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Man Fined $2,000 For Killing Endangered Grey Nurse Shark

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A 51-year-old Lake Munmorah man who killed an endangered grey nurse shark has been fined $2,000, Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald said today.

Mr Macdonald said the recreational fisher pleaded guilty in Forster Local Court last week to the offence, which occurred two years ago.

"The 1.7-metre long female shark was found by DPI Fisheries Officers in an icebox in the man’s boat on June 25, 2006," Mr Macdonald said.

"The shark was taken at Halliday’s Point - about 15 kilometres from The Pinnacle off Forster, an important habitat site for grey nurse sharks.

"The shark appeared to have had its throat cut.

"Grey nurse sharks are endangered and protected from all forms of fishing, so this is a serious matter.

"Any fisher who catches one of these harmless sharks is obliged to release it or face prosecution.

"Fishers have a responsibility to be able to identify their catch, particularly when it comes to endangered species. If you’re in any doubt about what you’ve caught, let the fish go.

"Grey Nurses are placid sharks, not aggressive to humans and a pleasure for divers to watch in the water, helping to boost tourism in the area."

Grey nurse sharks were first declared threatened and protected from fishing in NSW in 1984. They were listed as endangered in 2001.

"The State Government also declared 10 critical habitat areas along the NSW coast in 2002 that are subject to special fishing and diving rules.

"Anyone who sees a person harming a grey nurse shark should contact their nearest NSW DPI Fisheries office or Fishers Watch on 1800 043 536," Mr Macdonald said.

Edited by Mariner 31
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