Gordon Ramsay in shark fishing controversy

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Gordon Ramsay is once again in hot water after it has transpired that just 18 months before making a documentary on the trade in shark fins; he himself chartered a shark fishing boat.

The Daily Mail revealed images of Ramsay 'high-fiving' the captain of a fishing boat off the coast of Pompano, Florida after reeling in a seven foot bull shark.

The 250lb shark was towed backwards through the water for 10 minutes until it suffocated to death. The shark was then delivered to a Florida taxidermist who made a mould of the shark, mounted it and delivered it to Ramsay’s home in London at a cost of £1,250.

Having enjoyed his trip so much, Ramsay then booked a second trip for himself and his friends. During this trip he caught a nine foot hammerhead shark. Again this was sent to the taxidermist and the crew of the boat were tipped £400.

The revelations have come just a matter of weeks after Ramsay appeared in the Channel 4 documentary 'Shark Bait' about the practise of shark finning. As a result of this Ramsay has also become a patron of the Shark Trust and appears on their website with the following statement:

"Dear Richard and Shark Trust members,

I understand you have spoken to Jo Livingston from my team. Please let me reiterate that this was a fishing trip in the summer of 2009, over a year before discussions about making a film about sharks with Channel 4 first occurred.

It was then that I become aware that sharks are endangered but also through the making of this programme, learnt about the cruel and inhumane practice of finning. Now I understand the full situation I very much regret the fishing trip and no longer support any type of shark fishing.

I do hope Shark Bait does the same thing, in that viewers who saw the programme will be educated, and support you and the other organisations, who work to protect these endangered species.

Best regards

Gordon Ramsay"

Irrespective of his remorse, media commentators are saying that the renewal of his contract with Channel 4 may now be doubtful.

Hammerhead sharks are currently listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, whilst bull sharks are listed as Near Threatened.