Man fined for possessing shark jaws

Stock image.
Stock image.

A MAN has been fined $11,000 after he was found in possession of a set of white shark jaws.

The 50-year-old Landsdale man was found with the jaws after Police conducted a search of his home.

They were then handed over to Fisheries officers for investigation.

Joondalup Magistrates Court heard scientists had determined the jaws were most likely from a female white shark estimated to have been about 4.7 metres in length.

For possession of the jaws from a totally protected fish the man was fined $1500.

He was also issued an additional $5000 mandatory penalty and ordered to pay $4545 in costs.

The court was told there was no evidence the man took the fish and that he had admitted to receiving the jaws from a friend who was a fisherman.

Supervising Fisheries and Marine Officer Mark Kleeman said taking any of WA’s totally protected fish species would always be treated very seriously by compliance officers.

“Species don’t make it to this list unless there’s a significant risk, including fish populations being threatened or endangered,” Mr Kleeman said.

“White sharks have been protected throughout Australia for 20 years and remain listed as a vulnerable species.

“Historically, white shark jaws have sometimes been kept as trophies in private residences. However, as a totally protected species, this practice is no longer permitted.

“If a fisher accidentally catches a protected fish they must release it as quickly and carefully as possible to avoid harm to the fish.”

Mr Kleeman urged fishers who spot anyone doing the wrong thing to report it to FishWatch.

“Please don’t get directly involved,” he said.

“By reporting what you see, you will assist us in protecting WA’s fish resources for future generations and reports are treated with the strictest confidence.”