Man posts trophy photo with 16-ft tiger shark calling it 'catch of a lifetime', gets slammed for 'disgraceful' display
A so-called 'trophy photo' of a man posing with a 16-foot tiger shark in Western Australia has sparked furious reactions on social media with many users calling it "absolutely disgraceful" and "disgusting."
The snap was uploaded on the Sharky—Pilbara Land base shark fishing page on Facebook and shows fisherman Kruz Mettner grinning as he held the shark's jaws open.
In another snap, he's holding up the tiger shark's tail as it lay in the shallow waters. In a third, the shark is lying near the shoreline while it's being secured by a rope.
The photos were posted with the caption, "Just a 5m tiger. Used a tape measure to get a size of the shark, she was bigger than the tape, measuring 4m 80 from the tail to the gills. So we guess 5m or even 5.2 being our new PB lifetime catch [sic]."
In an interview with Yahoo Australia, Mettner said catching and then posing with a shark was an "indescribable" and "mindblowing" feeling. "When you catch a shark and you see that dorsal fin coming up, it’s kind of mindblowing," he said.
"You get real close and interact with it, you see its eye up real big, you feel its skin it’s like sandpaper—it’s really crazy."
Social media users tore into Mettner as they flocked to the comment section of the post—which so far has over 3,000 likes and 1,200 shares—to make their stance on the catch and the picture abundantly clear.
"Absolutely disgraceful! There should be no pride in this whatsoever, how dare you take a precious species from the ocean just for a 'pb' and for pleasure," one user wrote. "What is wrong with you!"
Another commented, "All in the name of a selfie to brag to your friends. Where is your heart and compassion? Please think about this animal as another living being to respect."
A third posted, "Why would you want to kill something so old and beautiful just for fun. I’ll never understand. All I feel is sadness."
Mettner revealed that it was a "catch and release"—i.e. he caught it, posed with it, then released it back into the waters. "We normally take three photos, we take one on the side, one from an angle and then one headshot," he revealed.
"The way we get it back in the water is we remove the hook, and then we grab that tail rope... and we pull that fish backwards into the water until it’s supporting its own weight. From there we’ll remove the tail rope and we’ll hold the fish, and we’ll push it out and send it on its way."
"I love my sharks and we try and keep them alive and put them back in the water the way they originally were, besides a little hook mark on them," he added.