Florida wildlife officials investigating video of boat dragging shark

Wildlife officials said they are taking the video "very seriously."

ByABC News
July 25, 2017, 6:09 PM

— -- Florida wildlife officials are investigating a video posted to social media that appears to show a boat traveling at a high speed while dragging a shark.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has been alerted to the video, it said in a statement to ABC News. The video appears to show a "group of individuals traveling at high speed on the water dragging a shark behind the vessel," officials said.

In the video, the shark is thrust into the air several times as it hits the currents caused by the boat. The shark appears to be caught on a fishing line or rope by its tail fin.

Wildlife officials said they are taking the video "very seriously" and are attempting to identify the people in it and where the incident occurred. But the FWC said it is too early to know if any violations took place in the incident.

The video was posted to Instagram by Mark Quartiano, or "Mark the Shark," a well-known deep sea fisherman in the Miami area and a self-proclaimed shark hunter.

Quartiano told ABC News that the people who took the "disturbing" video sent it to him Monday via direct message on Instagram. He had never interacted with them before, but he said he suspects that they were one of his more than 78,000 followers on the social media platform.

"I guess they saw a need to send me that video -- like I was going to condone that kind of behavior, which I don't," Quartiano said, adding that he believes the people who sent it: "thought this was funny."

Quartiano said he then posted the video to "make everyone aware of what kind of evilness is out in this world."

Although Quartiano claims to have hunted tens of thousands of sharks in his 55 years of living in South Florida and fishing off of Miami Beach, he called the actions in the video "not sportsmanlike."

Quartiano said that the people who sent him the video also sent him still photos showing the bloodied remains of the shark, which they appear to have later dragged into the boat.

"It was quite disturbing on my end," he said. "I'd never seen something like that before."

The video had been viewed nearly 44,000 times as of Tuesday afternoon.

Further details about the incident and the people who took the video were not immediately available.