Sarasota shark hunter says recent Australia shark attack is no big surprise

Captain Bill Goldschmitt, and his memoir, “Sharkman of Cortez,” counter the environmentalist view that sharks need to be protected, not seen as predatory creatures
(PR NewsChannel) / September 13, 2011 / SARASOTA, Fla.  
Sharkman catching a shark

Sharkman with his 540 pound bull shark caught off Madeira Beach, Fla. during a tournament in May

With an Australian surfer losing his life to a great white shark just over a week ago, former commercial shark fisherman Captain Bill Goldschmitt is fired up over the government’s increased efforts to defend the world’s shark population. Captain Goldschmitt, also known as the Sharkman of Cortez, believes that if these protective movements continue, as discussed in a recent New York Times article, fatal shark attacks will increase from the Gulf of Mexico to the Indian Ocean.

“In Australia, the surfer community wants the great white caught and killed but the environmental community says no because great whites are protected,” says Goldschmitt. “Even though this is on the other side of the globe, the exact same thing is happening here.”

In his memoir, “Sharkman of Cortez,” Goldschmitt explains how he taught himself to shark hunt, crafting his own cages and saltwater aquariums. After setting up his shop in Siesta Village, he initiated a trying yet flourishing relationship with the fishermen in the village of Cortez, where he sold them shark meat to use as crab bait. In just over two decades, Sharkman had captured, documented, studied, cleaned and sold over 6,000 sharks off the West coast of Florida.

The Sharkman’s interest in sharks started on his childhood vacations to Florida, where he frequented the Miami Seaquarium. His hometown of Pittsburgh wasn’t exactly conducive to his passion for sharks, so he headed down south to the sandy white beaches of Siesta Key, Fla. In between the 1960s and 1970s haze of sex, drugs and free love, Goldschmitt found himself a place as the local shark hunter.

Sharkman recalls his decades of research, funded without a dime from the government. He highlights the relationships he built with famous institutions, such as the Mote Marine Aquarium, SeaWorld and the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, before conservation claims pinned him as the bad guy.

“Everything was going great for the community until the government stepped in,” Goldschmitt says. “The local chamber of commerce threatened to shut my shop down, hurting the small fishing villages in the process. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission doesn’t care what anybody thinks, because they have an agenda and, like most government agencies, they are out of control.

Sharkman with a shark skeleton

Sharkman compares the common J-hook with the Circle hook the FWC is pushing for with one of his tiger shark jaw

Despite environmentalists claims that the shark population is dwindling, shark attacks are still prevalent on coasts across the globe. Goldschmitt argues that the data from organizations like the National Marine Fisheries Service and the FWC are fatally-flawed in order to benefit the government’s pocketbooks.

“Environmentalists and self-proclaimed shark experts relate these animals to Bambi,” the Sharkman says.  “Bambi never had teeth like a tiger shark. Bambi never attacked anyone either.”

With everyone jumping on the environmentalist bandwagon lately, Goldschmitt is one of the last few speaking out against the protection of sharks. He believes that government agendas are put ahead of safety, shark attacks will continue to happen to innocent people. Until then, he will continue to speak the truth through “Sharkman of Cortez” and his personal blog, and standing up for what he believes in.

About Captain Bill Goldschmitt: Captain Bill Goldschmitt was the first Captain in Florida to offer cage dives. He is an advocate of fishermen and hunters worldwide. He worked in the industry for over four decades, before being pushed out by government agencies and environmental groups. He previously sold live sharks to Marineland, Mote Marine Laboratory, Miami Seaquarium, SeaWorld and the Field Museum of Natural History. He began writing “The Sharkman of Cortez” in 1970 in order to share his poignant and action-packed adventures, but the memoir quickly became a controversial but factual take on the current environmentalist movement.

Marisa Mangani
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 941-321-7174

“The Sharkman of Cortez” is available on Amazon.com
Read Sharkman of Cortez blog
BBC article – Australia shark attack –
New York Times article – Against shark trading

Direct link:

SOURCE:  Sharkman of Cortez

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