Although feeding fish has been banned in Florida waters since 2002, some tour operators are trying to skirt the regulations, resulting in charges being brought against four men accused of illegally feeding sharks and other fish within Florida’s territorial waters.
An investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was launched after they received several complaints of shark feeding going on during dive trips, with one diver saying that the sharks were becoming so aggressive she felt she had to exit the water. Deputies from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office were able to catch video footage of feeding on two separate dive boats, leading to the charges of the men operating the boats and participating in the actual feeding.
Each of the four men has been charged with operating a vessel for hire within state waters to allow passengers to observe feeding, while only the men actively feeding were charged with fish feeding. Both are second-degree misdemeanors, punishable by fines of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail.