These photos showing a man in a wet suit carrying the body of an endangered shark on his back after apparently illegally killing it with a harpoon gun have caused outrage.
The startling images were taken by onlooker in the municipality of Mogan in the south-western part of the island Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands in Spain.
Social media page ‘Especies de Canarias’ (Species of the Canary Islands) shared images of a man dressed in diving gear carrying what appears to be an angel shark (Squatina squatina).
The man appears to have fished the shark, listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN), with a harpoon despite fishing the species being strictly forbidden.
The social media page wrote: “So sad scene, especially knowing that the Canary Islands is the only place in the world where you can observe this Critically Endangered species.”
The man in the photo has not been identified.
Species of the Canary Islands is a project created by the naturalist Felipe Ravina with the goal of understanding the value of what lives in the waters of the archipelago of the Canary Islands.
Netizen ‘Nay Rodriguez’ commented: “If he was a good fisherman he would have known that the species is protected. I feel terribly powerless.”
And ‘Pino Rosales’ added: “People like that never care about anything.”
The angel shark normally poses little danger to humans, though if provoked, it is quick to bite.
It measures up to 2.4 metres (7.9 feet) long . This month, a group of angel sharks was discovered off the coast of Wales, indicating that the species had begun a potential return to the region.