Disturbing moment beachgoers take selfies with a washed-up shark and drag it along the sand as others urge them to set it free
- A group of men caught a shark at Henley Beach in Adelaide on Thursday night
- The men tied the animal’s tail and left it on shore as they posed for photos
- Concerned bystanders said shark was later released but felt sick over incident
- RSPCA said they have no power to investigate matter under the state’s law
Disturbing footage has emerged showing a group of beachgoers pulling a shark onto the shore before they began taking photos with the washed-up animal.
The men caught the shark late on Thursday night at Henley Beach in Adelaide as a concerned onlooker recorded the incident.
Footage shows a man at the shoreline tying a rope around the animal’s tail.
As the group of men crowd around the washed-up shark, the man poses with the distressed animal for photos.
Another man rubs the shark’s body as bystanders are heard telling the group of men to release it.
Asha Reilly witnessed the worrying incident and told 9NEWS: ‘They hooked it with a rope, they tied it around its tail, and they just had it on the beach, taking photos.’
‘They’d beached it and it clearly couldn’t breathe.
‘I felt sick to the stomach, and I could see other people, bystanders were as well, it was just horrible,’ Ms Reilly added.
A group of men caught a shark late on Thursday night at Henley Beach in Adelaide and pulled it to the shoreline as concerned onlookers watched
The shark was later released back into the water.
South Australia’s Department of Primary Industries and Regions website states that recreational fishing for sharks is a popular activity in the state and that most fisheries use ‘catch and release practices’.
Fishers are urged to follow appropriate gear and handling methods to guarantee the ‘ethical and humane treatment’ of the marine animals.
The Department’s guidelines say a soft, knotless net should be used for landing if the shark is small, and they should not be left on a warm or dry surface.
It is also recommended that a soft wet cloth is placed over the animal’s eyes to help keep it calm.
The Department further advises that a shark should be released immediately and preferably without being removed from the water.
The men tied the marine animal’s tail with rope and took photos with the washed-up shark before they eventually freed it
RSPCA South Australia was made aware of the incident and told Daily Mail Australia that not all guidelines seemed to have been followed.
However, the animal organisation has no power to investigate the matter.
‘RSPCA’s view is that all animals must be treated humanely at all times,’ the spokesperson said.
‘From the limited information in the videos provided to RSPCA, it appears that these individuals are trying to do the right thing and return the shark to the water.’
‘We don’t know the context in which this shark came to be on the beach and we don’t have the power under the Animal Welfare Act in South Australia to investigate because fish and crustaceans are not protected under the act.’
RSPCA added that excluding the animals from the legislation is a serious omission and it has campaigned for change as fish and crustaceans are included in the acts of other states.