A disturbing video circulating the internet shows two men laughing as they drag a shark behind their boat at a high speed. As the helpless animal bounces on the water, one of the men declares, “Look, it’s already almost there” — presumably meaning the shark is close to dead.
An NBC Florida affiliate, WESH, reported that the “Florida sport fishing community is outraged” by the video. The network also reported that they procured another image, which appears to be the same shark, ripped to shreds, with the men standing beside it. Because of the graphic nature of that image, they did not run it on their website.
A spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission told WESH, “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.”
When sport fishing, it’s not uncommon to drag a shark behind a boat for a few minutes, just to pump water into its gills so that the animal is safe to bring on board. Other fishermen prefer to bring the shark closer to the boat and gaff the animal if it is smaller, but this sort of treatment is unheard of.
WESH has identified one of the men on board the boat and traced him to Florida’s gulf coast. They are not releasing his name.