Three fishermen have been trolled online after they shared a photo boasting about a ‘record breaking’ shark they caught.
The trio started a Facebook page which now boasts more than 100,000 followers where they share their catches from their home town of Pilbara in Western Australia.
On Sunday the men posted three photos alongside a tiger shark which was ‘at least five metres in length’.
‘We used a tape measure to get a size of the shark,’ they captioned the pictures on their Sharky-Pilbara Land Base Shark Fishing page.
‘She was bigger than the tape, measuring 4.8 metres from tail to gills, so we guess 5m or evening (sic) 5.2m.’
‘That’s our new personal best life time catch,’ the men added.
While they were clearly proud of their haul, the pictures attracted thousands of comments – primarily from people who were worried about the shark’s welfare.
The page claims they always ‘catch and release’ the fish they find, but one observant viewer said the shark ‘looked very dead’ in the photos.
‘I think you’ll find this is not catch and release,’ the man said.
‘There is a rope attached to its tail which would mean it’s been dragged backwards at some stage.
‘Unfortunately these animals rely on water passing through its gills whilst swimming forward or else they drown. The shark is very dead.’
Others said the inhumane treatment of the shark didn’t give the men any bragging rights.
‘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.
‘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. What is wrong with you!’
One woman, a trainee marine biologist, said from her experience, the tiger shark looked pregnant.
She said even if the shark was safely released back into the wild, the stress from the ordeal would have seen her miscarry.
Tiger sharks have now been categorised as ‘near threatened’ according to conversationalists, meaning it is close to qualifying for or is likely to qualify for a threatened listing in the near future.