Dive tour operators face charges for illegally feeding sharks

Four dive boat operators in Florida are facing charges related to illegally feeding sharks.

This video shows dive boat operator Randy Jordan feeding sharks last month off the coast of Jupiter, Florida.

Jordan and his boat operator Thomas Smith are among those charged.

In a statement to CNN, Jordan defended feeding sharks by hand during his underwater tours. He says it shows that sharks don't need to be feared and encourages people to push for their protection.

Fish and Wildlife officials say it's a matter of public safety -- that feeding sharks is illegal because it makes them more aggressive.

Wildlife officials started looking into the dive operations after getting several complaints of shark feedings during chartered dives.

The other two operators charged are with a separate dive business.

The charges related to the illegal fish feeding are misdemeanors, which carry a punishment of up to 60 days in jail and a fine up to $500.


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