Great white shark beaten to death at Sussex Inlet

A man who used his boat to herd a great white shark into shallow waters on the South Coast before it was bludgeoned to death with a metal pole has been fined almost $20,000.

Just days after thousands of people gathered across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to protest Western Australia’s shark cull, Justin Adam Clark, 40, from Glenbrook, was found guilty in Wollongong Local Court of harming a threatened species.

Clark used his boat to hit the juvenile shark a number of times, slashing it with the propeller, at Sussex Inlet in January 2012.

A rope was tied to the shark’s tail and a second vessel towed it to a boat ramp before the great white was bashed on the head several times with a metal pole, the court heard.

Clark was fined $8000 and ordered to pay costs of more than $10,000.

“This conviction sends a strong message that harming of our threatened species will not be tolerated,’’ Department of Primary Industries (DPI) fisheries compliance director Glenn Tritton said.

‘‘Everyone needs to know the rules and ignorance is no excuse.

“Great white sharks are found along the NSW coastline and as apex predators at the top of the food chain, they play an important role in marine ecosystems,’’ he said.

Western Australia’s contentious shark culling program began last month with federal government approval.

The scheme has drawn the ire of conservationists the world over and attracted international media attention.

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