Update: Great white shark caught and killed at Star Island Yacht Club Shark Tournament

A relatively small white shark was killed on Friday during the Star Island Yacht Club Shark Tournament.

In a follow-up to today’s earlier post regarding internet rumors of a white shark being illegally caught and killed at the Star Island Yacht Club Shark Tournament, The East Hampton Press is reporting that a great white shark weighing between 300 and 400 lbs. (which would make it a relatively young white shark) was confiscated by the National Marine Fisheries Service after a participant in the Star Island Yacht Shark Tournament brought the shark in. (The great white shark has been a protected species in U.S. waters since 1997.) The article reports that the fisherman who caught the shark was neither fined nor arrested on the scene, according to Lesli Bales-Sherrod of the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement. However, he could face a civil charge at the conclusion of NOAA’s ongoing investigation of the event.

The East Hampton Press quoted Rich Janis, a manager of the shark tournament, as saying that the fisherman mistook the shark for another species. Janis went on to say that it was “an honest mistake” and noted that there was “no benefit” to the fisherman for bringing in the shark.

The information in the The East Hampton Press article is in stark contrast to the rumors that appeared on a few online angling forums, in which claims of an arrest, fines, boat seizure, and even a child endangerment charge were mentioned.


  1. John Willis says:

    Ridiculous! This would be the exact reason for catch, tag & release tournaments, Shark Free Marinas or ban Shark Tournaments all together. With those options now being promoted, this is not just an “honest mistake”, but a continuing lack of education and concern for a species being decimated for the sole purpose of some guy beating his chest. Sadly it seems that the good people of the Star Island Yacht Club could care less for the Oceans and Sharks.

  2. Linda Reese says:

    I do not understand the mindset of people that would kill such a threatened species for just plain sport. What do they do with the shark after the tournament? Not only should the person that caught the shark be penalized, the sponsors of the shark tournament should be too. “Sport killing” of every kind needs to stop. Humans can not keep taking, and taking, and taking and not expect to suffer the consiquences at the expense of our planet.

  3. George says:

    The arguments against “sport” tournaments aside, one would think that a “shark fisherman” would be able to discern a white shark from other shark species. NOAA has photos of the shark carcass, and even though it’s a small white shark, it has all the tell-tale characteristics of a white shark. I’ve seen multiple comments posted on some of the angling forums from shark fishermen who seem genuinely offended by the catch.

  4. Morgorn says:

    seriously how often does that happen, i have been doing this tournament for 15 years and that’s the first time i’ve seen some moron bring in a “mistaken species”. and how about quit complaining about the “sport killing” and go cry to the draggers who rape the oceans. not the people who catch 1 shark and most likely will not let the meat go to waste.

  5. Mike says:

    It was an unfortunate MISTAKE!!!!!! The owner of the boat was a novice and the similarities of a small great white & a large MAKO are numerous. When its in the water by the side of the boat there is a great deal of pressure to make the I.D. correctly for a novice . The owner thought he had a mako & only a short time to prevent a lose being most fish are lost at the boat. He was not a licensed charter captain.Please dont let an honest mistake by a novice cloud the views of the public…….!!!!!

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