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May 2014    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 29, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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The Illegal Feeding of Florida’s Sharks

from the May, 2014 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Although feeding fish has been banned in Florida waters since 2002, some tour operators are trying to skirt the regulations, promising shark dives by luring the fish with bait. But word got out to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) when they started getting complaints about shark feeds off the shores of Palm Beach County during dive trips. One woman said the sharks got so aggressive she had to get out of the water.

Working undercover with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office (PBSO), the FWC did two separate undercover investigations of Palm Beach dive charter operators. On February 8, deputies from the PBSO acted as "Joe Divers" paying for a day trip with Emerald Charters of Jupiter. During the dive, they took videos of owner Randy Jordan feeding sharks by hand within state waters. He also used a milk crate filled with fish chunks to lure sharks. Thomas Smith was captaining the boat. On February 22, the deputies took another undercover dive trip on board Miss Jackie, owned by Luis Roman of Calypso Dive Charters in Lake Park and captained by Toni Crumrine. During the dive, they videotaped Roman feeding a goliath grouper and a lemon shark, and also trying to lure sharks by shaking a milk crate filled with barracuda chunks....

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