Gill Netted Croc
Not a great picture of a Nile crocodile but wanted to show one of the battles we are fighting to protect this and other species. Gill netting is illiegal in South Africa waters - but....nets are brought across the border from other countries and strung in the waterways. This was actually taken in a nature reserve and we ended up spending part of our day just ripping out gill nets - 100s and 100s of feet of net.....releasing the fish that were alive. Unfortunately, the fish in the net are an attraction to the crocs that sometimes get caught themselves....we spent a good hr trying to catch this one so we could work on it and remove the net.....yes carefully but we have done this before....but we could not catch it. It likely had swallowed a fair amount of net which is basically a death sentence. Frustrating as this croc was likely 20-30 years old and will be killed by a $10 net. We reported our finds and the next day another group of biologists from the state nature conservancy service came out and removed 100s of yards of nets.....sadly new ones are likely back in the water this week - just a few weeks after we worked there. A never ending battle - and this is not 'because there are poor people that need food' - this is greed, they sell these fish if they can - locals and fishermen are allowed to fish for food in these areas, just not using gill nets.