Disturbing footage has emerged from a fishing boat off the coast of Greenland, showing two young fishermen gleefully hacking off a defenseless shark’s tail, before throwing it back out to sea while shouting “Good luck trying to swim, you punk!” Jason Momoa has recently made a comment on it and his response has gone viral.
Image credits: Jason Momoa
The poor creature has been identified as a Greenland shark, which is the world’s longest living vertebrate species. These large, gentle sharks do not attack humans and can live as long as 400 years old; they are currently listed as ‘near threatened‘ on the conservation scale.
Image credits: prideofgypsies
Influencer Christel Johr Johansen was the first to draw attention to the video which has since gone viral, and been brought to the attention of authorities. Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa, has also expressed his disgust at the actions of the pair, uploading an emotional Instagram post about the incident. “We all make mistakes but what u did was evil PURE EVIL,” he wrote. “You will get what that shark got.”
The video appears to show the shark trapped on a commercial fishing line belonging to an Icelandic boat. But instead of helping to set it free, the men, both Icelanders, for some reason decided to sadistically torture the fish, while filming themselves laughing at its plight.
The fishermen have received a barrage of abuse on their social media pages, and may now face legal consequences for their cruelty. The pair could receive a hefty fine or even jail time if found guilty under Iceland’s animal cruelty laws; however, there is some doubt whether wild fish are included under the legislation. “If no law covers this then they cannot be punished,” lawyer Árni Stefán Árnasson said in an interview with Icelandic news outlet RUV. “This is a difficult matter because when the laws were drafted certain species of animals were excluded, including all the wild fish. So it’s a gray area legally to see if this is punitive or not.”
Þóra Jóhanna Jónasdóttir, Veterinary Officer for Pet Diseases and Animal Welfare at Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST), believes that exemptions to the cruelty laws apply only to traditional hunting and fishing, of which this is neither. “This is neither catching nor hunting. In my opinion, this is subject to the law,” she said. “A man does not hurt animals and lets go of it knowing that it will most likely be in pain and die in suffering.”
Bored Panda spoke to Hjalti Andrason, also from Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, about what comes next. He said while he couldn’t comment on any reactions from the fishermen, he has confirmed that they are considering action on the case. “MAST is looking into the matter and collecting information but a decision has not been made as of yet,” he told us. “Under the animal welfare law, MAST can fine up to 1.000.000 ISK for animal abuse or request a police investigation. The latter can lead to prosecution and conviction.”
“The Icelandic animal welfare law covers all animals.”
The owners of the fishing boat immediately terminated the contracts of the fishermen, and strongly condemned the incident. “We owners and shipowners Bíldseyar SH 65 disgrace and condemn the horrendous event that occurred in a video that accompanies DV’s news today,” they wrote in a statement. “So far, we have tried to adopt good working practices and responsible handling of the resource and the environment in general. This event is completely unjustifiable and those who were there for work have no claim. We have no choice but to reject further work by people who demonstrate such behavior. ”