New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has upset conservationists by catching a shark on a recent fishing trip. Cuomo posted a picture to Twitter on Sunday from a Long Island fishing trip he took with a group that included his brother, news anchor Chris Cuomo. The photo, captioned “Today’s catch,” showed a photo of a dead thresher shark, a species categorized as “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
A spokesperson for Cuomo said, “This is an edible game fish that is indigenous to New York waters and catching them is allowable under both state and federal regulations.”
But with conservationists, legality is not the sticking point.
“The environment is the primary issue on the global agenda,” Lewis Pugh, the United Nations’ patron of the oceans told the Guardian. “So it is extraordinary that a senior political [figure] could be so ignorant about it.” Because of their position at the top of the marine food chain, sharks are vital to the ecosystem of the ocean, Pugh said. Pugh added that it’s “dangerously irresponsible” and “shows a clear lack of judgment” for a public leader to boast about killing a thresher shark on social media.