The fisherman, known as Billy, recorded the controversial video turning a small dead shark that his friend caught into a bong for his social media account “Fried Fishing,” which follows the antics of a group of young Australian fishermen.
In the video, Billy is seen on a fishing boat with his friends, holding a shark with a crude carb inserted into the top of the head and a mouthpiece off to the side of the dorsal fin. Billy inhales deeply from the back tube and seemingly bobs along to the “Baby Shark” tune, though the song appears to have been edited in later.
The video quickly pulled in thousands of views — as well as comments condemning the young man’s act.
“All living creatures have a right to exist, what you did was f------ disgraceful! I feel sorry for your family and friends being associated with you!” one enraged woman commented.
However, not everyone was offended by the man’s actions. Hundreds on Facebook claimed the fisherman has the right to do what he wants with his catch and felt people were too sensitive.
“The shark is dead though, I don’t get why it offends people so much,” one commented.
“That music gets me every time,” one wrote.
“Can’t have a joke about anything anymore,” another wrote.
The Fried Fishing account also shared another video showing a different member of the crew smoking out of a dead fish.
Since the recording was shared, Billy has responded to the backlash on the Fried Fishing Facebook account, calling out the media as running “false stories” about the incident and claiming what he was smoking was tobacco and not marijuana, which is illegal in Australia.
“Lets clear some air up on this[,] the shark was caught by my mate fishing when we were fishing for mangrove jacks on Friday,” the statement read. “After two nights left in the ice box I came up with the idea.”
“There is no possible way it was alive,” the statement continued. “It was tobacco id happily take a drug test to prove.”
After commenting, Billy issued yet another statement saying he is stepping away from social media because of the fierce negative responses he has received over the video.
“I never thought id have to do this but today has become too much 4 admins run this page and all of us have spent our whole day filtering removing and coping abusive messages as far as to death threats,” the comment read.
“But due to todays [sic] recent events I have to walk away from social media my mental health is way more important.”
Australia’s waters are home to several different types of sharks. According to new research put out last year, shark numbers along the Queensland coast on the northeast side have declined by more than 90 percent for some species in the past five decades.