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The diver in this video is one of four charged after tossing some tidbits to Jaws.

Divers charged after feeding sharks

Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Saturday, March 22, 2014, 11:38 AM -

Most people are frightened of sharks, so it's quite something to see that diver in the video above just giving one of them an affectionate rub on its head.

That diver is Randy Jordan, and he and three others, members of two charter diving companies in Florida, were charged this week for illegally feeding sharks, under a law that's been on the books since 2002 in Florida.

Florida's Fish and Wildlife Commission got involved after complaints surfaced after Jordan and others were hand-feeding sharks underwater.

If convicted, the men face up to 60 days in prison, and a $500 fine.

RELATED: Read about eight kinds of weird sharks

Jordan told CNN in a statement that feeding the sharks on tours shows they don't need to be feared to the extent that they are, and may encourage conservation.

Certainly, shark attacks on humans are rarer than popular culture would have you believe. 

For divers, the Florida Museum of Natural History reports a little over 200 worldwide since 1820, of which only 19 per cent proved fatal.

But Florida officials say feeding them was banned because it encourages more aggressive behaviour, and one of the people whose complaints sparked the investigation told CBS Miami the sharks on her dive became so aggressive she had to get out of the water.

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