Fisherman fined £8,550 for killing great white shark in South Africa


Fisherman fined £8,550 for killing great white shark in South Africa

A fisherman has been convicted of killing a great white shark following a landmark decision by a South African court.

Leon Bekker, of George, Western Cape, pleaded guilty to contravention of the Marine Living Resources Act, which includes attempting to kill, disturb or be in possession of a great white shark without a permit.

At the Mossel Bay Magistrates Court, Bekker was handed a fine of more than £8,550 (R120,000) or a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for five years.

The angler sealed his own fate when he smugly posed with his catch for a local newspaper.

The unprecedented case, which is thought to be the first of its kind in the world, is the only great white shark conviction in a South African court to date. It is the first country to impose legislation in protecting great white sharks.

Conservationists and animal rights groups have welcomed the ruling, and fisheries officials hope it will serve as a deterrent to other anglers with similar intentions, as well as help to preserve the wonderful creature.

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