Spearfisherman Fined for Killing Shark
Steven Moriconi of Naples, Florida, was on a day-long spearfishing trip 16 miles off the Sanibel coast and was 60-feet underwater, when he alleged a seven-foot sandbar shark charged him. Moriconi shot and killed the shark with his powerhead (using a powerhead on fish is illegal). It was only when Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers pulled up beside the boat that and he his fishing buddies said they realized the shark was a protected species. Moriconi claimed the officers had a vendetta against him following a past arrest and said he acted in self defense. But the arresting FWC officers testified Moriconi never mentioned self defense and admitted to killing the shark on purpose. Prosecutors called Moriconi’s story a fish tale, saying the defense made up the attack story and the bizarre claim that Moriconi helped deliver the dying shark's babies.
On April 3rd, the judge found Moriconi guilty on all four misdemeanor counts. He was ordered to pay court costs, a $1,250 fine and serve six months probation, but he avoided serving jail time.