What Is Land-Based Shark Fishing


Land-Based Shark Fishing is defined as, "Attempting to capture and / or the actual capture of sharks using a rod, reel, line, and hook(s) from the land and anything permanently attached to it". For example: jetties, piers and bridges.

Photo: Walter Coker

This shark fishing rig was found floating in Matanzas Inlet. 

An alarming rate of land-based shark fishers are breaking the law and getting away with it. Land-based shark fishing targets explicitly prohibited species of sharks such as endangered hammerheads, tiger, and lemon sharks. Shark fishing rules and regulations are not being enforced. The lack of enforcement or consequence for breaking the law is jeopardizing shark populations and human safety.


Recreational shark fishing is on the rise with 66 million sharks caught on the U.S. east coast, including 1.2 million prohibited species (Kilfoil et al. 2017). The U.S. recreational shark fishery kills twice as many large species of sharks than the commercial fishery (Lowther and Liddel 2015). The “unintentional” mortality occurs after the shark is thought to be released in good condition, but the physiological stress of capture causes the animal to die after release (a.k.a. post-release mortality). Post-release mortality varies between species and capture methods and it can be very high (i.e. >60% for thresher sharks, Sepulveda et al. 2015).

Recreational Shark Fishing Inflicts Pain Even After Fight And Sometimes Death

Physiological stress response, reflex impairment, and survival of five sympatric shark species following experimental capture and release - Click here to read this scientific paper on the effects of catch and release.  


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