British Measured & Released Claim Quality

The SACGB have led the way in record recognition with the launch earlier this year of the British Measured & Released Record system and have justifiably received may positive messages from within the Sharking Community and beyond.  In spite of its success however, we have sadly been unable to process some claims due to inadequate evidence being submitted.

What has also become apparent is the difficulty in obtaining a photograph showing the entire length of the shark in sufficient detail for the tape measure to be read clearly.  We hope soon to be able to offer a tape measure for sale which has larger type face which will help with this.

The type of claim which we have been unable to process is best explained using two claim submission examples:

  1. A good sized Blue was caught on light line by a committee member earlier in the season. The skipper of the boat is a long time SACGB member as were some other anglers on the boat. The fish was brought on board, unhooked, measured and a photograph of the angler with the shark was taken. It was then released. There were no photographs of the measurements taken.
  2. A large Blue was caught, again on light gear, by a skipper. The fish was brought on board, unhooked, and measurement photographs taken before releasing it. The full-length picture of the fish had no tape shown on it. Due to the length of the fish if this had been done we don’t believe we could have read the tape. With the restricted space on a boat, a picture of this quality may not have been possible anyway. The length, nose to tip and fork of tail pictures showed the tape at the nose of the fish only. The girth picture showed where the tape met but there wasn’t enough of the fish in view to confirm it was where it should have been in relation to the dorsal fin and in place around the girth. This fish was also witnessed by a member of the SACGB.

We need to be very clear here, in that the SACGB are not in any way doubting the word of any of those involved in either of the two examples.  However, the committee and, we believe the members of the club wish to maintain the absolute highest standards when awarding a record and the evidence must be such that’s it beyond all doubt that the dimensions claimed can be fully evidenced.

The best claim example we have seen so far was done using the video on a mobile. The video shows the tape at the fork of the tail and then tracks along the body slowly enough to confirm the tape hadn’t slipped until it reaches the nose. It then shows the tape being put around the sharks’ body, and correctly located in relation to the dorsal fin. Using video also evidences how the fish is being handled and in this case, it was clearly being liberally doused with salt water to protect skin and help manage body temperature.

With smaller sharks or if a suitable camera is available, picture evidence can be sufficient, especially if a large type tape is used. With larger sharks we would recommend video evidence going forward.

Having spoken to these claimants it’s encouraging to be able to report that the underlying reason in both cases was their desire to look after the shark’s welfare and return it as quickly as possible.

Another dimension which we need to consider is to be better planned for events like these. When a shark comes aboard it’s no good if that’s the time someone goes scrabbling around for a camera somewhere deep in their rucksack or to look for the measuring tape etc.

We have now amended the British Measured & Release Claim material to reflect this by adding in video evidence as an option.

The SACGB would like to thank the individuals in the above examples for allowing us to use their claims.   We and they, hope that by doing so we will receive better quality claim material going forward which will allow us to provide more recognition for success within the sport.