Wildlife officials say a San Jose man has been sentenced to two years’ probation in the fatal shooting of a great white shark.
The Santa Cruz Superior Court also fined 41-year-old Vinh Pham $5,000 and ordered his firearm destroyed, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said Thursday.
Wildlife officers began investigating in June after a 9-foot male shark with multiple bullet holes washed up on a beach in Aptos, near Santa Cruz. A necropsy found the shark had been killed by a .22-caliber firearm.
The department said a caller on a tip line reported that a member of a commercial fishing crew may have been responsible for the animal’s death.
Pham confessed, officials said, admitting he shot the shark after seeing it swimming near the wings of his deployed fishing net.