By now, we’re all aware of the latest shark attack in Queensland.
The first victim was a 40-year-old man who was dragged under the water and killed, and his body was found three days later in the sea.
His family, however, are still awaiting word on whether he was bitten by a crocodile or not.
We spoke to Queensland fisherman Tom Fisher, who has been fishing in the area for more than 50 years.
He told us about the early days, and how he began catching fish on his boat, the Fisher King.
He said he caught a lot of shark fish on the boat.
“I caught a few fish in the first couple of weeks.
I’ve been fishing since about 1950,” Fisher told us.
Fisher said that the fishing industry was thriving, with thousands of people going out to catch fish.
“In the 1960s the fishing season was a lot longer, and you could fish all the time, but there were no nets and you had to come in with your own nets, and that was hard,” Fisher said.
“You didn’t know how many sharks you’d catch and what kind of fish they were.”
Fisher continued to catch sharks for the rest of his life, until he died of a stroke in 1991.
But it was his second shark attack, in 1992, that really made him realise that sharks were the true threats to the marine environment in Queensland, and to the local community.
“At that time there was a very big fire in the harbour area of the town, and the fishing was going on in the night,” Fisher explained.
“A big fire, a massive fire, and people were going out into the harbour, fishing for fish and catching sharks.”
He said that it took him about 30 minutes to get his boat into the sea to try and catch some fish.
But his catch was cut short by a shark, which quickly bit him in the mouth.
“They were very fast and they bit my throat very quickly,” Fisher recalled.
Fishing for fish, he said, was “a really dangerous job” and it was one of the hardest jobs he had ever done.
He added that the first time he heard about the shark attack had happened, he was “horrified”.
“There was a guy I worked with on a boat and he was talking to another guy about this fire, the fire that had killed a lot, and he told me that he had caught a shark,” Fisher remembered.
“He was trying to warn the guy to leave the area, but they wouldn’t leave, they would fight with each other.
So I just told him, ‘If you can’t go away, I will take you to the hospital.'”
He said the man said he had heard of people dying of the shark bite, but it was not uncommon.
“It was so frightening, I went to the emergency room to see what was going wrong,” Fisher recounted.
“There were so many people, and I saw that there were people who had been bitten, but not dead.”
He told The Courier-Mail he knew that if he could catch a fish he would never have to worry about a shark bite again.
He explained how he was always thinking of his family and his fishing partners, and if he had to die to protect them, that would be the last thing he would ever do.