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Oregon angler fined for keeping great white shark


An angler has been fined for the incidental catch of a 12-foot great white shark near Depoe Bay, Ore., in early August.

Following an Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division investigation, Warren, Ore., resident Jason W. Robinson has been cited for the illegal possession of a white shark and fined $299 for the noncriminal violation. Under both federal and state statutes, taking or possessing a white shark is unlawful.

Robinson told a Fish & Wildlife Division officer at the dock that he had been out on a sportfishing boat and that the shark had become entangled in their crab gear and brought to the surface when they pulled in the pots.

"Our investigation indicated there was no obvious self-initiated attempt by Mr. Robinson to contact any authorities after he caught the shark before bringing it to the port," Capt. Walt Markee, director of the Fish & Wildlife Division, said in a news release. "If our trooper wasn't at the right place at the right time, then we believe he would have unlawfully kept the shark for his own personal interests."

The carcass of the already-gutted shark was confiscated and released to the Hatfield Marine Science Center at Oregon State University, where biologists performed a necropsy last week.

While it was an accidental catch, according to the angler, the small monetary fine doesn't seem much of a deterrent to others and left me wondering if the investigation cost more to conduct than the fine amount was.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo courtesy of Oregon State Police

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Comments (29)

$299? Is that like pocket money or something? What a ludicrousy is that? This example does make smuggling a great white worth trying. Shame.

To the person who claims to know crabbing but doesn't understand how a shark got caught up in a trap: I weave nets and make harnesses for crab traps and pots. It wouldn't be hard for a shark to get caught up in a harness and drown. Great White sharks MUST move to breathe (the only way that they can pass water over their gills is by moving forward through the water) and if it became entangled in the harness, it would no longer move and drown within a few minutes. His story is borne out by the rope marks on the fish (and not just the ones on its tail by which it was dragged).

To the person wondering why it's wrong: It's against the law to take or possess Great White sharks. They are endangered. It is plainly stated in the Oregon sport fishing regulations and the fisherman should have known to contact ODFW or OSP (Oregon State Police) as soon as possible to avoid being fined for the accidental death of the shark.

And to the people who think that sharks are dangerous and should all be killed: C'mon, people... that's just stupid. The chances of getting attacked by a shark are VERY slim (think struck-by-lightning slim). That's like saying that all dogs should be killed because they are dangerous. (By the way, you stand a greater chance of being bitten by a dog than a shark...)

You'd think if he caught it intentionally, there'd be a whopping hook sticking out of it's mouth...or at least the evidence of one.
On the other hand, must have been crowded in that crab pot.


Have you tried swimming off the coast of Oregon for any reasons? You're knowledge about sharks, their declining numbers and our recreation is pretty subpar.......

Hell yeah, I'd like to catch a great white shark on rod and reel, and at those prices I can afford to! Book me a ticket to Oregon, it's on!

Joke that is what we humans are to kill something that did not harm us. We go to its house and kill it wow! $299.00 is that all!

I can not wait until we collapse the whole environment and it kills all humans. We are a plague.

Our stupid governments pass a lot of animal-lover laws while there are riots in the ghettoes.

People first!

Why is this not OK?

Isn't this seafood?

That's about $25 a linear foot.

Anyone know how much Jaws here weighed?

He probably would have gotten more than that fine amount on the fish market.

But I agree, this was a waste of LEO money and activity.

That fine is a joke. Its cheaper than the fine I received for fishing (not catching) for stealhead in CA with a barbed hook on an egg pattern fly.

These alpha predators deserve better protection.

Depoe Bay REPRESENT!!!!!

How do you "accidently" catch a great white shark?

To Emily Rosson:
Thank him for killing something that in all likely hood would never attack someone?
How many people do you think get attacked by sharks each year?

Come on, I'm waiting....

Still waiting....

It is not his fault that the shark got caught in his fishing gear. And if you ask me he did a favor by getting that shark out of the ocean. Sharks are very dangerous to humans and especially great white sharks. Now I am not saying that is good killing a shark I just think all sharks should be reloacted to a special beach that is closed of to the rest of the world. Sharks should not be in the same waters as us. When your loved one gets killed by one then you will agree with me.

Thank you.

That's probably the most awesome thing you could ever be fined for! I would frame that ciation and hang it in my home or office. I see a bunch of people whining and claiming that the guy "killed" the animal. Yet, Mr. Jaws got caught up in HIS gear. If that happened to you, would you stick YOUR arms in there to jiggle him loose? How exactly do you free a freaking Great White?! I'm sure you would be thinking much differently in close proximity to those teeth.

First of all - if you believe this dude accidentally caught this shark crabbing then you will probably believe there's cheese on the moon. If you have ever been crabbing then you would realize that accidentally catching a shark with crab gear would seem exceedingly difficult. Sort of like catching a seal that grabs your fish when you're reeling it in - you might hook it accidentally but you're never reeling it in, never. Dudes a liar

Anyway that fine is probably issued about once a never so thats probably why its soo low- they probably made it in the 70's.

Yes Kelly there should never be any investigations if they end up costing more than the fine - great point.

At least now they won't have to close the beaches for summer vacation

Another example of law enforcement gone wild. You have all those officials and patrol boats, how are you going to pay for them? Fine people every chance you get!
Captain Markee makes no mention as to whether Robinson even knew he had to report that a great white got tangled up in his crab gear.
What if the body of a great white washed up on the shore and Robinson took it to get it stuffed? Is that illegal if not reported?

thats a awful shark... wat did they do to it

Yes he took such a magnificent creature from its habitat but he also made it safer to swim with just one more shark gone. Yes people should be mad at him but yet they should also thank him.

I'm glad to see that he wasn't fined excessively for accidentally killing that shark.

It's not exactly HIS fault that the shark tangled itself in his crab trap harness and drowned... it IS his fault that he didn't contact the authorities immediately... and that is, ultimately, where he went wrong. Would he have contacted ODFW, OSP, or the Coast Guard immediately, I doubt that he would have received a fine.

Apparently many of the people who read this article have no idea how the guy wound up with the shark and are too busy being indignant to find out.

Keep his truck and boat, he won't do it again.

Where is the frickin' laser beam on it's head?

People are idiots, they are attracted to possess as trophy's what they fear most. What a joke of a fine for killing such a magnificent animal.



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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.