A Venice, La. fisherman who videotaped numerous sharks engaging in a feeding frenzy on a bait ball recounted the episode to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
Marc Hardesty’s fishing boat, Money Shot, was fishing for yellowfin and wahoo off the Louisiana coast when the sharks surrounded his vessel and began thrashing violently.
Hardesty said he has seen sharks before but that they have never been intensely feeding to such a degree they came up under and around the boat as they did.
He said, however, the shark population has exploded in the Gulf of Mexico “like a cockroach infestation” in part because of a federal restriction on sharkfishing – a limitation that does not affect state waters closer to shore.
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The sharks have “just dramatically increased and it has decimated a lot of the food fish and is working on the game fish that are are so prevalent in Venice, Louisiana, because the federal restrictions under the Magnuson-Stevens Act have really done a toll on the fishery,” he said.
“And it’s certainly a overregulation situation that’s going on now.”
The conservation and management law, authored by former Sens. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and Warren Magnuson, D-Wash., has been in effect since 1976.
“Shark fishing is still allowed in state waters. And that puts really no dent in it in comparison to what’s going on offshore and in the Gulf,” Hardesty said.
When asked if such feeding frenzies instill a fear of falling overboard into the shark-infested water, Hardesty said it crosses one’s mind, but that his boat is very seaworthy.
“That wasn’t that much concern about that aspect of things. But certainly they were so brought up in this frenzy that, you know, certainly there’s something that crosses your mind, that one [shark] launches themselves into the boat,” he added.
“Luckily, that didn’t occur and unfortunately this is just occurring more and more. I’ve noticed an exponential increase in shark activity in the Gulf over the last five or six years.”
“And what that shown is that the Magnuson-Stevens Act has essentially the harm that it has caused is simply been in place long enough to really start dramatically increasing the population of these sharks.”