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Florida Shark Tournament Draws Criticism After Hammerhead Mutilated, Pregnant Tiger Caught; 'Gruesome'
Underwatertimes.com News Service
September 21, 2006 19:18 EST

DESTIN, Florida -- The Destin Florida Shark Tournament has drawn the ire of animal rights groups after a hammerhead shark was mutilated and a pregnant tiger shark was caught during the tournament.

The Humane Society of the United States, the largest animal protection society in the U.S., has written letters to Destin Mayor Craig Barker, and other town leaders, to stop future tournaments, which the HSUS deems to be cruel.

In a letter sent by e-mail and mail today to Barker and the town leaders, John Grandy, Ph.D., senior vice president for wildlife and habitat protection for The HSUS, wrote:

A “hammerhead suffered injuries and mutilation so severe that it was disqualified from the tournament. Yet the public, including children, were treated to viewing the severely mutilated corpse, as well as the gaff, which had reportedly inflicted many of the wounds. This gruesome carnage can do nothing positive for the museum or enhancing the reputation of Destin.”

Before the tournament took place, the HSUS had sent a letter asking that it be stopped, and the organization also flew a banner over the Destin harbor and advertised in local media.