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Oregon angler fined for keeping great white shark

October 6, 2009 | 11:03 am


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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