A group of fishermen who reeled in a "truly enormous" thresher shark off the British isles have been slammed for showing off the catch on social media.
The bunch of pals caught the huge fish just off the coast of Ireland on Sunday, July 25, and brought it on board in a clearly distressed state, the Irish Mirror reports.
But the post quickly backfired as experts explained that sharks are normally released when caught off the British Isles to ensure the animal's welfare.
The massive catch was shared online in a post from Off the Scale Magazine on Monday morning with photos of the shark attached.
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."
But the post backfired as hundreds of people registered their anger and disapproval at the incident.
The Blue Planet Society, which works in conservation of wildlife, released a strongly worded statement in response to the pictures.
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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 user commented: "Have a modicum of respect for such an amazing animal."
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A second added: "This is disgusting. Thresher sharks are vulnerable species.
"How can you take joy in another animal suffering for pointless ‘sport’? Shame on you all."
While a third replied: "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 wrote: "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."
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