Texas angler and television host Jeff Thomason made headlines earlier this week with a world record mako shark catch, yet some detractors are upset with the way the shark was treated.
Some online commentators were unhappy with the method Thomason used to kill the shark, according to My San Antonio. Thomason utilized a specially designed bow and arrow to land the 809 pound mako, luring it within feet of his boat before shooting the shark near its fin.
“I try and shoot for the top of the back. As soon as the arrow hit, all hell broke loose. We freaked out because I spined him and we thought he might sink,” Thomason said.
The mako shark broke the previous world record for bowfishing by nearly 300 pounds, as The Inquisitr previously noted. Not all who heard of Thomason’s catch were impressed by it, however, and his critics spoke out through social media. Commentators accused him of finning the shark, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, and destroying the environment.
— AOL.com (@AOL) October 1, 2014
“Please leave our sea creature as they are – they’re important for the ecosystem of our ocean, [especially] here in the Pacific Islands,” wrote Deo Eddo Keju.
Others, like Sally Yolen, implored Thomason to film sharks instead of hunting them. Some commentators criticized his methods in more vitriolic comments.
“I don’t understand how can you be proud of such thing,” Said Susana Dias. “Shooting your little bow at a innocent animal from a safe distance and inside of your little boat… You’re just a sad little man who doesn’t understand the value of life and the respect for other species… You ain’t a predator, you’re nothing but a little man who thinks he’s the best because of his little bow…”
A representative for Thomason, who hosts Predator Pursuit on The Sportsman Channel, told the Los Angeles Times in an email that he did not fin the shark, a practice which involves cutting the fins off a living shark and throwing it back into the ocean to die. Photos of the shark after it was caught support his statement.
“No hunter wants a bad shot on an animal – no matter what you are fishing for,” the representative said. “People seem to lose sight of that.”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, sharks collected off the West Coast are primarily used for their meat, not their fins. Mako sharks are particularly vulnerable to overfishing, as they reproduce in small numbers and mature slowly.
Thomason and his crew donated 400 pounds of the mako shark to a Los Angeles homeless shelter.
[Image: Dustin Blankenship / Predator Pursuit via The L.A. Times]