Fla. wildlife officials identify individuals in 'disturbing' shark dragging video
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WPEC) - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) says it has identified the individuals in a controversial video showing boaters dragging a shark.
The FWC says it will not release the names of the people on the boat at this time.
The agency made the announcement in a statement Wednesday morning in reference to the video, which has gone viral on social media.
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.
(WARNING: The caption on the Instagram video below contains profanity. Viewer discretion advised.)
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.