NAPLES, Fla. (WSVN) — People are reeling over a video of a man tossing a shark into the air off a fishing pier, only it didn’t land in the water.
There was panic on the pier in Southwest Florida when the man tossed the shark — not once, but twice. Now, he’s explaining his actions.
This video taken on Friday in Naples has taken the internet by storm, but the man seen holding and throwing that shark wants you to hear him out.
“Just don’t judge someone on what you see, get to know what it is like,” said the fisherman who goes by “TG.”
It allegedly started when another fisherman had the shark hooked on their line.
The man said he tried to help, grabbing the shark onto the pier and holding it for pictures.
When people finished snapping pictures, the Naples man says that’s when he attempted to throw it back into the water. But it all went south from there.
“The thing is, I was close enough but underestimated the weight. So when I threw it to the water, I didn’t throw it properly, so it fell back on the pier,” TG said.
That’s when he picked it back up and launched it into the water by its tail.
“I don’t kill sharks, I don’t hurt sharks, and that’s it,” TG said.
He said he is a dedicated fisherman who had no intention of harming the shark
“I didn’t hurt it, I didn’t kill it so y’all just need to stop worrying about it. It’s good,” TG said.
But others who fish on the pier said the viral video is a costly one regardless of intent.
“If one person does something wrong in terms of fishing out here, it affects all of us fisherman out here,” said fisherman Jon Frey.
Frey said fishing on the Naples pier is a fragile privilege at the moment and is worried moments such as this will lead to a loss of it.
“Eventually, it’s gonna get to the point where we won’t be able to fish at all on the pier anymore,” he said.
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials have not yet commented on the viral video.