Killing shark for trophy brings tide of scorn -- and support

Shark Bucky Dennis knew people would be mad when he reeled in a world-record hammerhead shark.

It was likely pregnant, and nobody wants to kill shark babies. But Bucky is a competitor. He already held one world record for shark fishing and he wanted another.

"I just had to do it," Dennis told St. Petersburg Times writer Leonora LaPeter Anton. "I could tell everyone I caught the world record and let it go. But nobody would ever remember."

Dennis may not have to worry about people forgetting his catch anytime soon. Tampabay.com readers have posted more than 200 comments on Anton's story, debating the ethics of killing a shark for sport.

Here's a sampling from the two camps:

"What a waste! " wrote Stephanie from Clearwater. "And for those of you who say it was not a human? No but it was a living breathing shark. To kill it for a trophy, then dump it in the ocean, he should go to jail."

"There is no good reason to kill these sharks. This man's behavior is disturbing and wasteful," wrote LB from Belleair.

Vic from St. Petersburg wrote: "I agree with the general consensus -- NO record is worth blatantly killing such a long-lived, possibly endangered, and most likely very pregnant creature! Bucky is no hero, and should NOT be admired."

Max from Seminole had a few words for those criticizing Dennis: "Congrats Bucky! Great catch! Who cares what the bloggers think anyway? They are usually fat guys who sit around in their underwear and never fished a day in their life."

"People need to get a grip. A shark is not human," wrote Kyle from Tampa. "He did something that almost no one else here has the guts to do. It was just one shark. Plenty more pregnant sharks out there to keep the population growing."

Jonathan from Jacksonville said: "Way to go Bucky. Don't listen to the haters."

Join the discussion: Did Dennis deserve a trophy?

[Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 3:52pm]

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