Rosie O’Donnell has responded to critics outraged over a photo of the celebrity and her family catching an endangered shark. Conservationists and animal activists are speaking out against O’Donnell’s actions, but now O’Donnell is the one doing all the talking.
Activists have stated that O’Donnell’s participation in shark hunting is morally wrong and illegal since the state of Florida banned shark fishing as of Jan. 1, 2012. O’Donnell has taken to Twitter to respond, posting several Tweets defending her actions. “It was years ago, b4 (sic) they were on the endangered list. It was caught-reeled in by my 11 year old daughter-the hammerhead meat is used to bail crabs and lobster traps…i have seen sharkwater-i love the ocean-i am on it daily in Miami-chill people-really-my family fishes.”
The picture in question shows O’Donnell and her children standing next to a dead shark while on a boat owned by Mark “The Shark” Quartiano. Quartiano owns Miami Charter Fishing, which takes pride in catching shark, dolphin, barracuda and other big game fish. O’Donnell and family were featured under the category’s section, “This Month’s Celebrity Angler.”
Marine conservationist told the Sun Sentinel, “Right now sharks are the most endangered animals around. This is basically an endorsement. It sends the message that it’s an OK activity -- and this is not an activity that we want celebrities endorsing.”
O’Donnell is currently hosting “The Rosie Show” on Oprah’s OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) channel. She has four children: Parker, Chelsea, Blake, and Vivienne, who are all featured in the controversial photo.