Officials investigating shocking video of boat dragging shark

Florida conservation officials are investigating a video posted on Instagram Monday showing a group of laughing people on board a speeding boat dragging a shark by its tail on a rope.

Ian Marsh | Aug 01, 2017

Florida conservation officials are investigating a video posted on Instagram Monday showing a group of laughing people on board a speeding boat dragging a shark by its tail on a rope.

The video was posted by well-known shark fisherman Mark Quartiana of Miami, who received the clip on Instagram from someone thinking Quartiana would think dragging a shark behind a boat at high speed was cool. He did not. Instead, he sent the video on to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), according to the HuffPost.

"To drag a shark by the tail on a rope, it's not sporting. It's not," Quartiano told CBS 4 News. "This is just really sick, one of the most horrific things I have seen in 50 years of professional sport fishing. I don't know if this is criminal, but it would seem to me that this is animal cruelty and they should be prosecuted."

While many species of shark can be caught legally, the behavior of the fishermen responsible for dragging the shark is unacceptable, according to Christopher Lowe, director of Cal State University of Long Beach's Shark Lab, who spoke with HuffPost.

"It's pretty sad and is an embarrassment to all those ethical fishers out there who respect the fish they catch," Lowe said. "The mistreatment of any wildlife is unacceptable even if their intention was to kill it and eat it."

The FWC says the agency is taking the incident seriously but that it is too soon to determine if any laws were broken.

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