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Topic Title: Shore based shark fishing
Topic Summary: New rules coming
Created On: 06/21/2019 07:05 PM
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 06/21/2019 07:05 PM
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garcia

Posts: 923
Joined Forum: 03/12/2007

I thought you all might like to know that, after 10 years of lobbying the FWC, we were successful in convincing FWC to regulate shore-based shark fishing. On July 1, the following regulations will go into effect. (Shark fishing will be defined by equipt, not whether you say you are shark fishing or not) -

- Shore based shark fishers will be required to take a training course and obtain a (free) shark fishing license (which can be confiscated if rules are violated);
- Shark fishers will be required to immediately release shark "species of special concern" (great hammerheads, etc) by cutting the leader in the water with the gills covered to decrease mortality;
- Shark fishers will be required to use non-stainless circle hooks and leaders;
- Shark fishers will be reqd to have a device capable of quickly cutting the leader or hook in their possession;

and best of all for we surfers -
- Chumming shall be prohibited when fishing for any species from shore.

I got started on this effort (alone) in 2008 after a group of mainlanders started coming to my neighborhood beach and chumming among swimmers and surfers (which, believe it or not, was legal) two or three times a week. In 2014, I was joined by a group of concerned divers and shark advocates from South Florida and together we achieved what I never believed was achievable. We had to build a huge case with photos of egregious behavior (shark fishers are their own worst enemies in this regard having posted most of it, with their commentary, on Facebook, etc), but, in the end, we convinced FWC to implement these rules. (It helped that the FWC membership had completely turned over since I began.) Unfortunately, we were unable to achieve a regulation establishing shark fishing/no shark fishing zones or minimum separation from swimmers/surfers, but, if the shark fishers don't clean up their act in this regard, FWC has promised to revisit it.

There is a lot of cynicism these days regarding government, but, this effort proves that, with enough effort, commitment and perseverance citizens can make changes.
 06/22/2019 02:59 AM
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tom

Posts: 6475
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Bravo and Well Done!

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 06/22/2019 03:36 AM
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bluestreak

Posts: 82
Joined Forum: 03/30/2009

Good work!

I'm sure everyone has their own related stories. One of mine was a good 3 foot day locally and this guy, in camo on his camo covered kayak, was ferrying out these giant pieces of bait, out through the lineup. I was thinking what a d**k!. I then thought hey don't worry the fool will never make it through the break. This should be fun to watch. He took a bit of a beating but damned if he did not make it out. He did this a couple times while I was there.

 06/22/2019 05:21 AM
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garcia

Posts: 923
Joined Forum: 03/12/2007

Unfortunately, he will still be able to do that as we were unable to achieve a separation regulation or to establish shark fishing allowed/shark fishing not allowed zones/beaches. But, at least he will not be able to dump a bucket of bloody guts anywhere from the beach. (Boats can still come in close and do it, but, that is not really a problem this far north). One note - to interfere with a fisherman or hunter who is legally fishing or hunting is a felony. So, the only legal action is to persuade them through dialog that they are really being unsafe and that there are better areas to shark fish. Fortunately, back in 2008, the folks causing the problem were "persuaded" that it was in their best interest to move to another beach. It took many "conversations" (in which they insisted correctly upon their legal right to fish among women and children swimmers, saying that it was the swimmers who needed to move on), but they eventually moved on. (I am not sure how they were finally persuaded, I have my suspicions, but I made sure my friends did not tell me.) Then in 2014, they came back, which re-energized me to go back through the FWC for regulations. FWC has said they want to see how these regulations work before revisiting the issue of separation, but, they are more open minded than they were in 2008 (thanks esp to Comm Sole and Kellum). The shark fishers at the meetings insisted they did not do these practices and they will help to ensure responsible shark fishing. We will see.
 06/22/2019 05:25 AM
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garcia

Posts: 923
Joined Forum: 03/12/2007

BTW - If anyone wants to email the commissioners to thank them, it would be a great idea. Believe me, those in govt do not get the love they deserve when they do something great. They hear it when they do something people don't like, but, never when they do something good. It helps to know we are appreciated and, while it took a lot to bring them around (they were pretty skeptical in the beginning), they did come around and vote unanimously for these regulations. Here is a link to their contact information -

https://myfwc.com/about/commission/commissioners/
 06/22/2019 06:17 AM
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daner

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Joined Forum: 04/20/2004

Great work!

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 06/26/2019 03:54 PM
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tpapablo

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That's great. Thank you for your work.

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 06/26/2019 08:50 PM
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camguy

Posts: 387
Joined Forum: 07/21/2010

Thanks for your hard work. Keep it up! Appreciate it.
 06/27/2019 05:08 AM
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Central Floridave

Posts: 47895
Joined Forum: 07/22/2003

Just saw this today, wonder if near a chum sight in the bahamas:

American woman killed in Bahamas shark attack while snorkeling with family
Authorities say she was attacked by three sharks
http://www.clickorlando.com/ne...8uhGCmoXPnbW2Lj_JCL2zc
 06/27/2019 05:35 AM
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StirfryMcflurry

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Joined Forum: 08/17/2016

^ wonder if she was there to go swimming with the pigs, too.

