The Department of Fisheries has decided not to take action against boxer champion Danny Green after concluding there was not enough evidence to determine if a tiger shark he was photographed with was of legal size.
Green, who holds the IBO world cruiserweight title, caused an uproar on his Facebook page last weekend when he uploaded two pictures of himself with the shark, which he said he intended to eat.
Thousands of posters engaged in a vigorous debate over the catch, which some said was oversized and therefore illegal.
Green insisted it was within the limits of recreational fishing in the State.
Fisheries metropolitan regional manager Tony Cappelluti said Fisheries and Marine officers and a shark scientist had assessed the photo following the complaints.
“We agree that this shark is close to the maximum size, but there is insufficient evidence to conclusively determine its legal size,” he said.
Fishing regulations in WA differ between regions, but near Perth a legal shark catch is one that is no larger than 700mm from the front of the dorsal fin to the back of the rear dorsal fin — which implies a length of about 1.8m.
One of the pictures posted shows Green lying alongside the shark, which appears to be almost identical to Green’s stated height of 1.85m.
But Mr Cappelluti said the general relationship that a 700 mm interdorsal length related to a shark about 1.8m varied between shark species and was not reliable for evidentiary purposes.
“The department’s shark scientist has advised that a tiger shark would probably have to be over 2m in total length to have a 700mm interdorsal measurement,” he said.