PHOTO: JIM ABERNETHY
THE MYTH OF CATCH & RELEASE
Catch and release may sound good in theory, but the reality is the stress and physical damage done to the sharks can often be fatal especially among Great Hammerhead and Tiger sharks.
Learn about the reality of land based shark fishing.
In a historic decision on 2/20/2019, the FWC unanimously voted to put in new regulations to protect beach goers and sharks. We applaud the FWC for making these new changes to land-based shark fishing.
New Shore-Based Shark Fishing Rules Starting on 7/1/2019
A mandatory, no-cost, annual shore-based shark fishing permit. (This permit will be required for all shore-based shark anglers age 16 and older, including those 65 and older who are normally exempt from needing a fishing license.)
Requiring those under 16 to take the educational requirement associated with the permit unless they are fishing with an adult who already holds the permit.
Prohibiting chumming when fishing for any species from the beach.
Requiring immediate release of prohibited shark species when fishing from the shore. (CHANGE: Requiring anglers to cut the leader, line or hook to prevent delaying release of prohibited species).
Requiring that prohibited shark species remain in the water (when fishing from shore or from a vessel).
Requiring the use of non-offset, non-stainless-steel circle hooks to target or harvest sharks when using live or dead natural bait (when fishing from shore and from a vessel).
Requiring the possession/use of a device capable of quickly cutting the leader or hook when targeting sharks (when fishing from shore or a vessel).
"JACKSONVILLE, Fla. February 21, 2019 - Beginning July 1st, removing a shark from the water is no longer permitted, whether fishing from the shore or a vessel.
At its February meeting in Gainesville, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved changes to shark fishing regulations, including management changes for the shore-based shark fishery. Some minor changes to the original proposal were also made, as noted below. These rules are intended to increase survival of released sharks, improve information gathering for the fishery and address some of the public safety concerns related to the fishery."
Read full article here.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
The ocean is the bloodline of the earth; its health affects the well being and quality of all life on this planet. Among this vital element lives a magnificent animal who is regarded by many as a monster to be hunted down and killed. Education and awareness are crucial to coexisting with a species we could not exist without.
Scientists consider sharks to be “keystone” species, meaning without them the ecosystem would collapse. Sharks help coral reefs and seagrass flourish by altering their prey’s spatial heterogeneity, which shifts feeding patterns and diets of other species.
Shark numbers are dwindling and with nearly a quarter of all sharks threatened with extinction. According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, between 20 and 100 million sharks die each year due to fishing activity. In 2015 more large sharks were killed in the U.S. by recreational fishermen than by commercial fishermen (State of U.S. Fisheries Report).
"George H. Burgess, director emeritus at the Florida Program for Shark Research, said there is "no doubt" that fishing from the shoreline near swimming beaches will attract sharks into an area."