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Outrage At Shotgun Shark Killing

Video

Shark killing

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By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS National Trust executive director Eric Carey wants authorities to investigate a “sickening” shark killing captured on film.

In a video circulated on Facebook yesterday, two men are seen shooting a shark in the head with their shotgun. It is not clear where the video was filmed or how the shark was captured, but ropes can be seen tied around the shark’s tail. Someone can be heard in the video laughing after the shark is killed and viewers are given a close-up shot of the dead animal. In a separate video, the dissected remains of the shark are seen on shore. 

Mr Carey said yesterday: “This was a criminal act because sharks are protected so we are going to encourage the Department of Marine Resources to carry out an investigation. There are people identified on the video and we’re hoping the police and the Department of Marine Resources will look into that. People need to be prosecuted for these illegal acts.”

He added: “Sharks have two main values to us, one is the ecosystem value because they are critically important for maintaining ecosystem health as top predators so it’s important that we have a healthy shark population if we’re going to have an overall healthy fisheries population. Just as important is the value they bring to tourism. Shark tourism is worth $115m a year. We understand the fear that Bahamians have of sharks because we grew up with a fear of sharks, but a lot of Bahamians are earning a lot of money off of shark tourism and we know we need to do a bit more education so people understand it doesn’t make sense to kill an animal like that. This large tiger shark is worth tens of thousand over its lifetime when you consider its touristic value so it’s unfortunate that something like that is killed because of an irrational fear that people have when you balance it against what the economic potential of an animal like that so we’ve very disappointed and distressed at the senseless killing of such a majestic animal.”

Health Minister Dr Duane Sands was among many who expressed outrage at the shark killing on social media. “Why, why, why?” he wrote on Facebook as he shared the video. “Why is it necessary to kill this magnificent creature? Surely this sends the wrong message to our children and to the world.”

Some Bahamians have gotten in trouble before for filming their attacks on protected species. In March 2018, three people were arrested after their killing of a sea turtle was captured on camera. The turtle was struck at least 13 times and was left bleeding and in pain.

The BNT called on authorities to investigate that incident. A magistrate conditionally discharged the suspects, however, ordering them to perform 500 hours of community service and to attend a voluntary intervention programme at the Magistrate’s Court. Activists complained that the sentence was too lenient. According to law, the penalty for killing sharks can be $5,000. 

Comments

sheeprunner12 10 months ago

Why are these shark lobbyists allowed to dictate to the Government???? .......... Are we to live in a country where it is dangerous to dive and swim because of an exploding shark population???

Then what will happen to the natural food chain when the sharks become overly aggressive due to competition for food??

Sharks are apex predators that endanger humans ......... Citizens should have the last say on this (not a few lobbyists)

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Voltaire 10 months ago

What a load of utter nonsense. No lobbyists are dictating anything to the government, it is already illegal to kill a shark in the Bahamas. People are only asking for the law to be enforced. Also, there is absolutely zero evidence that shark killing bans put humans at greater risk or that killing them within a particular jurisdiction lessens that risk. Many sharks are migratory and do not respect international borders. There is no way to lessen their number in the Bahamas itself, because thousands are always traveling in or out or through our waters from elsewhere, it is an ever-shifting population., But you certainly cause damage to various ecosystems by removing vitally important predators through and informed actions. Your suggestion about these animals becoming "overly aggressive" over food sources betrays a total lack of understanding about how food chains and ecosystems work. The whole point is that nature inclines towards a balance when free from the ignorant interference of clueless humans.

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Islandboy242242 10 months ago

Well said Voltaire. There's no dictating, it's the law. Just like people that think its OK to sneak through the red light because none of the other cars have started moving yet, you can't just kill a shark because YOU think its necessary.

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joeblow 10 months ago

Only an idiot would film themselves committing a criminal act and then POST it for others to see. They deserve whatever they get coming to them!

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tell_it_like_it_is 10 months ago

Sharks are a vital part of the ecosystem. You can't just go killing off all the creatures you don't like or are afraid of.
They serve a purpose and killing them for stupid purposes will only be to our own detriment! SMH

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Voltaire 10 months ago

Well said. Ignorance is a hell of a thing.

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sheeprunner12 10 months ago

Vital part of the ecosystem is them NOT becoming a public nuisance and danger to citizens and tourists ......... sharks and turtles are like apples and oranges.

Soooo............. Why do we spay and neuter potcakes??????

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Economist 10 months ago

Look at the colour and shape of the shark. It looks to be a nurse shark. They really if ever pose a danger to anyone.

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