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Video of apparent shark abuse sparks anger

By Audrey McAvoy / Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:36 a.m. HST, Sep 14, 2013

An online video that shows young men hooking a Hawaii island tiger shark is sparking outrage among people who say it appears the men were harassing or even torturing the animal for entertainment.

The YouTube video is titled “Catching a 12-14 Ft Tiger Shark!”

The clip shows men pulling a shark toward a rocky shoreline with a rope. Someone in the background laughs as the shark thrashes in the water.

An explanation posted with the video said: “Big Rope + Big Cable + Big Hook + Big Bait (equals) LIVE ACTION With A Big SHARK!!!!! yeeeeeeeeee What U Kno About Dat!?. ‘Catch And Release.’”

Oriana Kalama of the nonprofit Ocean Defender group was put off that people would try to hurt a shark for their own entertainment and promotion on social media.

“Seeing the suffering of the animal, seeing the unnecessary cruelty was disturbing,” Kalama said. The video has received thousands of views since she linked to it from her organization’s Facebook page earlier this week.

The person who posted the video didn’t respond to a Facebook message seeking comment.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources says it’s not illegal to fish for sharks and nothing in the video was against the law.

Matt Bogdanovitch, a scuba instructor who works at Honokohau Harbor, said he saw the men before they caught the shark. They were cutting up freshly caught ahi, or yellowfin tuna, and throwing pieces into the water, he said. He also saw them putting fish on what appeared to be a large hook.

Bogdanovitch was horrified when he saw the video later.

“I couldn’t stop watching it, even though I wanted to. It was just disgusting, to me, these guys having such enjoyment out of harassing this animal,” he said.

He’d like to see fishing for sharks become illegal.

Many online comments about the video have been negative. Kalama said she’s concerned because some of the remarks threatened the person who posted the video. She’s asking people to show compassion and to talk to one another, and not threaten one another.

