• Michelle Hebert

Shark abuse videos released on social media

Videos were recently released of civilians in the Tampa, Fla., area treating sharks in an inhumane way, causing an uproar on social media from ordinary citizens, as well as political and community leaders. The videos show “a shark being dragged behind a boat at a high speed,” according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

State Representative Alex Miller released a statement on Facebook that, “‘It is unfortunate that it takes events like this to bring to light other cruel animal abuses that occur on our waters … if current law does not find this to be a prosecutable crime, I will present a bill this session that brings more clarity,’” according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

The Palm Beach Post reported that the Manatee County State Attorney’s Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement “hope for a ‘swift and lawful resolution’ to the incident that sparked the online outrage.”

The governor of Florida, Rick Scott, has called state wildlife officials to action to review fishing regulations after viewing the video showing the shark abuse: “The brutality and disrespect shown to this animal is sickening and I am sure that you may share my outrage over these individuals’ heinous action,” according to The Tallahassee Democrat.

The shark video has caused an outrage on social media; pictures and videos that are believed to be in relation to the people who appeared in the video have also caused an outrage.