[Last updated on July 26, 2017, at 5:05 p.m.]
Statement from Sarasota Slam:
“The Sarasota Slam is in NO WAY affiliated with the despicable
behavior in the video on social media. We do not want to give those individuals any more attention. They will be banned from our tournament. Rule #1 of the Slam has and always will be: “Sarasota Slam expects the highest level of integrity and sportsmanship from its participants.” Their names were already given to the proper authorities when we learned of the video. Thank you to all of our anglers who reached out to give their support and protect our tournament.”
FWC officials said they are not releasing the names of the suspects at this time.
On Wednesday, FWC released the following statement:
“We want to thank YOU! An overwhelming number of calls, emails, social media messages and posts have been received in response to our request for information about a disturbing video of individuals dragging a shark behind a boat. Our Division of Law Enforcement has now identified the individuals in the video, and are currently conducting an investigation into this incident. Since the investigation is active, we can’t confirm the identities of the individuals, and it is too early to speculate as to what, if any, violations took place in this incident. However, we would like to state that the lack of respect shown in this video for our precious natural resources is disheartening and disturbing, and is not representative of conservation-minded anglers around the world.”
Several readers have identified one of the individuals in the Facebook comments.
Florida — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is asking for the public’s help in identifying the individuals responsible for pulling a shark behind a boat.
FWC Public Information Coordinator Rob Klepper said, “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.”
“It is too early to speculate as to what, if any, violations took place in this incident,” Klepper said.
However, officials did say that one of the men in the video can be heard saying “look, he’s almost already dead.”
The video clip shows fisherman driving a boat dragging a shark through the water at a high rate of speed.
Officials said the men seem to be enjoying watching the shark “flop around.”
Klepper said anyone with information is asked to contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 or Tip@MyFWC.com. Anonymity is guaranteed.
What are your thoughts about the video?