The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has announced that they are revising the regulations governing land based shark angling in the state. The goal is to restrict “cruel and unnecessary” handling practices that causes fatalities among protected shark species even when they are released. There is a series on public workshops about the issue and comments can also be submitted online.
The Commission has listed the options that it is considering via an online presentation.
- July 18: Bradenton, State College of Florida, Library and Learning Center – Together Manatee Community Room, 5840 26th Street West
- July 19: Ft. Myers, Joseph P D’Alessandro Office Complex, Room 165 C & D, 2295 Victoria Avenue
- August 6: Panama City, Gulf Coast State College, The Russell C. Holley and Herbert P. Holley Language and Literature Building, Sarzin Lecture Hall, 5230 West US Highway 98
- August 7: Pensacola, Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center – Parks & Recreation Department, City of Pensacola, 913 South I Street
- August 20: Daytona Beach, Piggotte Community Center, Reception Hall Room, 504 Big Tree Road
- August 21: Jacksonville, Jacksonville University, J. Henry Gooding Building – Swisher Auditorium, 2800 University Blvd North
- August 27: Melbourne Beach, Melbourne Beach Community Center, 509 Ocean Avenue
- August 28: West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Department of Planning, Zoning & Building – The Vista Center, 2300 North Jog Road
- August 29: Miami, Miami City Hall – Commission Main Chambers, 3500 Pan American Drive
- August 30: Key Colony Beach, City Hall, 600 W. Ocean Drive
Comments can also be submitted online. Below is a sample text (by David Shiffman.)
“I support banning chumming from shore at swimming beaches. I support eliminating tournament categories for threatened species. I support requiring specific gear that will minimize fight time and minimize foul hooking. I support requiring that protected shark species by left in the water at all times, please clarify this to mean “water at least as deep as their gills.” I supporting requiring immediate release of protected species even if this means cutting the line and releasing the shark with a hook in its mouth trailing some line, particularly for physiologically fragile species like hammerhead sharks. A special permit for land-based fishing could be helpful by allowing FWC to monitor the scope of this activity and better target angler education efforts, but such a permit should not allow anglers to break these other rules.”