WATCH: Ten Years After Being Bitten By Gator, Florida Diver is Attacked By Shark Near Key West

By  //  September 21, 2020

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Justin Stuller, 38, BIT BY LEMON SHARK

ABOVE VIDEO: A new study led by FIU scientists didn’t find any sharks in some of the world’s key coral reefs. Overfishing and the use of destructive gear like gill nets has dramatically reduced the number of sharks living in reefs. (Global FinPrint video)

( – On the first day of the annual lobster mini-season last week, Justin Stuller was diving for dinner with his family and friends off Stock Island near Key West when he noticed what might be a good get — an injured hogfish that someone speared but which got away.

The wrasses are sought after for their sweet, flaky, white meat. Stuller, 38, a seasoned waterman from Estero who owns a popular kayak and fishing outfitters business, grabbed the fish and swam back to his boat before realizing it was too small to keep and releasing it.

But as he did, a large lemon shark, which Stuller estimated to be about eight feet long, slammed into him and bit into his right leg around the knee area.

The strike happened in an instant, and Stuller didn’t see the apex predator approach.

“I saw it afterwards, as I rolled over,” he said Wednesday in a phone interview from Estero, just south of Fort Myers on Florida’s Gulf Coast.