Coney Island Shark Sightings Prompt ‘Keep Hookers off the Pier!’ Banner

Putting Bait Into the Water Draws Sharks, so Brooklyn Gets Anti-Fishing Fly-Over Message

For Immediate Release:
July 22, 2016

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Brooklyn, N.Y. – On Tuesday, sharks were spotted near Coney Island’s Steeplechase Pier, a common fishing spot—causing officials to close the beach to swimmers temporarily. That’s why PETA will deliver its own cautionary message to beachgoers and Cyclone riders on Saturday by flying a banner from a plane that reads, “Keep Hookers off the Pier—No Fishing!

When:       Saturday, July 23, 12 noon–1 p.m.

Where:     The plane will fly over Coney Island’s beaches.

“Fishing isn’t fun or funny—it’s a blood sport that causes aquatic animals to suffer when they’re impaled, hauled up out of the water, and gutted to death,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA’s banner is a reminder that the best way to protect swimmers, human or not, is to leave fish alone.”

Fishing can incite shark attacks, as sharks—who rarely attack without provocation—can be attracted by blood and bait dangling in the water, and hooked sharks naturally become agitated. Discarded fishing tackle also injures aquatic animals, with billions caught every year in huge, sometimes miles-long, commercial-fishing nets that stretch across ocean floors. When hauled up from the ocean, fish experience the agony of being crushed to death, and their eyeballs bulge out of their heads from the pressure of sudden surfacing. Others are impaled or hooked and then gutted alive.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—reports that while sharks kill an average of five humans a year globally, humans kill 11,000 sharks every hour.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind