MIAMI – Florida wildlife authorities are investigating a video being widely shared on social media of a man shooting a shark several times.
The viral video is the latest to show a shark being abused in the water off the coast of Florida.
A man can be seen in the video firing several shots into the gills of a hammerhead shark hooked to a fishing rod. The others on the boat can be heard laughing as the shark bleeds out into the water.
Russ Rector, an animal activist who said he was given the video by the person who recorded it, was told that it happened in the waters off Siesta Key near Sarasota.
"He was enjoying it," Rector said of the shooter.
Rector said he believes the same crew was responsible for dragging a shark behind a speeding boat.
Both videos are being investigated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
"The use of powerheads, explosives, chemicals or the discharge of firearms to kill or harvest marine life is prohibited in state waters," FWC spokesman Rob Klepper said.
Although investigators have identified the people in the video, they are not releasing their names while the investigation is ongoing, as is protocol, Klepper said.
"It's not dangerous," Rector said of the shark. "They could have let it go."