AN investigation has been launched into the killing of a grey nurse shark at a Coffs Harbour beach.
Solitary Islands Marine Park officers said the female grey nurse was shot by spear fishermen when it approached them at Gallows, off Corambirra Point, a popular surfing spot, just before 7am yesterday. "Apparently one of the men discharged a spear which hit the shark," Solitary Islands Marine Park manager Nicola Johnstone said.
"The men left the water straight away and reported the incident to the Marine Parks Authority and have been very helpful with investigaitons," she said.
The shark, believed to be a female, was about 2.5 metres long and will be transported to the Department of Primary Industries Fisheries research centre at Port Stephens, where an autopsy will be conducted to gain further information about the species.
"The spear fishermen were in an area where spearfishing is permitted," Ms Johnstone said.
"Grey nurse sharks are frequent visitors to the Solitary Islands Marine Park and there are two areas set aside as grey nurse critical habitats."
"They prefer sandy or gravelly gutters."
Ms Johnstone said grey nurse sharks were an endangered species.
"Investigations into this incident are continuing and a decision on whether further action will be taken depends on the outcome," she said.