Image via iStock.com/Rainervonbrandis
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be voting on Feb. 20 on proposals that would place restrictions on shark fishing on the beaches. Shore-based shark fishing is the practice of catching sharks, dragging them ashore and then releasing them back into the ocean—usually after getting a photograph or removing the hook.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the new proposals would require anglers to have a “free shore-based shark fishing permit” and would ban the practice of chumming—throwing fish matter into the water to attract sharks—on the beaches.
The proposals would also require that any caught sharks remain in the water with their gills submerged—instead of being dragged ashore—to help limit stress. The final proposal is a mandate that only circle hooks be used, which are meant to catch the mouth. Currently, J hooks are used as well, which get caught in the gills and gut.
The proposals are meant to help protect delicate shark species like great hammerheads. Many studies have found that sharks that have been caught by onshore anglers and dragged out of the water often die as a result of it.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that many local anglers are not happy about the potential new restrictions. Many of the reported objections stem from not being able to remove the shark from the water. They raise safety concerns for themselves, but one angler claims that it will affect tourism and that there is no reason why they shouldn’t be able to pull the shark out to document their catch.
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