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.