Catch of giant stingray stirs anger among beachgoers



A shore angler in South Australia caught a massive stingray on Thursday, but his celebration was cut short when the crowd became angry and demanded that he put the creature back into the ocean.

Ben Knighton told 7News that he was spat upon and shoved, even though he had planned to unhook and release his catch all along.

The accompanying footage shows the stingray being reeled onto an Adelaide beach, and Knighton high-riving friends before onlookers began to admonish them.

“Put it back!” many exclaimed, as the situation became increasingly tense. At one point a woman tried to take a fishing rod from one of the angler’s hands. The fishermen, unable to calm the situation, began to shout back.

“The way people went about it was completely ridiculous,” Knighton told 7News. “It’s absolutely crazy that people have to be that rude.”

Knighton explained that they hauled the stingray onto the beach so they could remove the hook.

“I truly love these animals and refuse to keep any hooks or leaders in the fish,” Knighton said. “We’re not out here slaughtering stingrays or killing them. It’s a sport… it’s a hobby.”

In the footage, Knighton is seen pulling the stingray back into the water after he had removed the hook.

He said police were called and, at one point, “A woman spat on me, while another tried to push me away from the ray.”

7 News noted that catching stingrays from South Australia beaches is legal. Whether to release them is up to the angler.

–Stingray images are via Wikipedia



Via OverwatchWire


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