Local Divers Nab PETA Award for Saving Shark Caught in Fishing Line

Two Men Disentangled Trapped Nurse Shark and Sent Her on Her Way

For Immediate Release:
May 21, 2019

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla. – A Compassionate Action Award is on its way from PETA to divers Randel Sands and Ron Nash for freeing a 6-foot-long nurse shark who was entangled in fishing line and had several pounds of weights wrapped around her tail and pectoral fin.

On May 7, the men were exploring underwater when they came across the shark, who seemed to be dug in under a reef. They quickly realized that she was stuck and, approaching her from the rear, began untangling the line from around her body. “There was a moment where she was looking at me with her eye—I believe she knew I wanted to help her,” Sands tells PETA. “She lay perfectly still as we searched for the line and worked to untangle her. Not for a second did she struggle or try to get away.” Only once the men had freed her did she swim off into the distance.

“The kindness and quick thinking of these two men meant the difference between life and a prolonged death for this trapped shark,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA hopes this story will inspire people to do the right thing for animals in need, whether they have fur, feathers, or fins.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that humans slaughter nearly 1 million sharks each year and consume more fish annually than they do all other animals combined. Most fish are caught via huge, sometimes miles-long commercial-fishing nets that stretch across ocean floors, also trapping “trash catch,” such as sharks, dolphins, and seals.

Sands—who’s also planning to start a committee to raise awareness of the harmful effects of careless fishing practices—and Nash will receive a framed certificate, a letter of congratulations, and a box of vegan cookies.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist view of the world. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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Media Response Team.


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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