By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
A VIDEO posted to Facebook on the weekend depicting the catching of a shark has been condemned by environmentalists.
In the two-minute long video, a small crowd watches as a man, assisted by a few others, pulls the shark to shore via a rope tied around its neck.
The woman filming the video from the dock screams several times as the shark gets nearer, fighting and flailing in vain to escape. One of the men who was assisting in pulling the shark ashore jumped and ran away as the tied shark got closer. About a minute and a half into the recording, the shark is pulled on to the shoreline.
“Oh my goodness, that’s huge,” a woman with an apparent American accent is heard saying off camera, as a small crowd of locals forms around the disoriented, motionless shark.
Some people are seen filming the shark with cell phones while one man laughs.
“Andrew, you got it,” the woman recording the video then says.
“(Expletive) you did it,” a man adds, before the woman, who is laughing, asks what kind of shark it is. The video ends shortly afterwards and it is unclear what happened to the shark.
The location of the video has not been confirmed.
The video, posted by a Facebook user on Friday, had more than 40,000 views up to press time.
In 2011, the Bahamas banned the possession, fishing for, or landing of sharks or shark parts.
Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) Executive Director Casuarina McKinney-Lambert admonished the shark catching when contacted.
“Sharks are fully protected by law in the Bahamas,” Mrs McKinney-Lambert told The Tribune.
“It is very disturbing to see this blatant violation of our fisheries legislation. Sharks are tremendously valuable as a key part of our marine ecosystem that help keep other species in balance.
“Sharks are also highly sought over as the Bahamas is considered the shark diving capital of the world and they bring in over $114 million per year in tourism dollars.”
The video sparked a debate on Facebook, with some defending the actions of the fisherman while others lambasted the catching of the animal. Some claimed the shark was swimming in an area where children frolic.
“Sorry fa de bull shark ...but it was too close to shallow waters so it was hunting...it (could have hurt) someone...sad (and) unfortunate but only a seaman (would) understand it passionately (sic),” one user said.
“I’m a seaman and I don’t condone this barbaric s*,” another countered.
“Why? Can’t we just leave the endangered species alone? Catching and killing sharks makes no sense, they play an important role in our marine environment,” another said.
A few users underscored the illegality of the act, with one posting a copy of the first page of the legislation.