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Sidon 'shark hunter' catches 12 off Lebanon coast

  • Fisherman hold the shark for display at the Sidon fish market on Saturday, May 3, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Zaatari)

SIDON, Lebanon: A Sidon fisherman, now dubbed the 'shark hunter', has caught 12 sharks over the past two weeks at a secret spot off the coast just south of Beirut.

“The first time I caught one I was on the fishing boat with my three children when suddenly the boat started shaking and I immediately threw the net,” Mahmoud Wehbi told The Daily Star at the dock where he proudly weighed and measured his “big catch.”

Since then, Wehbi sought to sail to the same location near the Rmeileh coast, south of Beirut, to test his luck in the waters. So far, he has caught 12 sharks in 15 days, he said.

Several sharks weighed an estimated 250 kilos each and the others were a little above 100 kilos.

Gloating over his catch, Wehbi refrained from specifying the exact location and preferred to keep it a secret, clearly relishing his new fame.

“These types of sharks, called dogs of the sea in Lebanon, travel in packs. Each family is comprised of five sharks and the parents always weigh the most,” Wehbi said.

Standing at the fish market in Sidon, Wehbi’s stand was the most crowded with people buying one kilogram of the white meat for LL5,000 to prepare fish kibbeh, a popular local dish.

“I will sell the rest to restaurants in Beirut,” Wehbi said.

Although these types of sharks do not live in Lebanese waters, Wehbi said, adding that they usually travel along giant ships from the Suez Canal in the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, eating what the ship dumps into the ocean.

 
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