A Florida man was arrested for several charges of fishery violations after posting a video of himself swimming with an undersized nurse shark in a chlorine-treated swimming pool.
Yansel Garrido, 32, was on vacation in the Florida Keys and chronicled his stay with videos and photos on his Facebook page, which provided evidence of misdemeanor activities.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the Facebook posts included a video of him placing the nurse shark in a swimming pool at his vacation rental in Marathon, as well as filleting a protected Goliath Grouper, and grilling six undersized spiny lobsters on a barbeque.
The video of the shark, headlined “Little sand shark!” was posted on August 24, 2020, and shows a small nurse shark swimming in the bottom of the swimming pool.
A young boy dives down, picks up the shark, and hands it to a man on the deck. Garrido can also be seen holding the shark at one point in the video.
The FWC said that the shark had been “tormented” by being placed in chlorinated water.
The report states “[t]he shark is extremely sluggish and close to near death. It shows no resistance or ability to fight or get away.”
The shark is about 24 inches long. However, state law provides that nurse sharks must be larger than 54 inches before harvesting.
The investigation began September 23 after someone sent FWC Captain David Dipre the video from Garrido’s Facebook page.
After watching the video, Dipre continued to search Garrido’s vacation posts and found evidence of the Goliath Grouper and lobster violations.
Garrido told police he didn’t know the fish he filleted was a Goliath grouper, a species that has been protected in state and federal waters off Florida since 1990.
“What the hell is that? I thought it was just a fish,” Garrido said to a FWC investigator, according to the arrest report.
Garrido also said, “I’m not going to jail. I have a family to support.”
But Garrido was indeed jailed on October 13 after his arrest on charges of cruelty to animals for his treatment of the nurse shark, as well as the additional misdemeanor crimes of harvesting the grouper and lobsters.
Photo credit www.keysweekly.com.