A 500 pound bull shark caught near Egmont Key is getting a lot of attention. Incredible photos of the shark are causing an uproar with some people online, because the shark was killed instead of being released back into the water.
“We have had a lot of negative feedback via social media,” said Dylan Hubbard, Hubbard’s Marina.
Hubbard says the customers who chartered the boat wanted to kill it and keep some meat and the jaws. He said sharks are usually let go.
“We’re not trophy hunters. We’re out here sustainably fishing, keeping it alive for the next generation,” he said
He believes the backlash online stems from a lack of understanding what happens after a catch.
“Someone goes to the restaurant, they see shark on the menu, ah, no big deal. But when they see a photo of us dragging the shark up on the beach, they have a problem with it,” he said.
He insists the shark won’t go to waste.
“The customer got the jaws, we’re preparing it for them right now. The customers also took the fins and some of the meat,” said Hubbard.
Captain Anthony Belmonte helped capture the shark. He is proud, especially about where the meat ends up when customers can’t take all of it.
“They couldn’t send it all back to Canada, so the other half of the meat went to a charity organization,” he said.
He believes the images online will ultimately inspire others to learn more about fishing.
“It’s definitely one of those things where a lot of people are going to want to go out and shark fish, but not necessarily go out and kill the shark,” he said, “It’s good for business.”
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