Video: Men catch shark at Florida beach, stab it in the head -- here's why it's legal
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. - Fishing for sharks is legal in Florida, though a new video making the rounds on the internet is sparking conversation – and outrage – about the practice.
A video posted to social media shows two men pulling a shark out of the ocean at New Smyrna Beach. Moments later, one of the men stabs the shark in the head with a knife to kill it.
Mariana Sabogal, the woman who recorded the video, pleaded for the men to stop.
"Can you please put it back?" Sabogal asks the men. "You should not be doing that with animals!"
"You put it back," one of the men replies, who appears to have a red mallet in his hand.
"Why are you doing that?" the woman yells, after one of the men stabbed the shark.
"It's natural," the other man replied.
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The man with the knife then stabs the shark for a second time, the video shows. He tells Sabogal that he was going to take the shark home to "feed his family."
Sabogal posted the video to her Facebook page on Friday.
"I am speechless," she wrote. "This is the world we live in and sadly enough we need to accept that there’s people in this world that find enjoyment in doing this. We need more shark awareness and education, and better laws to prevent and punish this type of behavior. Being a shark lover, I feel I just witnessed someone killing an amazing creature for absolutely no reason."
Sabogal told FOX 35 that while she knows shark fishing is legal in Florida with a valid fishing license, she felt the men treated this shark cruelly and "very inhumane."
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told FOX 35 that it is aware of the video and that it is "common practice" to euthanize sharks after landing. "This video is not currently under investigation as no violation of state law regarding the method of harvest occurred," the FCW said.
Because no crime is being investigated, FOX 35 has blurred the faces of the men depicted in the video.
According to the FWC's website, there are several sharks that anglers can fish: Atlantic Sharpnose, Blacknose, Blacktip, Bonnethead, Finetooth, Smooth dogfish, Florida smoothhound, Gulf smoothhound, Bull, Nurse, Spinner, Blue, Oceanic whitetip, Porbeagle, Thresher, and Shortfin mako. Some have minimum size requirements.