You all know me as a strong defender of the environment, but it continues to amaze me how stupid TV Newspeople are. Mark-the-Shark is the finest Charter Boat Captain ever here in Miami, and while he does kill an occasional shark, the total he has killed in his lifetime is less than longliners and purse netters kill weekly off south Florida's coastline. A sports fisherman like Mark is in no sane measure, in the least bit responsible for the decline of certain shark species. It isn't charter fishermen who cause the demise of species, it is greedy commercial fisherman who kill hundreds of thousands of marine mammals, sea turtles and non-targeted sharks as "bycatch", while they are also happily destroying stocks of fish they target. Last year, off the Florida coast, Chinese and Japanese commercial fishermen killed 12 million sharks, most simply for their fins, cruelly dumping still alive sharks back into the sea without their cut off fins, and left them to drown, or as unwanted, wasted by-catch. The United States government simply turned a blind eye, as long as these commercial fish species destroyers stayed 3 miles off our coast. Worldwide, over 75 million metric tons of sharks were killed and wasted by these longliners and purse-netters.
Unfortunately, since the uneducated populace loves seafood, it is easier to blame a good fisherman for the demise of species than the real culprits.
Walk into any Publix grocery and see the seafood counter selling Swordfish, a species that used to grow to over 1000 pounds, yet today's average fish caught is less than 45 pounds, .... and this fish doesn't reproduce until they reach about 85 pounds at minimum. That translates into the stocks of swordfish falling at a soon-to-be unrecoverable rate, but people continue to buy this fish for their dinner plate, lining the pockets of the same greedy commercial fisherman who are the real culprits in the decline of shark species. People need to wake up to the truth, but stupid news people would rather write what they think is a sensational story than one that tells the truth, so unfortunately Mark, who is a standout Charter Fisherman becomes their target. The Longliners and netters are never featured or the focus of these stupid stories.
With the equally stupid Fish and Wildlife commissions, they never enforce the no-wake speed limits in Manatee zones, and as a result, every manatee you see has deep propeller scars on their bodies while speed boaters use the manatee zones as race courses. The government never moves to touch the greedy commercial fishermen while idiots who work for them, most without any biological knowledge or education at all, point their fingers at and blame the wrong people for the demise of species.
Mark is a great fisherman, a very nice guy and someone who genuinely cares about the environment. The shark tooth necklace he wears, came from our design company, custom made for him, and we are frankly honored to have him wear this necklace. Sport fishermen are almost never the cause of the demise of species. In the case of sharks, the real criminals skate free of blame, as long as we still buy fish in groceries that should be protected from commercial fishing (like swordfish) and idiot cultures continue their lust for shark fin soup and have no regard for what they destroy as "bycatch."