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Toyota Called Out for Involvement in “Monster Shark” Hunt

Within four hours, an online campaign forced a Toyota dealership to back out of rewarding the winner of a “monster shark” catching tournament.

Swimmer and maritime lawyer Lewis Pugh led a successful Twitter campaign against a Dartmouth, MA Toyota dealership’s involvement in a regional shark-hunting contest, prompting a response in less than four hours. The dealership was set to donate a new 2016 Toyota Tundra to a participant of The North Atlantic Monster Shark Tournament, a “preeminent sport fishing event” in which local fishermen and women compete to catch “monster” Thresher, Porbeagle, and Mako sharks, all with “vulnerable” conservation status classification above 200 pounds. If an angler caught a state record shark, they’d win the automobile prize, a move that caught the ire of Pugh. “This is totally unsustainable,” he said in a tweet. “Sharks are vital for a healthy ocean … I’ve urged @Toyotoa, in the strongest terms, to end the sponsorship deal. It’s not in line with their values, and is very harmful.” Within four hours, Toyota of Dartmouth released a statement detailing its withdrawal from the event. “Our intention was to support a charitable fishing tournament … However in light of recent feedback we will no longer sponsor the North Atlantic Shark Tournament.” 

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