Social Media Claim

Shark photo with fishy details hooks social media users

A Facebook post from January 16 claims a 450kg bull shark was caught at Raymond Terrace, near Newcastle, NSW.

The Statement

Claiming the catch of the day and the tale that goes with it is an enjoyable part of fishing folklore. In the era of social media, the tradition of claiming bragging rights becomes more problematic.

A Facebook post by an Australian user from January 16, 2020 shows a photo of a man grabbing the tail of a shark at a boat ramp. Accompanying the image is the caption, “Bull caught at Raymond terrace last night 450kg happy wake boarding”.

The post has been shared more than 930 times and attracted more than 800 comments and more than 70 reactions.

A Facebook group, Yep I’m On Fishing, alerted users that the photo was from 2018 and the shark was found at Pinkenba, Queensland.

The Analysis

The caption on the photo in the Facebook post claims the shark was caught at Raymond Terrace, near Newcastle, NSW on January 16, 2020. AAP FactCheck conducted a reverse image search and found the picture was posted on the social media site Reddit by Sammyiwas on January 6, 2018 with the title, “Bull shark caught in Brisbane River Australia”.

A Facebook group, Yep I’m On Fishing, alerted Facebook users to the origin of the photo on January 17 in the comments section. “There's a photo getting around of a Bull stating it was caught at Raymond Terrace last night.. Just so people know ..this shark was actually washed up on Pinkenba boat ramp QLD in 2018.”

Yep I’m On Fishing posted a follow-up shark image by the group, Brisbane River Fishing, from January 3, 2018. The picture carries the caption, “Just got sent this photo of a bull shark that washed up on Pinkenba boat ramp on the Brisbane River”. Pinkenba is a suburb on the north side of the Brisbane River, northeast of Brisbane.

On January 2, 2018 both shark photos were posted by the Facebook page, Off-road with Nick & Mik. The page also added a note about the circumstances surrounding the image after receiving messages that the legitimacy of the catch was a bit “fishy”.

“Not sure if old mate caught the shark and released it unsuccessfully, or it simply washed up on the boat ramp,” Off-road with Nick & Mik posted.

The Verdict

Based on the evidence, AAP FactCheck found the Facebook post to be false. A reverse image search revealed the picture dated back to January 2018 not January 2020 and the location was not Raymond Terrace in NSW but Pinkenba in Queensland.

  • False - The primary claim of the content is factually inaccurate.

First published January 17, 2020, 18:19 AEDT