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Well, this gives new meaning to the term beach bums.
A gang of disrespectful US fishermen are being chewed out online after they filmed themselves cruelly — and perhaps illegally — using a helpless shark to open a can of beer. They had originally posted footage of their heinous act to TikTok in May, but re-uploaded it to Youtube this week, where sparked a fury among animal lovers, Kennedy News reported.
“It was just a bit of fun,” West Virginia fisherman Wyatt Dallison cheekily told local media of the stunt, which he and buddy Cody Scott filmed after catching a sand tiger shark in Florida.
In the appalling footage, originally uploaded to hunting and fishing TikTok channel @outdoorchaos, a fisherman can be seen holding the critter’s mouth open while his fellow jackanapes look on in amusement. Then, in a shocking move, one of the bozos decides to smash open a can of Busch Lite Apple on its teeth, whereupon it gets stuck in the shark’s mouth, before falling out.
The clip concludes with the abusive angler picking the beer off the sand and chugging it down it like an overgrown frat bro.
The barbaric stunt sparked a veritable sharknado of backlash on TikTok with many labelling the act “disrespectful” and “abusive.”
“Bro, the shark just got abused. He’s trying to breathe,” commented one distraught animal lover on TikTok.
Another wrote, “I love fishing but this is just disrespectful to the fish.”
One aghast shark fan added, “Smacking its teeth with a can? Just catch, take pics, release, simple.”
Some even suggested that the chuckleheads had committed a crime.
“Taking a sand tiger out of the water. Illegal. Recorded yourself doing a crime. Brilliant.” snarked one detractor, while another commenter claimed that their brother’s friend “got fined $5,000” for pulling a similar stunt. Indeed, Florida law dictates that protected shark species – such as a sand tiger shark – “must remain in the water with the gills submerged when fishing from shore or from a vessel,” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
In fact, Scott was reportedly approached by wildlife authorities after the video went viral.
“I got a warning from the game warden after the video was taken,” lamented the fisherman. “I didn’t know at the moment, but I do now so no more sharks will be taken out of the water by me.”
Nonetheless, the social media clout-seeker claims that “absolutely no sharks were harmed in that video.”
His buddy Dallison, meanwhile, insists that the duo did nothing wrong.
“It probably wasn’t the greatest idea, but you know at the end of the day we did everything we could to make sure that shark was ok,” he claimed. “We were trying to keep it in the wash so it still gets water in its gills, but people are allowed to think what they want.”
However, the National Marine Fisheries Service, who are responsible for the supervision of the US’s ocean resources, maintains that it’s imperative for anglers to adhere to submersion protocols.
“Practicing careful catch and release is important because it can drastically decrease the number of fish that die after being released,” they said. “Gravity above the water’s surface exerts great stress on the fish and lowers its chance of survival after release.
In accordance, NMFS encourages “possible violations to be reported to the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement Hotline.”
This isn’t the first time some TikTok anglers have been excoriated for abusing fish. This past June, fishermen sparked an online backlash for filming themselves “tickling” stingrays that they’d caught.
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