LIFE

Woman Spots Large Crowd Gathered On Beach And Learns They’ve Captured 16-Foot Hammerhead Shark

by Kat Manos
Kat Manos is an Associate Editor who loves arguing about indie rock, classic literature, and "Star Wars."

Leigh Cobb was boating off the shore of Singer Island in Palm Beach County, Florida, when she saw the most incredible sight.

A crowd had gathered on the shore, surrounding something large that was lying half in the water and half in the sand.

It wasn’t long before she realized they were surrounding a five-meter-long hammerhead shark. That’s just over 16 feet in length!

Leigh, who works as a tagger and tracker of sharks in the area, was immediately upset that people were disturbing the animal. She began filming a video that was eventually posted to her Facebook.

“Get him in the water!” she yelled in her video.

While shark fishing is legal in Florida, people are required to catch and release them to avoid any animal abuse.

“You know, on a public beach, 9:30 in the morning, we are seeing a shark blood-baited to come close to the water and then drag it onto the beach,” she told WPTV. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

Apparently, three men had pulled the shark ashore to pose and take photos with it before returning it to the water, which upset Leigh. Luckily, the men returned it to the ocean.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission states that while shark fishing is legal, fishing for hammerheads is not.

A spokesperson for the commission told WPTV that suspicious behavior like this should be reported.

Likewise, when fishing for sharks, it’s important to keep to the following rules: 1) Keep sharks, especially their gills, in the water; 2) Never bring a large shark into a fishing vessel or onto dry land; 3) Do not delay release time to take photos; 4) Do not sit on the shark’s back to expose its teeth for a photo.

Check out the unbelievable footage below, and please SHARE this story to let your Facebook friends know about the restrictions of shark fishing.

Photos and footage provided by WPTV West Palm Beach

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