An Australian man has been left horrified after allegedly watching a fisherman laughing before cutting a shark’s stomach open and throwing it back in the sea.
Ryan Dowling, from Cairns, Queensland, claims he watched as the laughing fisherman reeled in the endangered baby hammerhead shark, proceeding to slice it ‘from tail to mouth’.
Dowling claims the fisherman then chucked the ‘cute little baby Hammerhead shark’ back into the sea to die, its death being completely needless and cruel.
Sharing photographs of the young shark on Facebook, Dowling stated:
Saw this cute little baby Hammerhead shark get pulled in at Palm Cove today… Then watched in horror as the redneck grub sliced it in half from tail to mouth and throw it back in….. What the hell is wrong with people today..
Dowling’s Facebook friends were left disgusted by his account of the incident, which reportedly happened at Palm Cove in Queensland.
One fisherman commented:
As a fisherman I’m f*cking mortified when I hear things like that. It’s just wrong to do to any animal, I hate sharks when I’m fishing as they steal my hard earn baits and hooks but when we land them they are quickly dehooked and release to go harass some more backpackers.
Another person said:
The dude needs to be punched. Hammers are protected and dropping everywhere.
Speaking with Yahoo News Australia, Dowling recalled how the fisherman had ‘laughed’ while committing the act of animal cruelty:
He laughed as he pulled it in and retrieved his hook.
He then pulled out a knife, cut it from its tail right through to its head slicing it in half before throwing it back in the water.
There’s no need to kill it, It’s wrong to kill a baby shark.
Dowling told Yahoo News Australia he hadn’t had chance to report the incident to the authorities. However, according to comments made via Facebook, he has reached out to various fishing groups.
Dr Leo Guida, of the Australian Marine Conservation Society, confirmed to Yahoo News Australia that the shark in the picture was indeed an endangered scalloped hammerhead pup:
Scalloped hammerheads are endangered and we’ve seen their numbers decline by as much as 84 per cent in Queensland waters,
Scalloped hammerheads, like all sharks, are critical to the health of the Great Barrier Reef as they keep food webs in check. They should be given as much protection as possible.
According to the Australian Marine Conservation Society website, it’s estimated scalloped hammerheads have lost up to 80 per cent of their original population in Queensland waters.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.