A video of boaters dragging a shark at “high speed” has gone viral and spurred an investigation of the incident.
Sport fisherman Mark Quartiano, also known as “Mark the Shark,” re-posted the video on his Instagram account after it was sent to him.
“WTF IS GOING ON HERE ????” Quartiano wrote. “FOR ONCE I MAY HAVE TO AGREE WITH @PETA.”
“Look, it’s already almost dead,” says one man in the video, laughing and pointing at the shark.
Quartiano says Instagram users @bearjew428 and @MICHAELWENZEL sent him the video, however no one in the video have been identified by officials.
“There’s no sportsmanlike conduct with these guys,” Quartiano told WPLG of the alleged boaters. “They just want to kill something, display it on their Facebook, get more followers. It’s just a horrible act.”
It’s unclear if pulling a shark this way is legal in Florida, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials told ABC Action News.
“What they did to this shark is unethical,” local marina owner Dylan Hubbard told Action News of the incident. “It was being dragged to a slow drowning death.”
Hubbard, who owns Hubbards Marina in Madeira Beach, believes the shark is still alive in the video because dead sharks are stiff.
Social media users expressed outrage, while others thought nothing of the dragging.
“This is still ANIMAL CRUELTY!” Mandy Jean Ewing wrote.
“This is just torture. Unnecessary and disturbing,” Krys Bear said.
“It’s a fish, we eat them, which is a lot worse then dragging it,” Jericho Whitaker countered. “Why dont the guys in warehouses who abuse animals get arrested.”
An investigation is ongoing, the FWC said.