A South African man will be the first person, who will be sentenced for the murder of a great white shark. Leon Bekker was found guilty of violating the law on marine resources, according to which the murder and attempted murder of a great white shark without permission is punishable by law. The man will have to pay a fine of $13,700 and serve a year in prison with the suspended sentence of five years.
South Africa became the first country to legally protect the great white shark. The state has been protecting the fish since 1991, and no one is allowed to even try to catch it, says Mail Online. However, South African fishermen, when catching a great white, always claim that they caught the fish incidentally and that they were trying to catch completely different fish.
Bekker admitted during the trial that he had no idea what kind of shark he had hooked while fishing. However, he pleaded guilty not to waste court time.
A biologist, who spoke at court as a shark expert, said that law enforcement officials were usually very reluctant to initiate such cases.
"They know how difficult it is to prove that the fisherman wanted to catch a great white shark. An investigator on the case said that the fishermen, who were fishing in the places of congregation of great white sharks, were supposed to be prepared for the fact that they would catch one of them," he said.