A Panama City Beach man has been found guilty on 13 charges in Bay County Court for illegally selling shark fins, shark meat and king mackerel. Harold Hix, 66, must pay a $650 fine and serve 12 months probation.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) investigators say Hix routinely fished from both the Panama City Beach City Pier and the nearby county pier, where he caught several species of large, coastal sharks. He then sold both the fins and meat to FWC undercover investigators.
Capt. Bruce Cooper, leader of the FWC’s Investigations Section in Northwest Florida, said, “No recreational anglers may sell sharks or parts of sharks unless they are properly licensed. Those who are licensed commercially can sell some species of sharks or other marine fish during open seasons for those species."
“This is part of our ongoing effort to curb unlawful sales of saltwater products by unlicensed people and the unlawful sale of protected marine species,” Cooper said.
Hix sold investigators 56 shark fins, shark meat and king mackerel on Sept. 8 and on Oct. 1 and 9. The shark species included hammerhead, blacktip, tiger, nurse and bull.