A fisherman has sparked outrage after a thresher shark was caught off the coast of Ireland and brought on board for a photo op.
A post from Off the Scale Magazine on Monday morning showed the shark in the boat.
It read: “Fish of a lifetime contender. Congratulations for catching and releasing this truly enormous thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus) off the SW coast yesterday.
“The 4m+ fish was estimated at 500lbs! It jumped clean out of the water twice during the fight.”
The post did not receive the attention they were hoping for as hundreds disapproved of their actions.
The Blue Planet Society, which works in the conservation of wildlife, released a strongly-worded statement in response to the social media post.
It said: “Unlike in the USA, catch-and-kill recreational shark fishing in the UK and Ireland is almost non-existent and all sharks are normally released.
“However, this thresher shark caught off Ireland on Sunday should have been released at the side of the boat and not taken onboard.
“Showing off your catch on social media should never override the welfare of the animal.”
One furious user commented: “Have a modicum of respect for such an amazing animal.
A second wrote: “This is disgusting. Thresher sharks are vulnerable species. How can you take joy in another animal suffering for pointless ‘sport’? Shame on you all.”
A third chimed in: “Off the Scale magazine should be ashamed of themselves for running this story, as fish like that should never be hauled out of the water.”
A fourth added: “The welfare of the animal is disregarded and abused the moment the hook is in the water. There is no respectful way to drag them for hours by impaling them on a hook until they are too exhausted.”
Thresher sharks are found along the continental shelves of North America and Asia of the North Pacific.
They are active predators and use their tails to stun prey. They can reach 20ft in length and weigh more than 1,000 pounds.
Thresher sharks mainly eat bluefish, juvenile tuna, mackerel, squid and cuttlefish.