• Petitioning Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission & NOAA, NAUI, SDI, SSI & PADI

This petition will be delivered to:

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission & NOAA, NAUI, SDI, SSI & PADI
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
Florida State House
Florida State Senate

Continue the prohibition of shark feeding in state waters Fla. Admin. Reg. 68B-5.005. Stop Baiting-Feeding of Sharks: increase fines, protect federal waters and punish offenders.

    1. Petition by

      Florida Association of Diving Instructors

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.

 

Please continue to enforce laws against Shark Baiting, increase fines, protection in federal waters and punish offenders.

The offense: http://bit.ly/1hDQj6d

 

To:
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission & NOAA, NAUI, SDI, SSI & PADI
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
Florida State House
Florida State Senate
Stop Baiting-Feeding Sharks: increase fines, protect federal waters and punish offenders.

Arrest/Offense: http://chn.ge/R1Ycq2

Protect sharks from divers http://chn.ge/R1Ycq2

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. I am the other guy!

      I am the other guy!

      There are Shark Lovers and Shark Haters.

      Shark lovers love sharks to death and shark haters hate sharks to death.

      I am the other guy, I want sharks to survive both.

      If you are the other guy too please sign our petition and ask your friends, http://chn.ge/1lyxhtG

    2. Regulation of the Feeding of Fishes and Other Marine Wildlife

      A Case for Regulation of the Feeding of Fishes and
      Other Marine Wildlife by Divers and Snorkelers
      by Bill Alevizon, Ph.D.,
      Gainesville, Florida July 2000

      This paper has presented evidence and information in support of the
      FFWCC's February 2000 decision to prohibit the underwater feeding of sharks and other marine wildlife in Florida waters. The decision appears to be the most prudent course of action, and is backed by a preponderance of scientific evidence, expert opinion of leading state and national marine conservation groups, a century of cumulative experience of wildlife managers dealing with the referred activity in similar contexts, and precedents established by other regulatory agencies at home and abroad. The FFWCC would be wise to proactively regulate this inherently ill-advised activity in the interest of marine conservation and public safety before the practice reaps more costly human and environmental losses.

      Florida Administrative Regulation 68B-5.005 has protected fish, divers and snorkelers since 2002

      See the paper at http://www.divefla.com/nofeed.pdf

    3. The Illegal Feeding of Florida’s Sharks

      The Illegal Feeding of Florida’s Sharks

      from the May, 2014 issue of Undercurrent ( http://bit.ly/1taawBJ and http://linkd.in/1trOXyJ )

      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.

      Afterwards, the FWC and PBSO team used GPS devices and other methods to confirm that the illegal feeding was indeed occurring in state waters, which, in the Atlantic, is within three nautical miles of the Florida coastline. The State Attorney's office charged Jordan, Smith, Roman and Crumrine with operating a vessel for hire within state waters to allow passengers to observe fish feeding. Jordan and Roman were also charged with fish feeding. The DA's office charged the men with second-degree misdemeanors, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

      Emerald Charters' Randy Jordan stands defiant and denies the charges. In an interview with the Florida newspaper Sun-Sentinel, he said he feeds sharks every day for his clients but does so in federal waters, where it's still legal. "When people see that the sharks are not going to rip them to shreds, then they're not afraid of them, and they begin to love sharks and appreciate them as apex predators that we need," he said. "Second, by monetizing sharks by making money from people seeing them, it makes it so that sharks are worth a lot more money alive than dead."

      On the Emerald Charters Facebook page, Jordan wrote, "On February 8, the FWC placed two undercover divers on the Emerald. They tracked us with a land-based radar and videotaped our lemon shark encounter. Lieutenant Dave Bingham just met with me and gave me a ticket for feeding sharks in state waters. They determined I was 367 feet off the line. Regardless, I am cited and will have to go to court. First of all, please let anyone know about this that wants to enrich their soul by celebrating my
      misfortune. I am still feeding sharks and educating divers about sharks. I'm sure after the press release and subsequent interviews, I will be more booked so talk it up!" His comment got 99 likes.

      But not everyone is supporting him. The Florida Association of Dive Instructors is upset with the low fines and lowly misdemeanor charges given to the four guys, so they started a petition on Change.org to urge Florida to enforce laws against shark baiting, increase the fines, increase protection into federal waters and give stronger punishment to the offenders. You can sign it at http://chn.ge/1nuVCDE

    4. “Would I allow a member of my family to dive with this person?"

      “Would I allow a member of my family to dive with this person?" ~ Bret Clifton Gilliam, Founder of TDI

      • Famed 'Cowboy' Shark Dive Operator Jim Abernethy Bitten by Shark in the Bahamas http://bit.ly/1qmRKGg

      • Cowboy' Shark Dive Operator Warned over Safety before Fatal Attack; 'Accident Waiting to Happen' http://bit.ly/1kM9AlR

      • Why Did This Shark Diver Disappear? http://www.divefla.com/petty.pdf

      • Shark Diver Missing http://www.outsideonline.com/news-from-the-field/Shark-Diver-Goes-Missing-In-Bahamas.html

      • Search Called Off http://www.tribune242.com/news/2014/jul/17/search-called-off-for-man-missing-after-shark-dive

      • Shark Dive Ban http://www.tribune242.com/news/2014/jul/18/expert-calls-shark-dive-ban-after-fatality/

      • Death from Negligence? http://www.tribune242.com/news/2014/jul/19/shark-diving-death-could-be-due-negligence/?c=51213

      • Search Called Off For Man Missing After Shark Dive http://www.bit.ly/1kB816B

      • Search Called Off for Missing Scuba Diver http://www.abcn.ws/1oP3TB0

      • Search Suspended http://www.ketknbc.com/news/coast-guard-suspends-search-for-missing-longview-c

      • Petty’s Friends http://www.ketknbc.com/news/friends-say-dr-petty-leaves-behind-legacy-of-adven

      • Bahamian Police Report http://www.ketknbc.com/news/bahamian-police-release-report-detailing-e-texans

      “Would I allow a member of my family to dive with the Shear Water?" NO, HECK NO!!!

