New York Governor Andrew Cuomo really wants you to know that he caught a 154.5-lb shark over the weekend. On the other hand, he may not want you to know it belongs to a threatened species.
On Sunday, Cuomo tweeted a photo of himself standing on a Long Island dock next to a slain thresher shark, which the International Union for the Conservation of Nature includes in its list of threatened species, marking the sharks as “vulnerable” (though not endangered) due to their declining numbers.
The backlash was swift. That night, Blue Planet Society tweeted in response, “Lost for words. Governor of New York State Andrew Cuomo @NYGovCuomo kills an @IUCNRedList Threatened thresher shark for fun.”
Other outraged tweets, and tweets outraged by the outrage, soon followed.
“Perhaps if you're still in town we can educate our fine @NYGovCuomo on threatened marine species,” one user wrote.
“Looks like he knows alk [sic] he needs to. Beautiful catch,” another responded.
A spokesperson for the governor has said catching the shark was not illegal, telling the New York Post, “This is an edible game fish that is indigenous to New York waters, and catching them is allowable under both state and federal regulations.”