Great White Shark shot and killed. Fisherman convicted in Court
A commercial fisherman and fishing boat member was convicted in Santa Cruz Superior Court for the killing of a Great White Shark to a $ 5,000 fine and conditional probation for two years. The Court also ordered the rifle used, a .22 caliber firearm, destroyed.
Vinh Pham, 41, of San Jose used his rifle to shoot the Great White Shark because the Great White was swimming close to nets hanging over the board of the fishing vessel.
The investigation into the incident started in summer 2018 after the White Shark washed up on Beer Can Beach in Aptos.
Aptos is an unincorporated town in Santa Cruz County with a population of about 25,000. The town promotes itself as between the ‘Redwoods and the Seacliff State Beach.’
The investigation into the death of the Great White Shark included a necropsy that yielded the bullets that killed the animal. A comparison between the bullets retrieved from the body of the shark and the bullets stored with the rifle established that the rifle was used to fire the lethal shots.
Shortly after the shark washed up ashore, CDFW wildlife officers received a tip over the secure and anonymous We-Tip line of CDFW that a member of a commercial fishing boat may have killed the shark.
An investigative inspection of the fishing boat found many violations, including possession of undersized halibut, missing landing receipts, failure to weigh the commercial catch and turning in the receipts. CDFW officers also found the .22 rifle used in the shooting hidden in Pham’s truck.
Faced with overwhelming evidence, Pham confessed shooting the shark because it swam near the wings of his net. His confession ultimately led to his conviction. This incident shows once again that using tip411 (847411), an internet reporting tool, and the use of (888)334-2258 are very effective tools for reporting violations of wildlife laws and regulations.
Details about the tool and the reporting rules are here.