Click here to see this YouTube video posted by someone with the username Ograza 13 that may come back to bite him in the posterior.
On Tuesday, Ograza 13 posted a video of someone catching a great white shark on the Huntington Beach Pier.
The shark was gaffed with a three-pronged rope gaff, hauled up and slammed down on the pier. Bleeding and with its teeth chomping, it was dragged around the pier gasping for air.
Great white sharks have been protected in California waters since 1994. Unlawful take and possession of these creatures is a misdemeanor that can bring heavy fines and jail time.
“We have the shark and we've identified who caught the shark. We are investigating, and nobody is going to get away with anything,” he said.
Sforza would not release the name of the angler who caught the shark.
As the shark was being caught, there were a number of surfers nearby. The reality is that statistically, they were in very little danger. Juvenile white sharks feed mostly on halibut, rays, smaller sharks as well as smaller fish.
When they reach about 10 feet, they migrate offshore and begin to feed on sea lions and other pinnipeds.
This is not the first time that a YouTube video has been used as evidence against a Fish and Game violation. Jon Apothaker caught a protected black sea bass on Jan. 3 on the Balboa Pier. Several bystanders posted his catch on YouTube, and he ended up in getting 120 hours of community service.
The most common defense in these kinds of cases is that the angler didn’t know that the fish in question was protected. Ignorance of the law is a very poor defense, as it is every angler’s responsibility to know what he can and cannot keep.
(Video does contain obscenities and a bloody shark.)