Shark-dragging video outrages Florida governor
Scott mulls change in state laws
MIAMI, Fla. – Florida's governor wants to know if state law needs to be changed to better protect wildlife after a video of a shark being dragged behind a speeding boat went viral.
Gov. Rick Scott sent a letter to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Friday saying he wants to make sure the state's fishing regulations and statutes strictly prohibited "such inhumane acts."
"This week, an incredibly disturbing video was reported by the media showing individuals senselessly dragging a shark behind their boat at high speed. The brutality and disrespect shown to this animal is sickening and I am sure that you share in my outrage over these individuals' heinous actions," Scott wrote.
FWC spokesman Rob Klepper said the agency has received numerous photos and videos this week of alleged wildlife abuse, including a video of men pouring beer into a hammerhead shark's mouth and gills. The agency's law enforcement division is investigating all complaints, but no charges have been announced.
The video of the shark being dragged gained attention Monday after a Miami sport fisherman criticized it on social media.
FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski released a statement late Friday afternoon, saying the agency would support stricter regulations.
“I, my fellow Commissioners, and the men and women of the FWC, who are dedicated to conserving Florida’s precious natural resources for future generations, could not agree more with Governor Scott’s powerful words. Each and every member of our agency is disgusted by the behavior shown in the video. FWC Division of Law Enforcement investigators are working diligently to come to a lawful resolution in this case. Florida is a sportsman’s destination and there is no place in Florida for these kinds of callous acts. We are eager to move forward with the Governor's suggestion to review and strengthen regulations as necessary to help deter this type of behavior in the future. These individuals do not represent the sentiments and conscientious actions of millions of conservation-minded anglers around the world,” Yablonski wrote.
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