Two people will appear before the Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission accused of killing a tiger shark that was dragged up the Chassahowitzka River in Citrus County over the weekend.
According to the FWC website, the shark is a saltwater species that is prohibited “from all harvest, possession, landing, purchase, sale or exchange.”
Several Florida springs Facebook groups started circulating the photos and the FWC was notified of the abuse. Some spring visitors posed for photos with the dead fish as did the people who captured it, sparking outrage.
According to FWC spokesperson, Karen Parker, at least two people involved in the incident have court dates set.
The crime would be charged as 68B-44.004(3)(b): A person may not harvest or possess on or from Florida waters or land in Florida any prohibited species,” according to Parker.
“The FWC is aware of the incident that took place over the weekend on the Chassahowitzka River involving a tiger shark,” Parker said in a statement issued on Monday.
“The FWC takes this very seriously and is grateful to everyone who reported this incident. Tiger sharks are prohibited from harvest in state waters. FWC law enforcement officers have investigated this incident and have issued a Notice to Appear to two individuals for taking a prohibited species of shark. The two subjects currently have a Citrus County court date.”
The culprits may be charged with a misdemeanor which could warrant jail time and a fine.
“According to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, killing of these newly protected sharks would result in a second degree misdemeanor which means, the culprit may end up 60 days in jail along with the fine of $500.”
Anyone with additional information about this incident is asked to contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 or Tip@MyFWC.com. You can remain anonymous.
For more information about sharks, visit: https://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/sharks/