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This article contains graphic imagery that some may find disturbing.
An Australian fisherman who moderates a popular fishing Facebook group is defending himself against criticism after he uploaded a video of himself using a dead baby shark as a bong.
As the video went viral, Billy Brislane of Fried Fishing Australia came under fire on social media, with many accusing him of animal cruelty.
humans need to do better than this. sharks are not trophies, toys, or bongs. i can’t believe this is even real. shame on this person and anyone who thinks this is even remotely okay. #SharkFishing #Conservation #MarineBio #Shark https://t.co/hDL1wP30DM
— Kerri Lynn Ackerly (@KerriAckerlyPhD) February 4, 2019
— Blue Planet Society (@Seasaver) February 4, 2019
Brisbane apparently created the bong by inserting two pieces of metal into the shark’s carcass, below the fin and near its head. To add insult to injury, Brislane chose to use the infamous children’s song “Baby Shark” as the soundtrack.
Lets clear some air up on thisThe shark was caught by my mate fishing when we were fishing for mangrove jacks on Friday, After two nights left in the ice box i came up with the idea, There is no possible way it was alive It was tobacco id happily take a drug test to prove. The media is running false stories i have not even been given the chance to make a statement. THIS VIDEO IS COPYRIGHTED by friedfishing and is not to be used without permission.
Posted by Fried fishing on Sunday, February 3, 2019
Brisbane said on Facebook that public complaints prompted a police visit, and the original video now features an updated description with the fisherman’s explanation of the events.
“The shark was caught by my mate fishing when we were fishing for mangrove jacks on Friday,” Brislane wrote. “After two nights left in the ice box I came up with the idea. There is no possible way it was alive.”
He also insisted he wasn’t smoking an illicit drug. “It was tobacco I’d happily take a drug test to prove,” he wrote.
Despite the negative attention, some of the Fried Fishing faithful have shown their support for Brislane in the comments section. One man even posted his own video of himself using a fish as a bong, which begs the question: Why has more than one person done this?
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Ignacio Martinez is a journalism student at the University of Texas at Austin and an intern at the Daily Dot. His work has appeared in the Texas Observer and on the airwaves at KVRX 91.7 FM.