In a video circulating on social media, a shark is pursuing a group of humans – but not intentionally.
The 11-second video from Florida shows a shark violently tumbling over a speedboat’s wake and skipping hard on the water’s surface as a group of unidentified men laugh and gesture at the predator.
One of the men appears to say the shark is going to die.
“Look, it’s already almost there,” another responds.
South Florida charter fishing captain Mark Quartiano received the video on Instagram from someone he believes was on the boat, who also sent him a photo of the shark torn to pieces.
“This is just really sick, one of the most horrific things I have seen in 50 years of professional sport fishing,” said Quartiano, who posted the video on his own Instagram page.
The incident has sparked an investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission after receiving a tip about the video on Monday, said Rob Klepper, a commission spokesman.
“We are also attempting to identify the individuals in the video and where it took place,” Klepper told The Washington Post in an emailed statement.
He said the investigation is still in its early stages and the commission has yet to identify the species of shark.
“It is too early to speculate as to what, if any, violations took place in this incident,” he added.
It remains unclear how fast the boat was travelling, or why the men sought to drag it at a high speed, but the method of dragging a shark backwards from its tail and flooding its gills is a method described in some fishing forums as a safe way to bring sharks aboard.
But not like this.
“To do it at 45 miles per hour for sport, that ain’t cool,” Florida charter captain Nate Weissman told the New York Daily News.
Quartiano said that the man who passed him the video was looking for Quartiano’s praise.
“They said, ‘Oh, this is pretty cool, look what we did to the shark,’ and I go, ‘Are you kidding me, man?’ and that’s when I instantly reposted it and that’s when all the feedback started coming out. All the people started going crazy and it went viral,” he revealed.
“To drag a shark by the tail on a rope, it’s not sporting. It’s not. It should be against the law,” Quartiano added.