The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says it has identified the individuals in a controversial video showing boaters dragging a shark. But the FWC says it will not release the names of the people on the boat at this time, according to our affiliate at CBS12.
Wildlife officials say it is too early to say if any violations took place in the incident, but the FWC would "like to state that that the lack of respect shown in this video for our precious natural resources is disheartening and disturbing, and is not representative of conservation-minded anglers around the world."
The video rocked social media Tuesday after Mark Quartiano, or "Mark the Shark," a deep sea fisherman in South Florida and a self-proclaimed shark hunter, posted the video on Instagram. He told his nearly 80,000 followers that the video was sent to him via direct message. He then shared it to call attention to the serious issue.
In the video, the shark appears to be caught on a fishing line or rope by its tail fin and can be seen violently tossing in the rough waters.
The FWC says it is taking the video seriously and is currently investigating the incident.
Anyone with information is asked to call the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at (888) 40o4-3922 or Tip@MyFWC.com.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has been notified of a video that shows a shark being dragged at high speed by a group on a boat, according to The Bradenton Herald.
“The FWC takes this very seriously and is currently investigating this incident,” Rob Klepper, the organization’s public information coordinator, said in an email.
“We are also attempting to identify the individuals in the video and where it took place,” he added, noting it is too early to speculate what, if any, violations took place in the incident.
Video of the incident appeared on Instagram Sunday, showing at least three people aboard a boat seemingly moving at high speeds.
The footage shows a shark tied up behind the boat, writing and flailing as it bounces in and out of the water.
The clip has since gone viral with nearly 45,000 views since Sunday, and it has reportedly been shared on other social media platforms.
Some Twitter users on Tuesday voiced revulsion at the footage, which features several people watching the shark getting dragged.
A South Florida shark hunter known as “Mark the Shark” told CBS Miami that a social media admirer sent him the footage seeking praise.
“When I first saw it I almost, like, threw up,” he said, noting he notified the FWC about the clip. “It was so horrifying.”
“They said, ‘Oh, this is pretty cool, look what we did to the shark,’” “Mark the Shark” added. “And I go, ‘Are you kidding me man?’ and that’s when I instantly reposted it and that’s when all the feedback started coming out.”
“All the people started going crazy and it went viral. To drag a shark by the tail on a rope, it’s not sporting. It’s not. It should be against the law.”
“Mark the Shark” added he was later sent a photo depicting the shark’s mangled corpse, displayed like a trophy catch.