Some SCUBA diving operators use bait or chum to attract sharks so that their customers can get a closer look (or a better picture). Now a new bill has just been introduced in Congress that would make this practice illegal in all U.S. waters.

Section 3 of S. 3099, the “Access for Sportfishing Act of 2016,” contains the following provision:

“it is unlawful for any person—

“(1) to engage in shark feeding; or

“(2) to operate a vessel for the purpose of carrying a passenger for hire to any site to engage in shark feeding or to observe shark feeding

By definition, the term ‘shark feeding’ means “the introduction of food or any other substance into the water to feed or attract sharks for any purpose other than to harvest sharks.”

Some supporters say that attracting sharks with bait is the only way to ensure that scuba divers will get to see them on their outings. Critics fear that shark feeding can result in changing sharks’ natural behaviors, and may teach them to associate humans with food.

The latest bill won’t affect divers in California; feeding sharks is already banned in the state.  It’s not clear how this bill will affect American-owned companies engaging in shark feeding outside of U.S. waters.

You can track the progress of this bill by visiting here.