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Waste, cruelty, arrogance

shark-destin-101507.jpgThe killing of large sharks never fails to grab the media’s attention. On Saturday, the dead body of an 11-foot, 844-pound mako shark was strung up on the dock at Destin Harbor. The Northwest Florida Daily News published a photo of a crowd gawking at the dead shark, who had probably been one of the healthiest, strongest and oldest mako sharks in the waters off Florida.

A story in Sunday’s paper described the horrible death of this magnificent animal. Adlee Bruner, owner of a lumber company in the city of Ponce de Leon, and a few friends hired a charter boat to catch fish to enter in the annual Destin Fishing Rodeo. They were 70 miles southwest of Destin when they spotted a very large shark. Boat Capt. Robert Hill described the shark as “an incredible sight.”  So they set out to kill the animal.

After being hooked, the shark first dove to the bottom of the ocean for 30 minutes, then surfaced to fight as well as he or she could. After being pulled close to the boat, the shark was speared with a gaff (a metal pole with a hooked end). At that point the shark “went crazy,” Bruner told the paper. The men wrapped ropes around the shark’s tail, and after an hour of suffering the shark finally died.

You Can Help
Please contact the Northwest Florida Daily News and urge them to stop glorifying cruel and wasteful killings of sharks. Submit comments using the paper’s online comment form.

Contact the Destin Fishing Rodeo and urge the tournament to drop its shark division.
E-mail: fishing@destinfishingrodeo.org

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