American family apologizes for catching and eating shark amid social media outrage

American family apologizes for catching and eating shark amid social media outrage
Kansas Pitts recently posted several photos of the group holding up sharks on a boat and out of the water.

Bahamas National Trust condemns “abuse” of fisheries laws

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — An American family visiting in The Bahamas received widespread criticism on social media after posting photos of them fishing bull sharks in Abaco to eat.

The Fisheries Resources and Conservation Act prohibits the possession, sale, fishing for or landing of sharks or shark parts in The Bahamas.

Kansas Pitts, whose Instagram handle is ‘pittspartyofsix’, recently posted several photos of the group holding up bull sharks on a boat and out of the water.

The sharks had reportedly been caught via hook and line.

The location tagged was Nunjack Cay located in Great Abaco, a protected cove known for its abundance of sharks, stingrays, turtles and other marine life.

The caption under the post heralded the catch and expedition.

The post, however, was later removed amid social medial backlash.

“This was my first bull shark catch and it was awesome,” read the post, which received at least 90 likes before it was removed.

“A few nights prior, I hooked up into an enormous one (Grey said about eight foot, but it’s up to 10 foot now) at our dock.

“I took the poll and ran down the dock with it [on] my shoulder to set the hook and fought him with the poll over Jons shoulder, unable to even get a turn in. He threw the hook; no idea how because it had to be set.

“So, I was so upset we didn’t get him to shore, so I could see him closer and not just from the dock. Fast-forward to yesterday and we went up to an estuary to find some mangroves that weren’t dead from the storm to look for lobster. They are in the mangroves like crazy in the [Cays]. No lobster, but tons of turtles, which was awesome.

“Then we decided to stop and fish. In come the bull sharks (yes the same basic spot that we were just in the [water] lobstering). Small ones and a few huge ones. This was the only one that we got in and she was all mine. So, for the first time last night, we ate shark and fried. It tasted kind of like chicken lol (laugh out loud). Greyson also caught a nurse shark that was released safely.”

Apparently unaware of the illegality of the catch, Pitt continued that she was worried about posting the catch because of how offended people can get, but said: “I am a firm believer if you consume what you catch and it’s not endangered and within the law, then it is completely what we were created to do; forage for food in some ways.

The post continued: “And honestly, as expensive as groceries are on the island with a family of six, we are trying to catch as much as we can to actually eat (lobster, fish and now…. Shark). Nurse and starfish were released properly.”

A flurry of posts condemned the catch and called on authorities to hold the family accountable for the apparent breach of the law.

In a subsequent post on Saturday, the family uploaded a photo of the Bahamas Fisheries (Jurisdiction and Conservation) Act, with an apology.

“Just FYI (for your information) for today, if you are visiting The Bahamas,” Pitts wrote.

“I have been educated thus I removed the post regarding the shark I caught while we were fishing. I apologize to all I offended and should have been more prudent in my research of the legalities of catching a shark in a country I am visiting.”

When contacted, Bahamas National Trust Executive Director Eric Carey condemned the “abuse” of the fisheries act and said his chief warden in Abaco has contacted police.

“They are abusing a Bahamas-protected area and secondly they are abusing the fisheries regulations, which protect sharks,” Carey told Eyewitness News.

“And while we understand that someone may not take the initiative to understand local regulations, the laws that are in place pertain.

BNT Executive Director Eric Carey

“Ignorance doesn’t excuse the fact that the law is the law. I actually have my chief Abaco warden is speaking with the police. These people need to be investigated. We hold Bahamians fully responsible for Bahamian law. We also need to hold those who visit our country fully responsible for Bahamian law.”

He added: “I really find it reprehensible. Notwithstanding the fact that amid COVID, we are encouraging people to vacation in place, the same way you would not pick up and do something illegal like smoke weed or sniff cocaine, you also have to respect the environmental laws.”

23 comments

Trust me i see know big deal bout ey shark been caught and eat..incase if eric carey and others don’t realized toursim is our number one source of liveing in this country..this covid 19 pandemic prove it so please relax..

Miss who ever you are no need for apologies, come and catch some more the we are infested with Sharks especially some of the other islands come and get some more, no need to feel bad about it.

