FWC investigates viral video of shark being dragged behind boat
Authorities say it's unclear whether any violations took place
MIAMI – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a video that has gone viral on social media that shows of group of men dragging a shark behind a boat.
Sport fisherman Mark Quartiano, also known as "Mark the Shark," re-posted the video on his Instagram page after it was sent to him saying, "For once I may have to agree with Peta. #Whodoesthiss*** #sowrong #notcool."
"I've been doing this for 40 years and never even seen anything close to that kind of disrespect to an animal," Quartiano told Local 10 News reporter Ian Margol. "There's no sportsmanlike conduct with these guys. They just want to kill something, display it on their Facebook, get more followers. It's just a horrible act."
The cameraman pans over at one point and shows three men aboard the boat, laughing as the shark is being dragged in the water.
"The FWC has been alerted to a video circulating on multiple social media sites showing a group of individuals traveling at high speed on the water dragging a shark behind the vessel," FWC Law Enforcement Division spokesman Rob Klepper said in an email. "The FWC takes this very seriously and is currently investigating this incident. We are also attempting to identify the individuals in the video and where it took place."
It's unclear whether the shark was dead or alive while it was being dragged, but Quartiano said he was sent photos of the shark after the incident that showed its remains.
Klepper said it's too early in the investigation to determine whether any "violations took place in this incident."
Anyone with information is asked to call the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 or email Tip@MyFWC.com. Individuals can remain anonymous.
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