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FWC identifies boaters seen dragging shark in viral video

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a viral video that shows a shark being dragged behind a boat on a rope as men laugh each time its body slams the water. [Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a viral video that shows a shark being dragged behind a boat on a rope as men laugh each time its body slams the water. [Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]
Published Jul. 26, 2017

Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have identified the individuals shown on a viral video dragging a shark behind a boat on a rope as men laugh each time its body slams the water.

In a statement on Wednesday, spokesman Robert Klepper said the agency would not identify the individuals while the investigation continues.

While it is unclear when the video was filmed — although speculation on social media that it was taken in Tampa Bay has yet to be confirmed by the FWC — Klepper said officials first got reports of it on Monday.

And while it also was unclear whether any violations took place, Klepper said in the statement that the "lack of respect" shown in the video "is disheartening and disturbing, and is not representative of conservation-minded anglers around the world."

Anyone with information is asked to call the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 or submit a tip to Tip@MyFWC.com. Individuals can remain anonymous.

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