Its a disgrace that foreigners do wat they feel and then run bk werever there frm..no visitors, tourist or non residents should b fishn in our waters to begin with..yall ga cos the fisherman of the bahamas to do some extreme things if these foreigners dnt law abide..we cant go other places and do wat they do cos we wud b locked away and fined..its ridiculous..Stop playn and get it right.

Mr. Percentie…Good Morning…it’s unbelievable that you would condone this act….our law says sharks are to be protected…that’s it…. Jeremie Saunders..Sr.Fisheries Superintendent

Wow, I was made at the story before I read it, but i never expected to know the person who did it. Wish I could say I’m surprised!

It’s unbelievable that persons would support foreigners breaking our laws…Mr Percentie and Shawn….please …this is our country and I don’t want to see any foreigners while here breaking our laws…

Eric Carey is correct. The law is the law. Whether they knew they were breaking the law or they didn’t, a law was broken. Give them a fine let them pay the restitution and move on. Once a law is broke and restitution is made then it is fulfilled.
You can tell that they made a mistake. People make mistakes we are supposed to have the heart to forgive.
Why everybody wants to gaslight this situation, I would ask that everybody takes a look at themselves in the mirror and let me know if you see perfection?

Just a bit of back story about these individuals not only were they killing a protected species but were doing so in a protected area which also makes their other catches illegal as well. They were also in an altercation with a community leader from GTC where they moved his boat causing damage to it then when confronted told him they would “put a bullet in his head” the woman also has been advertising online that she’s taking photography bookings here. Abaco has been through a lot and these type of bad tourist is the last thing we need. While I’m all for repentance after dealing with the consequences their actions speak to an attitude of entitlement and complete disregard for The Bahamas and Bahamians alike.

Ok, a law was broken. The offender apologized, no actual harm was done to the ecosystems. Some good came out of this
Incident just by reporting it. Now there is greater awareness of the fishery regulations by all. Coming down hard on this family will only further damage ttourism which is already struggling .
I’m sure Bahama Law Enforcement havs bigger fish to fry.

Are you aware of what you are saying and doing? Where is your sense of patriotism and civility? You will sell out your country. How sad!!!

So if I go to Florida Hunt a panther in the Everglades and say duh I did not know it was illegal and btw I was in a protected area she broke numerous laws and needs to be held accountable

That is a lie, the account of that story is highly inaccurate. Me and 6 year old son were jumped out of the blue and had to run for our life because they people threatened us over and over. My wife took sessions before the pandemic in the Bahamas and other Caribbean islands so it was on her site from before. She has not taken a single session or advertised to take one here. She is actually flying back in October to do a week of shoots in Florida. Because she’s not shooting down here. But thanks boo and have a wonderful day.

Identity yourself instead of hiding behide a computer. My wife has nothing but the best reputation and has been the sweetest most respectful person to anyone. And she faces a lot of bs Dailey.

She may be sweet as most of us are to our clients because they pay her bills but what she did was horrible and something ignorant entitled people do without any regard for rules, laws or cultures of other countries. And where is the sweetness when it was needed to know right from wrong. Your family should be held accountable just as any native there would. This is more than a mistake, it’s pure stupidity!

Wow! Maybe learn to spell before speaking on laws in other countries. It’s clearly a big deal to those who live there.

Plain and simply a law of the Bahamas was broken and people should be held accountable for their actions. As a Bahamian and avid fisherman, I am more than happy to share our beautiful waters with visitors whom respect our fisheries. That being said, they cannot be treated any differently than Bahamians when it comes to breaking our laws. If I as a Bahamian were to be caught fishing in a protected area or national park or be in possession of an illegal catch I would be fined and or prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Most of our visitors are wonderful people but there are people who take advantage and think we are fools. Grow some balls Bahamas and hold people responsible for their actions so that our children, grandchildren and visitors can continue to enjoy our beautiful waters.

I don’t understand what your point is. We are talking about Bahamian regulations. Maybe the problem is that some people think the world revolves around where they come from. We visit different countries to experience different cultures and their way of life and should respect their laws.

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