AWENDAW, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Natural Resources officials say a man has been branding sharks with an insignia burned into their skin, like the brands used to mark cattle.
News outlets report the unidentified 56-year-old Awendaw man was charged with illegal tagging of a saltwater fish last week. The misdemeanor can net a fine of up to $200.
Officials say they were alerted about the brandings last month, as anglers off the South Carolina coast began catching sharks with a symbol that looked like a cursive letter burned just below their dorsal fins.
Officials say they also saw photos of such sharks circulating on social media.
The Post and Courier reports the brands could have been made with a propane torch or dry ice.
The newspaper reports the suspect was “cooperative” with authorities.
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