Fishermen land big shark off Swansea during Lake Macquarie Game Fishing Club competition

AFTER a two-hour battle off Swansea, a group of fishermen landed a 320-kilogram shark during the Lake Macquarie Game Fishing Club competition.

An image of the fisherman, Ben, 25, with the shark was splashed across the media last week and it met with great concern on social media.

Debate sparked between recreational sport fisherman and environmentalist groups over the killing of the shark.

Environmentalist group the Humane Society International said it was appalled by the catch, which it said went against a worldwide movement to not remove sharks from the ocean.

The president of the NSW Game Fishing Association argued that the sport was often misunderstood and catches provided valuable field data for the NSW Department of Fisheries and scientists with Queensland Shark Studies.

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