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Sentencing of shark catcher welcomed

Western Cape - A verdict by the Mossel Bay Magistrate's Court which found a man guilty of catching and landing a great white shark, was welcomed by the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries on Monday.

Leon Bekker was sentenced to either a fine of R120,000 or twelve months imprisonment, suspended for five years, said agriculture, forestry and fisheries spokesman Lionel Adendorf.

Bekker apparently caught and landed the great white shark - a protected species - in March last year.

“This is the first great white shark case and conviction in any South African court, as South Africa is also the first country to impose legislation in protecting great white sharks,” said Adendorf.

The department hoped the sentence would deter others from catching protected species.

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