Christian Pulisic under fire from animal rights group following stunt involving vulnerable species

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The 22-year-old Chelsea and USA international male star, who spent the offseason in Florida, sat on the edge of a boat kicking over the fish, which was hanging from a line below him as others filmed the stunt.

Pulisic then lost his balance and landed on the fish, which can be seen tossing around in the water, before getting back on the boat.

It was not clear where Pulisic was when the incident occurred, but in the Instagram post, Pulisic tagged an account related to BlacktipH, a Florida-based fishing collective. His video was also retweeted from BlacktipH’s Twitter profile, with the caption “Christian Pulisic living on the edge”.

They also posted a video of Pulisic catching and releasing a shark from their Instagram page.

The video, which went viral, was reposted by Blue Planet Society, which describes itself as “a self-funded voluntary lobby group campaigning to end the over-exploitation of the global ocean.”

“Abusing a threatened goliath grouper for a social media video is a new low,” the group tweeted in response to the video.

Atlantic Goliath groupers, which are sometimes up to 2.5 meters, or over eight feet, in length and can weigh 363 kg, or about 800 pounds, are recognized as a vulnerable species, with declining populations. by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The 22-year-old football star is set to return to the pitch for the start of Chelsea's preseason in August.
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“We originally posted and commented on the video because the goliath grouper is listed as threatened by the IUCN Red List and legally protected in the United States,” the Blue Planet Society said in a statement to CNN.

Referring to information from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission – which states that photographs of the species, or any other activity such as measuring fish, should in no way delay release – they added: “To our opinion, Christian Pulisic’s move was in flagrant violation of these rules. “

“Animal abuse to attract attention to videos on social media appears to be on the rise. We strongly believe that people should be called upon for this, especially when they are as influential as Mr. Pulisic.”

CNN has contacted the footballer’s agent, Chelsea FC and USMNT for comment.

Champions League winner Chelsea face Europa League winner Villarreal in the UEFA Super Cup on 11 August. Chelsea’s premier Premier League is against Crystal Palace on August 14.

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