Australian man fined for beating baby shark to death with a metal pole

Justin Adam Clark was found guilty of a threatening a harmed species

An Australian man who brutally killed a juvenile Great White shark by striking it with his boat and hitting it over the head repeatedly with a metal pole has been fined $18,000 (£9682). 

Justin Adam Clark, 40, was found guilty of threatening a harmed species after chasing a young shark and deliberately herding it into shallow waters south of Sydney by hitting it with the boat, leaving the animal injured by its propeller.

Wollongong Local Court heard that Clark then tied a rope around the shark's tail and dragged it back to a boat ramp, where he hit it repeatedly with a metal pole.

Glenn Tritton, of the Department of Primary, said the fines should serve as a warning to anyone engaged in similar behaviour.

 "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.

"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."

"It is illegal to catch, keep, buy, sell, possess or harm them.

The conviction comes shortly after the first shark was legally killed under a controversial culling policy in Western Australia, despite fierce opposition from environmental activists.

The first ‘kill zones’ were set down around Old Dunsborough beach last month, with the drum lines holding huge hooks covered with bait being laid down by a private contractor. More than 30 are thought to have been caught in the drum lines to date.

The barriers are to be set one km of the coast in Perth and the south West and are used to catch great white, tiger and bull sharks bigger than 3m in length. 

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