$20,000 Fine For Death Of Shark

$20,000 Fine For Death Of SharkThe Sydney Morning Herald Reported: A Sydney man who herded a great white shark into shallow waters with his boat before it was bludgeoned on the head with a metal pole has been ordered to pay almost $20,000. Just days after thousands of people gathered across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to protest against Western Australia’s shark cull, Justin Adam Clark, 40, of Glenbrook, was found guilty of harming a threatened species.

Clark used his boat to hit the juvenile shark a number of times, slashing it with the propeller, at Sussex Inlet near Jervis Bay in January 2012.

A second vessel towed the shark to a boat ramp before it was bashed on the head several times with a metal pole, Wollongong Local Court was told.

Clark was last week fined $8000 and ordered to pay costs of more than $10,000.

“This conviction sends a strong message that harming of our threatened species will not be tolerated,” Department of Primary Industries fisheries compliance director Glenn Tritton said in a statement.

”Everyone needs to know the rules, and ignorance is no excuse.

“Great white sharks are found along the NSW coastline and, as apex predators at the top of the food chain, they play an important role in marine ecosystems.”

The master of the boat that towed the shark admitted harming a threatened species and was given a six-month good behaviour bond.

Great white sharks are protected in Australian waters and are listed as a threatened species in NSW. It is illegal to catch, keep, buy, sell, possess or harm them.

Western Australia’s contentious shark culling program began last month with federal government approval.

The scheme has drawn the ire of conservationists the world over and attracted international media attention.