New York Governor becomes latest victim of online scorn for shark catch.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is the latest target of negative hype after posting photos of a thresher shark catch on Twitter.
Cuomo’s catch came over the weekend, as he was joined in his fishing trip by his CNN news anchor brother Chris Cuomo. Together, they landed the 154.5-pound shark off Long Island. It didn’t take long for the photos to attract some unwanted attention.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 28, 2016
John Hourston of the online group Blue Planet Society was one of the first to blast Cuomo for legally taking the shark, drawing comparisons to last year’s Cecil the Lion incident. “To blithely post a picture of himself on social media grinning next to a threatened animal killed by his own hands shows an almost unfathomable lack of judgement for a public servant, and sets a terrible example to the world,” Hourston said.
Much of the anger seems centered on the fact that thresher sharks are considered vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. In spite of this status, fishing for them is not illegal, and Cuomo’s office was quick to point that out.
“This is an edible game fish that is both indigenous to New York waters and catching them is allowable under both state and federal regulations,” a spokesperson for Cuomo told the Guardian.
That didn’t stop many people from posting critical replies to Cuomo’s tweet of the shark. UN patron of the oceans Lewis Pugh also criticized the photos, saying, “The environment is the primary issue on the global agenda, so it is extraordinary that a senior politician could be so ignorant about it.”
At the same time, some fishermen posted words of encouragement to Cuomo’s feed and congratulated the Governor on his catch.
The anger towards Cuomo’s catch is just the latest in a string of recent incidents criticizing hunters or fishermen for posts on social media. An Alberta hunter felt the wrath of online hate after a video of his bear hunt went viral a few weeks ago.
U.S. hunters and fishermen aren’t the only ones becoming targets of online hate. A father and daughter in New Zealand fell under fire after he posted photos of her with her first deer online recently.