Justice for Juvenile Shark Mutilated by Fishermen


Target: Charlton H. Bonham, Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Goal: Investigate the mutilation of a juvenile shark and charge those responsible.

A 16-year-old boy was out to clean his family’s boat when he stumbled upon the remains of a mutilated shark. The shark’s decapitated head was sitting on the dock next to its tail. The teenager took photos of the dismembered animal and posted them to social media to bring attention to the issue. The horrific images provoked widespread outrage, with people expressing horror at such brutal disregard for nonhuman life.

Speaking to various news agencies, the teen said that before he made the shocking discovery he saw a group of four or five men, aged 30 to 40, put the shark’s remains on the back of their boat. He said the men took pictures with the body parts before tossing them onto the dock.

“They were grabbing the tail and the head and sticking it to their head and stuff. Taking pictures, biting it,” he told a news agency, adding that he wasn’t sure if the shark was real at first.

Although the species of the shark has not officially been determined, several reports indicate that it was a juvenile great white, in which case the men responsible would be subject to a criminal investigation and would face a minimum $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail. Anyone who accidentally catches a white shark is required by law to immediately release it. Due to dwindling and largely unknown population numbers, white sharks are a protected species.

The men who killed the shark have been identified and reportedly told the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) that the shark was a mako, not a great white. Regardless of whether that’s true, they committed a grotesque act of wanton cruelty and must be held accountable. Please sign the below petition, urging the CDFW to thoroughly investigate the incident and file the appropriate charges against these sick individuals.


Dear Mr. Bonham,

I was absolutely appalled to learn that a group of men killed and dismembered a juvenile shark in Orange County, California, leaving the animal’s head and tail on the dock like a pile of garbage. This is a shocking and grotesque display of animal cruelty, and it ought not to go unpunished.

A number of reports indicate that the shark may have been a great white. If true, these men committed a crime in killing a protected species. I urge you to thoroughly investigate this terrible incident and, if possible, facilitate the criminal prosecution of these shark killers.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Terry Goss

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  1. Todd Fletcher says:

    Dumb and dumber need to be next!

  2. Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared.

  3. Kae Blecha, OTR says:

    People don’t just START to mutilate wildlife with a bunch of other goofs on a whim one day. Their behavior has progressed to this, including the ridiculous lie that they didn’t know what kind of shark it was. Please jail them and fine them so much that they can no longer afford that boat.

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