A Response

SHARKMAN ANSWERS ENVIRONMENTALIST’S QUESTIONS: Submitted on 2011/05/17 at 8:00 pm | In reply to SharkLover.To Kittiechick,
I found your post so passionate and, as you stated, you hoped you could politely get your message across. So I’ve decided to respond. I will do so as politely as I can. But trust me, after 2 decades of debating eco-loons and PETA fanatics, it will be a daunting task! Why do I kill sharks? I’ve spent 4 decades as an avid ourdoorsman, a hunter, a fisherman and scuba diver. I raised my three sons making a living as a commercial shark fisherman and I am pround of my profession. Sharks were only a part of my catching sustainable resources. The loss of my German shepherd had nothing to do with it, that only reinforced what I already knew: sharks are predators, at the top of the food chain.Now I wish to educate you on a few facts: I’ve spent many years capturing sharks for public display as well as for scientific study so through those years I’ve had close exposure to marine curators, biologists and managers of many aquariums — Marineland, Miami Seaquarium, Seaworld of Florida and San Diego, etc. I’ve also done business with many marine scientists. Often, my wife and I were invited to exclusive parties with Bill Mote, Perry Gilbert, Stu Springer, etc. so if I seem harsh with the scientific community, it is not unjust. You see, many of these people confided to me that they regard the general public as ignorant and gullible, and any ruse would find the wealthy as easy targets. “Send us your money and we’ll save the oceans!” I once asked Dr. Gilbert during a party while the alcohol, etc., was flowing, if there really was a potential cure for cancer using sharks. “There is no real evidence one way or the other, but we’re scientists and we can say what we want. Nobody can disprove our theories, but it’s a great way to raise funds!” He went on to say that part of the game is to appeal to the public’s sense of passion to save animals. Why do you think PETA, the PEW Foundation, Humane Scociety, etc., tug at your heart and wallet with those catch commercials? Like: “Sharks are essential to a healty eco-system” and “100,000,000 sharks are killed each year.” My God, even George Burgess even admitted that number was pulled from the air. A bold lie, only good for its shock value!

These lies and deception are crippling our economy. Nearly 90% of our seafood in our country is needlessly imported, to appease the green lobbyists of our nation. Even those Catch and Release fishing tournaments are nothing more than an attempt to give contestants that Feel Good sensation at setting the fish free. Fact is, sharks and most game fish suffer lactic acid saturation in their bloodstream which poisons their muscle tissue during the battle. Few fish, even sharks ever survive once released. Nobody in the eco -community wants to admit this.

I find it interesting how people who feel such pain and sorrow over the death of a wild and dangerous predator seem unmoved at the death of humans, especially children. One gets a different perspective upon seeing a corpse at a morgue, or interviewing a parent when they relive the tragedy of losing their child due to a shark attack. How can these individuals agonize over the death of animals but trivialize shark attacks as something less than an injury associated from falling off a toilet?

Sharks are not stupid, they know what they are attacking, it’s not mistaken identity. (Besides, there are no seals in Florida). So next time you cry over a dead shark, I can assure you he doesn’t care. But those eco-”sharks” do: remember send us your money, we must save them!” Da da, da da, da da dum, da dum….

Captain Bill Goldschmitt