      I oppose shark feeding dives based on current law and my diving experience with aggressive predators.

      I believe that any shark found in Florida waters should be protected by Florida fish/shark feeding laws everywhere ~ wherever it swims. I believe that any boat/ yacht charter that originates in Florida ports or Registered in Florida should be subject to Florida laws.

      Sign our petition here http://chn.ge/1lyxhtG
      Info at https://www.facebook.com/FlaDive
      Friend me at https://www.facebook.com/CaptJohnRussell?ref=tn_tnmn
      Please boycott game law violators, their business and supporters.

      Thanks, John Russell, Detective & Dive Industry Professional
      Executive Director FADI Florida Association of Diving Instructor

    5. Why Did This Shark Diver Disappear?

      A story by Vanessa Richardson, Senior Editor, Undercurrent, Undercurents
      http://www.divefla.com/petty.pdf

    6. SSI is a proponent of continued prohibition of shark feeding in FL waters.

      SSI is a proponent of continued prohibition of shark feeding in FL waters.

      Thanks, and keep up the hard work....Jon

      Jon Wilkins
      HEAD USA Water Sports

      Doug McNeese
      President & CEO, SSI

    7. Our petitions have reached over 1000 signatures in 90 days.

      Our petitions have reached over 1000 signatures in 90 days.

      Every day we make progress in our efforts, getting more signatures and educating others of our cause.

      We believe that the only thing sharks need from man is respect and to be left alone. If you want interact with wild sharks, remember the shark is in charge of the encounter. Baiting and feeding sharks is illegal and morally wrong.

      If you are a Florida diver and want to serve, we need volunteers~ legislative action, fundraising, association management and legal action.

      Please make a donation to us at: http://bit.ly/1kQ4phl

      Our Petitions against Shark Feeding and Shark Baiting

      Continue the prohibition of shark feeding in state waters Fla. Admin. Reg. 68B-5.005. Stop Baiting-Feeding of Sharks: increase fines, protect federal waters and punish offenders. http://chn.ge/1lyxhtG

      Continue the prohibition of shark feeding in state waters Fla. Admin. Reg. 68B-5.005. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/683/006/717/

      Stop Baiting-Feeding of Sharks outside of Florida’s territorial waters. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/269/368/868/

      Thanks so much for you continued support.

      Warm regards,

      John Russell, Detective and Dive Industry Professional
      www.linkedin.com/pub/john-russell/41/673/241/
      info@divefla.com

    8. Reached 500 signatures
    9. Two Hundred Petitions Signed! Let's Stop Shark Baiting!

      Please send this letter to your email lists:

      Dear Friend,

      Let's Stop Shark Baiting!

      I just signed a petition to "Stop Shark Baiting, increase the fines, increase protection into federal waters and punish offenders".

      Cowboy Shark Dive Operators are making big bucks baiting sharks in Florida waters in violation of law. See the video on the signup page. After a shark baiting and feeding session the sharks become aggressive. Recent arrest information by the FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) are here too.

      Please protect sharks and divers click here and sign the petition http://chn.ge/R1Ycq2

      Thank you,

      (Your name)

      Stop Shark Baiting, increase the fines, increase protection in federal waters and punish offenders.

      Although feeding fish has been banned in Florida waters since 2002, some tour operators are trying to skirt the regulations, resulting in charges...

    10. Reached 200 signatures
    11. Reached !00 Signatures

      Florida's Top Shark Scientist is on our team,

      I'm with you on this, John - not a fan of feeding.... cheers,
      George Burgess
      George H. Burgess Coordinator of Museum Operations Director, Florida Program for Shark Research Curator, International Shark Attack File Curator, National Sawfish Encounter Database Florida Museum of Natural History University of Florida Dickinson Hall - Museum Road - POB 117800 Gainesville, FL 32611 352-392-2360 tel 352-392-7158 fax gburgess@flmnh.ufl.edu www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/about-us/people/spotlight/burgess/

      Get you friends sign up for the team too.
      Captain John Russell, Diver FADI Florida Association of Diving Instructors

    12. Reached 100 signatures
    13. Decision-maker The Florida Sheriffs Association Headquarters responds:

      The Florida Sheriffs Association Headquarters

      The Florida Sheriffs Association is not an enforcement or regulating agency. We are a nonprofit 501(c)3 (non governmental) professional association, so we are not the contact for this issue.

      The enforcement of these laws would be up to...


    14. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • karma crampton CARLSBAD, CA
      • 14 days ago

      I am passionate about sharks, and the health of our oceans.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Casey Quinlan RICHMOND, VA
      • about 1 month ago

      As a lifelong diver, I see baiting of any sea creatures as stupid at best, and dangerous at worst. Sharks are beautiful, misunderstood creatures. Putting blood in the water doesn't help ...

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Kimberley Bowen LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 month ago

      I love sharks

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Vera E Bryant JACKSONVILLE BEACH, FL
      • about 1 month ago

      I see sharks killed daily for no reason that is useless for fishermen to do.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Leama Vallely FORT LAUDERDALE, FL
      • about 1 month ago

      Sharks are an extremely important keystone species that keeps out oceans balanced. Most of the life on earth is in the ocean & without it there'd be no life. We will be killing ourselves if we kill the sharks!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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