The guy who caught the shark simply made an honest mistake. It was probably the biggest fish he's ever caught and got caught up in the excitment. Unless it's common to catch great whites on the piers any fisherman can make that mistake and bring the fish up to take a peek at it. Wouldn't you want to take a peek at what you reeled in before you cut the line? Isn't that how records are broken as well since most of those larger fish fight it out for hours before they are brought in. I agree he made a mistake and maybe even fine him but sending him to jail and ruining his life as well as his family's life is just wrong. Is an animal's life really more important than a human's?
I didn't even realize that Great Whites are a protected species. I agree somewhat that has souldn't be punished so harshly. However, he she have known the laws better and moreover it would seem hard to me to mistake a great white from many other species of shark.. They have an unique look to them. In addition there aggressiveness is also a hazard to the other people on the pier. If that this was pulled onto the pier and still kicking I am sure it wouldn't be a happy camper.
How many of us could look at any immmature fish and say "Why that my friend is a _______!" Many fish look different when young and can be easy to confuse before mature chatacteristics form. Could you look at a small(yes 200lbs is small for a great white ) and know what it is? I couldn't. And why would you expect to catch a great white from a pier? THAT sounds like an urban legend. I think any jail time is compleatly inapproriate.
(And when are we going to get a spell checker for this board?)
That is unbelieveable. Had to be a freak accident. I mean it doesn't say if the guy took it home and ate it or what. If he brought it to the game commission right away then I don't think there should be any serious penalty. I mean what was he supposed to do..the thing was probably dead by the time it came in right or too exausted to live. If he gets jail it is going to scare fisherman into cutting their lines if they have a big fish and have been fighting it too long. I mean way to big of a deal for such a freak incident. They should concentrate more on why the damn thing was that close to being caught rather than the fisherman just doing what he normally does with his piece of bait in the water. (steps off the soap box) Just my .02
Easy there...I don't think he has anything to worry about. First of all, he has not been charged. The marine commission said it is thinking of charging him with a misdemeanor which sounds like they might just be trying to send a message to the anglers as a reminder of the law. Not that thats fair to the guy who caught it, but then when he goes to court the judge would most likely throw out the case or slap his wrist. All the same...she is right, if you don't know what you've caught, toss it back. That law is for poachers...not the occasional angler who get's lucky...or should I say "unlucky."
Letting this angler off with no punishment would open the door for anyone catching a protected species to get off with the "I didn't know" defence. It doesn't work with the IRS (so I'm told), the police (so I found out) or my wife (who I love dearly), so why should it work in this situation?
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