead of swimming away from the animal, Aizpun did something compassionate. Knowing that the shark would face a slow and painful death if the net weren’t removed, he swam calmly alongside the animal and worked to take it out.

Another Victim of the Fishing Industry

If it weren’t for Aizpun, this shark would have become another victim of the fishing industry. Some 640,000 tonnes of discarded fishing tackle – also known as “ghost gear” – enter the world’s oceans every year and can mutilate and kill marine animals long afterwards.

Australia’s river animals are also in danger of being killed by discarded or forgotten fishing equipment. Recently, seven dead platypuses were pulled out of a river near Melbourne after they drowned in a fishing net.

For his bravery and quick thinking, Aizpun has received a Hero to Animals Award from PETA. We hope the compassion he showed inspires others to come to the aid of animals in need.

You Can Be a Hero, Too

You don’t have to pull fishing nets from the jaws of sharks to be a hero. We can all help animals by choosing to leave them off our plates, which not only prevents their slaughter but also reduces the use of fishing gear, which is a major killer of marine life.

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