Florida wildlife authorities are investigating an incident that was caught on camera, in which a man appears to be dragging a dead shark along a beach after it is alleged that he killed the shark by hitting it with a hammer. The video, which was taken by the Harbour House Oceanfront surfcam in Indian Harbor Beach and reported by WOFL-TV, shows a man holding a hammer and handling what is believed to be a protected Lemon shark. This incident will lead to tougher fishing laws in Florida as the video with cruelty is making the rounds on internet.
According to the Indian Harbour Beach Police Department, two men were seen catching a shark while fishing on the shore, dragging it to land, bludgeoning it with a hammer, and then pulling it back into the ocean and freeing it. The police department added that the case was forwarded to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
According to a source who spoke to FOX 35 News, the shark shown in the video is a protected lemon shark, though the station was unable to confirm that information independently. Lemon sharks are considered to be “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. It is illegal to fish for them in Florida waters, and they can only be fished commercially in federal waters with the appropriate permit.
It is estimated that humans kill around 100 million sharks annually, driven in part by the demand for shark fins used in shark fin soup, particularly in China and Vietnam. The process often involves cutting off the shark’s fins and discarding the rest of the animal back into the ocean, where it dies from its injuries. A 2021 study estimates that up to 73 million sharks are killed in this way each year.