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Fishermen Fined For Using Seal Pup To Bait Huge Shark

December 15, 1993

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) _ Three men who used a protected sea lion pup as bait to catch a record- breaking 3,344-pound shark were ordered to pay $21,000 in fines and court fees.

Trevor Gilmore, 47, his son, Dion Gilmore, 24, and James Gardiner, 60, were charged in 1990 with catching and keeping an Australian sea lion pup.

The men caught the white pointer shark in April 1990, and it would have broken the world record for a shark caught on a rod and line. But the record was disqualified because the men were suspected of using the 3-week-old sea lion pup as bait.

Magistrate Fred Field fined the three men a total of $3,000 and ordered them to pay $18,000 in court costs.

″The act of taking such a young sea lion pup must have been a cause of distress to the pup and its mother,″ Field said.

Prosecutor Mark Stevens said sea lions were now listed as a rare species, with only 10,000 left in the world, and that penalties should be strong to deter other fishermen.