Investigation after shark filmed being dragged by speedboat

The individuals in the video have been identified

Investigation after shark filmed being dragged by speedboat

Image: Instagrammarktheshark

Authorities in the US have launched an investigation after a video showing a shark being dragged behind a boat went viral.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission say they received an "overwhelming" number of calls, e-mails and messages in response to our request for information.

In the video, the shark is seen twisting in the air and slamming against the water as it visibly struggles in the boat's wake.

One of the men says the shark looks "almost dead", while laughter can be heard in the background.

Three of the occupants of the small boat are visible, but the person filming is not.

The commission says its law enforcement division has identified the individuals in the video, and are currently conducting an investigation.

But since the investigation is active, they will not confirm their identities.

The commission also says 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."

The video was sent to a Miami sport fisherman, Mark Quartiano, who goes by the nickname "Mark the Shark" - by, he said, two of those involved.

Mr Quartiano said he decided to publish the footage so the fishermen could be identified.

He told CNN he was "horrified" by the video.

"I've been shark fishing for 50 years and I've never seen a disrespect for an animal my entire career that was that evil," he said.

"They thought it was funny, they thought it was cool," Mr Quartiano said. "Even if the shark was dead, you don't do that. It's totally disrespectful."

Additional reporting: IRN