At its February meeting in Gainesville, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said it approved changes to shark fishing regulations, including management changes for the shore-based shark fishery.
FWC says 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.
Safety concerns include beachgoers who have complained about anglers fishing for sharks from the beach while people are swimming.
However, anglers say it’s just more government overreach.
Tim Zane wrote, “The government needs to stop with all of the regulations. This is just a way for the state to suck more money out of citizens. It’s not like we have a shortage of sharks in Florida.” He added, “I will take my chances because I refuse to pay for a permit to catch sharks, it’s absurd.”
Thousand who feel just like Zane has turned to social media to express their concerns about the new regulations.
The new regulation goes into effect on July 1, 2019.
The regulations include:
- Creating 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.)
- Those under 16 must 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. (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).
- Defining beach, chumming and shore-based shark fisher
How do you feel about the new regulations?