A Glenbrook 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.
It was alleged that the shark was seen in the area and was actively pursued by a boat.
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 on Friday February 7.
Clark was fined $8000 and ordered to pay costs of $8865 for professional costs and $1238 for witness costs.
‘’Everyone needs to know the rules, and ignorance is no excuse.
“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.
“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.”
“They are listed as a threatened species in NSW which means it is illegal to catch and keep, buy, sell, possess or harm great white sharks and their habitats,” Mr Tritton said.
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.
– Sydney Morning Herald