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A WIRDLIFE group says the waterman hatchets and sets it himself to find underwater food to survive. Nick Slater, 22, was killed by a shark outside a Northern Territory boating resort on Thursday. His family has asked for compassion as they mourn the loved one. His fisherman father Rick told the Seven Network the more time passes, the more sharks bite out the body of a new fisherman. They suspected they might be sharks but as local man Sam Baillie noted, it was after midnight when Mr Slater was found in the water. It was around this time the group Steve-In-Parwa, based at Burleigh Heads about 80 kilometres south of Darwin, spotted some sharks around a bait ball about a kilometre from where Mr Slater was attacked. Steve-In-Parwa said he nudged and joined his two team members to follow the sharks. “They’ve already set the bait out and as we say it took a while and I don’t think they even went past the bait ball,” he said. Mr Baillie told 7 News the object was a type of bait ball – not a large piece of meat. Nine sharks were sighted in that area and one was much larger, about 20 centimetres, then later the same size. He did not believe the reason for the sightings was a conflict between the shark, the bait ball or possibly a disturbance in the waters. Mr Baillie’s team caught 18 to 20 sharks last year. “We have been catching plenty of sharks, but obviously that’s not doing our work any good,” he said. “We are targeting our target zone, not just fishermen fishing for sharks. “I would not give them the silver bullet but it takes two to tango.” Geoff Morcom, who teaches kangaroo swimming at Burleigh Heads, said it was common to catch more than a handful of sharks in a day. “It happens for different reasons,” he said. The last time the Burleigh Heads community lost someone to a shark attack was in 2001 when Stephanie Powell was attacked and killed by a great white that killed her dog Justine. Mr Morcom told the Seven Network he believed locals were socialising the sharks, not feeding them. “People do feed sharks. It is an accepted part of living,” he said. “When you see a boat out there boating, everyone is familiar with the world around them and boating does not seem to be a dangerous activity.” He also said he expected many people to watch for sightings of sharks, some had been seen within range of Mr Slater’s boat. “The sharks are getting fed on by the urchins,” he said. “That’s a toxic situation. “These were clearly lurking for some time.”

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