CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina authorities have issued a ticket to a 56-year-old man after sharks were found branded off the Lowcountry coast.
Officials with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources say Chris Frazier of Awendaw was charged.
“Mr. Frazier was cooperative when confronted with the evidence in the case and may have been unaware that his actions were illegal,” SCDNR officials said in a statement.
Officers began an investigation after receiving reports of shark branding in the Charleston area in late May.
A report states Anglers contacted authorities after they began catching sharks that appeared to have been marked with a symbol of some kind in the vicinity of Dewees Island and Isle of Palms, and photographed them.
Some of the photos were also shared on social media, according to DNR officials.
Photos appeared to show a shark branded with a logo that resembled a fishing hook or a letter.
Under South Carolina law, (S.C. Code 50-5-40), unless authorized by the SCDNR, “no person may tag or mark and release saltwater fish or promote such activity. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.”