Posted by: The ocean update | June 6, 2015

Man attempts to sell live shark outside Fort Lauderdale Publix (Florida, USA)

Man attempts to sell live shark outside Fort Lauderdale Publix

Man attempts to sell live shark outside Fort Lauderdale Publix

June 6th, 2015. FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A South Florida man had plans to turn a catch into cash, as he attempted to sell a live shark outside a Publix Thursday evening.

Shoppers outside a Publix Supermarket on 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale said a man hauled in the five-foot nurse shark, dropped it on the sidewalk and tried to sell it.

Friday evening, 7News caught up to Patrick Lanier, the man who tried to sell the live shark, and he said he reeled in the marine predator on the Intracoastal Waterway. “I felt like a leprechaun, like I struck gold,” he said.

Lanier said he was hoping to make about $100 from selling the shark, but no one seemed interested. “On top of it, it’s not on ice. It’s just sitting there on the concrete,” said Publix shopper James Douglas. “Who’s going to buy something like that? I’m just saying, it’s like worthless. It’s like saying, ‘This animal’s worthless. You can buy it if you want.'”

A shocked passerby took out their cell phone and began recording the proposed transaction while the shark lay on the ground struggling to breathe.

“Is that legal for him to do?” asked Tammy as she looked at the footage.

Actually, it’s not. “He can’t do that with a regular fishing license. He needs to have a commercial fishing license to sell anything he catches,” said Stephanie.

The shark remained on the pavement and up for sale as potential customers passed by and some likely pivoted in their tracks. “Every so often I’d throw some water on it,” said Lanier.

“I don’t go into the ocean because I’m afraid of sharks. I wouldn’t have gone into Publix. It would have kept me out of Publix,” said Tammy.

“It was nice to see the people’s faces light up, excited to get to touch it and really experience what it is,” said Lanier.

This amateur shark salesman is not the first of his kind. In 2009, a South Florida man brought a nurse shark for a ride on the Miami Metromover and hauled it on his bike on his way to two sales stops along the Miami River.

According to Publix officials, once managers figured out what Lanier was doing, they asked him to leave, and he did so politely. With no takers Thursday, Lanier said, he released the shark back into the water on the Intracoastal, where it swam away.

All that remains at the supermarket is a shark-shaped stain where the animal once lay. “I don’t know how it stayed alive, though, all the way out here,” said a concerned Publix shopper.

It it not legal in the state of Florida to sell a shark you have caught without a commercial license, something Lanier said he figured out while trying to find a buyer. He said he’s learned his lesson, and it’s unlikely he’ll ever do it again.

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