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manakuke wrote:
Apex predators; both creature and human.
on September 14,2013 | 03:38AM
wondermn1 wrote:
Wow I personally think they should take OUT as many of the BIG ONES as they possibly can. These guys need a 45 cal to stop the thrashing danger as they pull the Big tigers Boys out of the water. If you snorkel , surf,or swim in our waters then every one they take out is one less to take you out and its time we open season and even put out a bounty.
on September 14,2013 | 04:30AM
aomohoa wrote:
You are as dumb as that kid!
on September 14,2013 | 09:14AM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Tell that the family of the tourist who died recently when a shark like this one bit her arm off while she was snorkeling.
on September 14,2013 | 03:53PM
justchecking wrote:
wondermn1 lets take YOU out of the water. One less predator for the sharks and sea life to deal with. Yah its time for open season on people like you.
on September 14,2013 | 12:49PM
8082062424 wrote:
A dumb white boy
on September 14,2013 | 05:30AM
Slow wrote:
8082062424, say Ray,zat you? Ray Cyst?
on September 14,2013 | 11:55AM
richierich wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on September 14,2013 | 02:44PM
8082062424 wrote:
good try the person who used to have this number lived near there .
on September 14,2013 | 03:31PM
Noissues8all wrote:
We share the aina with many living organisms. For me, Mano is my amakua, and this demonstration of cultural ignorance is unacceptable.
on September 14,2013 | 05:44AM
yhls wrote:
Stupid idiots. But justice takes its own course on the Big Island.
on September 14,2013 | 06:18AM
wn wrote:
More truth to your to our comment that most folks realize...justice will be served. Behaving badly...no excuse.
on September 14,2013 | 12:16PM
yhls wrote:
Wondermn1 should take his own advice and put the .45 to his own head instead. Every one of the "dumb boys" like him that's taken out will make the world a safer place for both humankind and animals.
on September 14,2013 | 06:26AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Oh. The fine line that delineates play and abuse. Have to read the entire story before coming to a conclusion.
on September 14,2013 | 06:32AM
8082062424 wrote:
"It's viewed around the world as a person who lives in Hawai'i who disrespects, not only our environment, but our cultural beliefs. The shark, as a matter of fact, her name is Laverne, the shark is actually tagged and is a local resident of the area who gets fed on a regular basis by the fisherman of the Kona harbor. She's used to being in there and this kid took advantage of the situation and tortured her and abused her, and this is not acceptable," Kalama said by phone. that the whole story. he took advantage of a animal he knew would be a easy target for his ego
on September 14,2013 | 06:52AM
aomohoa wrote:
This is not about respecting a culture. To me it is about respecting that everything is here for a reason and sharks were here long before humans. They deserve respect.
on September 14,2013 | 09:18AM
8082062424 wrote:
The Hawaiian culture was here before most of us got here.You do not not have to share it or believe in it.But respect goes a long way.When ever i move some place else or visit i respect the people and what ever culture is there. it was there before me and will be there when i leave
on September 14,2013 | 11:59AM
aomohoa wrote:
Harassing a creature is NOT play! Would you say that if this jerk was harming a dog or cat?
on September 14,2013 | 09:22AM
mikethenovice wrote:
When a animal does that to each other, it is accepted. If mankind does the same act, it is abuse?
on September 14,2013 | 06:33AM
inHilo wrote:
I'm guessing mankind is supposed to know better, but I'm beginning to wonder.
on September 14,2013 | 06:46AM
aomohoa wrote:
He did it for fun and to be cruel.
on September 14,2013 | 09:18AM
wn wrote:
Animal instincs versus supposed human's ability to rationalize (?)....obviously not the case in this situation.
on September 14,2013 | 12:18PM
Slow wrote:
Yes, I am glad you understand. Animals do many things that even you might find unacceptable: eating their young and their own feces, barking for hours, biting people, licking every body part.
on September 14,2013 | 11:59AM
Waimea_Cowboy wrote:
Please note the lack or outcry from these oddballs when the shoe is on the other foot and a shark catches and releases a human!
on September 14,2013 | 06:38AM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Exactly .... and it's been happening with greater frequency lately.
on September 14,2013 | 04:00PM
mayihavesumor wrote:
I don't think it's wrong to remove a large shark from the area that you swim surf and dive in, what is more offensive is the mindless yapping and lack of respect from ignorant no class young men. Pretty typical behavior in my neighborhood. Watching it without sound helps.
on September 14,2013 | 07:02AM
Slow wrote:
Research shows tigers have a wide range. They don't hang around the local surf break. Taking them is pointless (unless you are a politician who wants to "do something)."
on September 14,2013 | 12:03PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Pointless until one of them kills your child right?
on September 14,2013 | 04:00PM
boshio wrote:
Well, I guess when a shark bites off a human's limb, it is not considered an abuse.
on September 14,2013 | 08:32AM
fiveo wrote:
Cruel and senseless act committed by a bunch of dumb asses for amusement. Makes you wonder if there is any real hope for mankind.
on September 14,2013 | 08:57AM
islandsun wrote:
I don't like sharks going after swimmers or surfers but fishermen are a different story. I wont shed any tears for sure for these abusers and greed mongers.
on September 14,2013 | 09:00AM
aomohoa wrote:
I do believe in Karma. I hope that Tiger shark is around when that little s#@t is in the water!!!
on September 14,2013 | 09:13AM
Anonymous wrote:
This is a sick kind of what you call play. If you think this was play YOU are sick.
on September 14,2013 | 09:23AM
Kaleo744 wrote:
The Mano will get it's day and payback is gonna be a bitch for these idiots. These are ignorant people who has no respect for nature and there showing of how people will come to their demise.
on September 14,2013 | 11:02AM
Kaleo744 wrote:
These are plain and simple stupidity of the mind
on September 14,2013 | 11:02AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
The video just looks like a bunch of dudes attempting to land a big catch. Seeing this any other way suggests that you have never gone fishing or watched a fishing show. The same thing happens when landing smaller fish - it just takes less time to bring them in. There is always excitement when a big one is landed and that is usually accompanied by nervous laughs. BTW Bruce Carter in the old Lets Go Fishing show use to laugh and drink a beer all the time. I've seen many of his old shows where there was much more of a struggle...
on September 14,2013 | 11:13AM
8082062424 wrote:
I serious doubt any fishing show will go after a and animal that been fed by humans and is a easy target. that what these punks did . they picked this shark because she was easy. if they wanted it to be a real hunt they should have got in a boat and went after a animal who was not used to being fed by humans
on September 14,2013 | 12:01PM
Slow wrote:
Why are they killing a shark? Thrill kill?
on September 14,2013 | 12:04PM
8082062424 wrote:
If you look at his face book page he sees him self as a great hunter.
on September 14,2013 | 01:16PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
To prevent it from killing a human. It doesn't belong in the harbor where many people go to swim. They did public service.
on September 14,2013 | 04:02PM
8082062424 wrote:
sure they did the shark was tagged and fed by local in the harbour. there nothing more then punks. there are those who h ave dived and even swam when she was in the water
on September 14,2013 | 04:29PM
8082062424 wrote:
and why is it they wont talk to KHON and Hawaii news now who been trying to contact them. they could tell there side of the story. . truth is a bunch of punks kids.
on September 14,2013 | 04:36PM
hikine wrote:
Silly haole boy. What happened to the shark? No can eat 'um brah. Shark fin soup illegal in Hawaii nei.
on September 14,2013 | 11:51AM
Slow wrote:
Your behavior is guided by animal behavior? What do you eat?
on September 14,2013 | 12:00PM
mookane wrote:
Figures ! Blond hair kids ! No respect for anything as usual ! Their parents must be proud of these oxygen thieves !
on September 14,2013 | 12:52PM
justchecking wrote:
If he wanted to show how cool he is, he should have jumped in and gone one on one with a shark that isn't tagged. Laverne has a relationship with those who take care of and feed her. Show us a real video with you and a shark that has no regular human contact. Or is that just too scary for you?
on September 14,2013 | 12:53PM
mookane wrote:
I can't wait til these kids get tortured and abused, let's film that and post it on YouTube !
on September 14,2013 | 12:58PM
rayhawaii wrote:
Same thing as catching any other fish. Go watch someone pull in a Marlin. Main thing is, did they eat it?
on September 14,2013 | 01:53PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
harassing the shark? they should have just killed it. Many people go swimming in that harbor, the fact that it was there in such shallow water makes it a threat to people.
on September 14,2013 | 03:56PM
8082062424 wrote:
only it was not a threat, if your so scared of sharks stay out of there h ome. it not like they walk in your home
on September 14,2013 | 04:31PM
8082062424 wrote:
many have swam while she been there .
on September 14,2013 | 04:34PM
RYMATS wrote:
since when has a tiger shark become a family pet to be cuddled? That shark was patrolling too close to shore and I suppose it's alright to pursue it (and how do you find 'it'?) 'after' it had injured or killed someone? With so many "aumakua's" attacking people lately either post signs at every beach to tell people stay out of the shark's domain or have these shark enthusiasts posted on each beach to tell their family shark which people they can take and which ones to leave alone. Place your empathy with real people not myths or legends. Common sense evades some people unfortunately and assuming a 'white boy' made the comments only indicates a narrow mindedness, prejudice and inability to dialogue. Besides feeding and attracting wild animals so close to people activity only increases the possibility of bad things happening. In this case, to the 'pet'.
on September 15,2013 | 07:36AM
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