Captain defends shark video

Posted at 10:22 PM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 23:23:10-04

A Southwest Florida charter captain is defending a viral video that appears to show him feeding a tarpon to a shark.

Passengers on Captain Artie Price's boat took video of the incident Monday and posted it to social media.

"A whole pack of sharks came to the boat, I don't know, there were probably 15 or 20, I couldn't see them all, but customers were squealing about them all," said Price.

One of his customers reeled in a tarpon, but under Florida law they are protected and have to be thrown back.

Price was struggling to put the 150 pound fish back in the water when sharks began circling off Boca Grande.

"I had two choices, either hang onto it or drop it to the sharks, and within 30 seconds, they decided to eat it within the boat."

Price says the video doesn't tell the whole story, and the issue is dividing the fishing community.

"My initial reaction was, for lack of a better way of putting it disgust," said a charter captain, who did not want to give his name.

Price has three decades of experience running charters in Southwest Florida, he believes some people have it out for him, suggesting they're using this incident to target him.

He says its become personal and he's hearing the rage on his phone.

"I've been getting calls from unavailable numbers, threatening me, telling me what a piece of s*** I am."

An official with FWC says the incident is under investigation.