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Thou Shalt Not Chum

Outside magazine, July 1996


Thou Shalt Not Chum


Jon Cappella's dream of making a fortune by lowering thrill-seeking scuba divers into sharky waters is about to be thwarted for good. Next month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will likely approve regulations that would prohibit chumming for great whites in coastal waters of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Cappella, 41, became the scourge of surfers and environmentalists two years ago, when he began using fish entrails to lure sharks toward his caged clients. "He's maybe a notch above a used-car salesman," says Tim Loomis of Surfers' Environmental Alliance, which has filed suit, claiming its members have been put in danger by Cappella. For his part, Cappella is lying low: "Those surfers want to chop me up and use me as chum."

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