Legislation Looking to Restrict Shore Fishing for Sharks

Shark Fishing from Shore is a big deal in Florida, but later this month legislates will vote on adding some big restrictions to the practice. They claim that the bill was introduced to protect the sharks and swimmers, but that may be over blown.

According to The Sun Sentinel, The proposal would ban chumming from shore. It require that sharks be left in the water with their gills submerged, rather than brought ashore. It would also require a free shore-based shark fishing permit, and would mandate the use of circle hooks.

Swimmers complain that they feel unsafe when the shark-fishing enthusiasts chum the water bloody fish parts to attract sharks, although a wildlife commission report says there’s no basis for that fear. As it has not led to an increased of shark attacks.

Joshua Jorgensen, a shore-based shark fisherman and star of the popular Youtube fishing show BlacktipH, said the rules would make the activity more dangerous and less fun.

“I don’t like the permit at all,” he said. “I think it’s unnecessary. I think it’s bad for tourism.”

“Before cameras, we killed everything,” he said. “We wanted people to see what we caught. That’s what sport fishermen are. You don’t eat sharks. You don’t eat sailfish. But you want to take a picture of it.”

“It’s ridiculous,” he said. “How are you supposed to safely handle a shark? You have to take him out of the water. You’re trying to take the hook out of him and all of a sudden the shark runs into you and bites you. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.”

David Shiffman, a researcher at Simon Fraser University in Canada, supports the restrictions saying they are better for the Sharks survival.

“Land-based shark anglers would often drag their catch totally out of the water where it couldn’t breathe and its organs lacked the buoyant support of water, and did so by dragging them across sand, concrete or wood (depending on if it’s a beach or pier) causing numerous injuries,” said Shiffman, who studied the practices as a graduate student at the University of Miami.

“Permanent gill damage can ensue from just a few minutes of air exposure, and anglers often left their catch out of the water for much longer than that until it stopped flopping so they felt safe approaching the animal.”

The wild Game Commission will vote on the proposal 20 February 2019.