SYDNEY: An Australian man has been fined Aus$18,000 ($16,000) for killing a juvenile great white shark by ramming it with his boat then beating it to death with a metal pole, officials said on Thursday.
Great whites are a protected species in Australia and it is illegal to catch, keep, buy, sell, possess or harm them.
The New South Wales (NSW) Department of Primary Industries took action against the man, identified in media reports as Justin Clark, 40, after witnesses told fisheries officers he used his boat to herd the shark into shallow water in Sussex Inlet, south of Sydney, in January 2012.
Wollongong Local Court heard that he deliberately used his boat to ram the shark several times, with its main injuries caused by the propeller.
A rope was tied to the shark’s tail and it was towed back to a boat ramp, where the department said it was beaten to death with a metal pole.
Clark was fined a total of Aus$18,103, with Department of Primary Industries director of fisheries compliance Glenn Tritton saying it was a warning to others.
“This conviction sends a strong message that harming of our threatened species will not be tolerated—everyone needs to know the rules and ignorance is no excuse,” he said.