Closing arguments are expected to end today in the trail of a charter boat captain who allegedly fed sharks.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: “On Feb. 8, deputies from the PBSO dive team took part in a dive trip on board Emerald Charters of Jupiter. During the dive, video was taken of Randall Jordan feeding sharks by hand while within state waters. He also used a milk crate filled with fish chunks to lure sharks to his location. Thomas Smith was operating the vessel during the dive.”
Since 2002, it has been illegal to feed fish in Florida waters (3 nautical miles from the nearest point of Florida coastline).
Both Smith and Jordan are charged with operating a vessel for hire within state waters to allow passengers to observe fish feeding. Jordan was also charged with fish feeding. They are second-degree misdemeanors, punishable with up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
Several complaints had been filed that sharks were being fed during dive charters and that the sharks had become aggressive.
One of the complainants’ state the sharks had become “so aggressive she had to get out of the water”.
FWC Maj. Camille Soverel said “This is a public safety issue. The FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement wants to ensure these beautiful coastal waters remain safe for divers.”