Turkish fisherman fined for punching, kicking shark

Turkish fisherman fined for punching, kicking shark

Turkish fisherman fined for punching, kicking shark

A fisherman who kicked and punched a rare shark before releasing it back into the wild in the coastal town of Erdek in the northwestern province of Balıkesir has been handed an administrative fine.

The four-meter-tall and 700-kilogram shark was caught by the fishermen on Sept. 10 in the Marmara Sea. The fisherman, whose identity has not been revealed, physically harmed the shark before it was released back to the sea.

The incident was recorded on a cell phone by another fisherman.

Several individuals and institutions, including the Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TÜDAV), stated that the animal was subjected to violence and filed a complaint with the Presidential Communication Center (CİMER), according to Demirören News Agency.

The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, where the complaints were transmitted, identified the fisherman and fined him in accordance with the Law on the Protection of Animals. The amount of the fine was not disclosed.

TÜDAV said the shark was a “thresher shark,” which is listed as an endangered species.

“It is pleasing that Article 14 of the Law on the Protection of Animals applies to a fish species in our country. We expect the fines to be increased as soon as possible and fishermen to act responsibly,” read a statement by the foundation.

It is forbidden to treat animals cruelly or beat them, according to Turkish laws. Such acts are punished with an administrative fine.