**One of the ten to possibly 15 large tiger sharks encountered at Batt Reef by JH and Ben Cropp last weekend. After following one of the tigers for some minutes, Ben filming with a remote camera, the shark suddenly turned and rammed the dinghy. The following pictures show what happened next, We were possibly saved by the local lads hunting turtles. With the huge shark, jaws locked for maybe five minutes, our small boat seemed like it would sink. It was the arrival of the local guys, responding to our shouts (and almost out of earshot) that possibly convinced the shark to release it’s grip**.
No video film was made. Camera was ’empty’. Ben is still crying. A print media exclusive it seemed but TV news have picked up shots from this web site.
Northern Queensland was full of crocs until the 1970’s when they became protected. The numbers are high again but nothing compared with the 1950’s when people like Louie Komsic (see story which follows) and especially the great Keith F Adams **(of Karrinyup, 6018 W.A.)** who shot crocs with both bullets and with movie film in the Gulf of Carpentaria. His two hour video and newly published book is worthy of the effort to chase both up.
Keith F Adams was more than a crocodile hunter. His documentary film \Northern Safari\ thrilled millions in cinemas where it was distributed for more than ten years world wide via 16mm showings. At one stage it was the most profitable Australian film ever made but totally shunned by mainstream movie historians possibly because it was not released on conventional 35mm format, and Keith was a self-taught film maker and independant distributor. The first man to make an Australian success with wildlife filming. Sadly neglected with official recognition.
Predator fish which feed upon smaller fish and occasionally wind-up becoming toxic for humans with \ciguaterra\ poisoning. Ciguaterra is tastless and without a colour and occurs in tropical fish. Usually it is the big makerel which are most likely to be contaminated. The symptoms of poisoning are not too good. Many doctors would not recognise the problem and may therefore treat you for something else, especially if you are on holiday in the north and return home sick. If you eat makerel and feel ‘crook’ afterwards, tell the doc this information.
Worse still, the poison can slowly over years, accumulate until it tips the balance. It can then keep re-occuring if you eat additional contaminated fish or even chicken that has been fed contaminated fish-meal pellets! (According to a friend who suspects this happened to him).
Other fish are on the danger list too. Barracuda, red bass, chinaman fish are all suspects as is the big blue spot coral trout especially. Beware any seafood listed vaguely, i.e. “reef fillets” “mixed fillets”. This is the retailer being ‘shifty’.
Otherwise, grilled spanish makerel is one of the most common fish favourites in many parts of the tropical Pacific. Just watch out for those very big fish of 15kg or more, especiallly in southern Queensland near Hervey Bay. Pictured is a small verion.