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 06/27/2019 06:06 AM
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scombrid

Posts: 14598
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This isn't playing well among anglers, well at least not the ones commenting on FWC facebook page.

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Edited: 06/27/2019 at 06:07 AM by scombrid
 06/27/2019 10:20 AM
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garcia

Posts: 923
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They did it to themselves with their egregious handling of protected sharks and their total disregard for responsible fishing practices and surfer/swimmer interactions. As usual, courtesy would have solved the problem, but, nooooooooooo, they had to act like a-holes. I have no sympathy. Responsible shark fishers (those who respect their catch and other humans) will have no issues. Only the a-holes will be impacted. Again, no sympathy, tough sh_t.
 06/27/2019 12:01 PM
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scombrid

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I totally agree. Just wanted to show how the "googans" were responding.

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Edited: 06/27/2019 at 12:17 PM by scombrid
 06/27/2019 01:38 PM
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garcia

Posts: 923
Joined Forum: 03/12/2007

Been reading them for 4-5 years, along with death threats, etc. As I think I said, these guys are their own worst enemies. Their social media postings were key in getting these restrictions. One of our group made (and presented to the Commissioners at our first meeting) a full notebook with photos, Facebook posts, etc where they documented and bragged about their egregious behavior. After looking at it, the whole discussion turned around. Comm Kellum said, "Clearly we have to do something, this is disgusting" and, boom, the door was now open. It was beautiful. I have nothing against shark fishing done sportingly and responsibly (but, have never participated because of the karma factor; I don't eat them in the hopes that they don't eat me), but, some of these guys are the most disgusting "sportsmen" I have ever seen.
 06/28/2019 04:58 AM
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scombrid

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I admire your persistence in the face of what I know was extreme vitriol. As far as my opinion on shark fishing (or any fishing). Harvesting is harvesting to me. It isn't really any sport to it no matter how it is done. All that matters to me is whether it is sustainable and what effect you are having on other resource users. These ass clowns are wasteful of the resource with no regard for by-kill of species in need of protection and total disregard for other beach users. The thing that really pisses me off even further at this point is that they are acting like this is some sort of big government attack on their rights while ignoring that it was other resource users, fishermen and beach users both, that made this rule happen. Those jerks need to realize hat you and the fishermen that worked with you to come to this compromise solution with FWC did them a big favor. There is now a sanctioned way for people to go about shore-based shark fishing. If they kept chumming up trouble the way that they were they could have been fixing to get everybody slapped with a ban.

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 06/28/2019 05:07 AM
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garcia

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Well said (and true). Comm Kellum told us that we would see how it goes and that the FWC may have to revisit it to implement even more stringent rules (eg, separation reqmts or dedicated areas) if these don't work to solve the problems. As with most things, the irresponsible few mess it up for everybody.
 06/28/2019 05:13 AM
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garcia

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Another ironic aspect - they keep talking about this as a "heritage sport". Almost everybody who spoke at the many public comment FWC meetings started shark fishing after about 2008. The vast majority are newcomers to the state, and are macho men ranging in age from about 20 - 35 years old or so. When I was a kid (growing up by the Pineda and ranging from south CCB to the Inlet), there was really only one crusty old fart that shark fished. This is not a heritage sport, it is a newcomers sport. They leave dead bait on the bottom and just winch it ashore with heavy gear when an accidental strike happens. There is no "sport" to it.
 06/28/2019 07:16 AM
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scombrid

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Then there is their pro-chumming rationalization. "There are always sharks out there so we aren't endangering swimmers". Uh huh. If the sharks are always there and chum doesn't draw more and get them into a feeding mode then why chum? I have fished, swam, surfed, and snorkeled for my entire life. We had two ways of fishing for cobia back home on the bay. Site fishing and chumming. I might swim anywhere anytime in the bay, not near a chum slick though. Sharks would get so bad in the slick that you'd have to pick up an move. You could literally catch a shark, release it, and it would go right back into the slick and grab another bait. Yeah, feel free to dangle your hands and feet in that situation.

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 06/28/2019 09:04 AM
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garcia

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There were two arguments presented regarding a chumming ban -
1) The shark fishers said that they didn't chum because it didn't work. To which I replied (as you say), "Then you shouldn't have a problem banning it." The Commission ultimately agreed, but, it was over the objections of FWC staff who agreed that it didn't work so why ban it? But, they were even more adamant with the following -
2) FWC staff kept making the argument that there is no proven correlation between chumming and shark bites. To which I always responded, "That's because you have never done a controlled study. So, let's try to do one. We will build two large tanks and populate them with the same sized bull sharks. Then, in one, we will put a couple of FWC staff and shark fishers, those who believe there is no correlation, and some chum. In the other, we will put FWC staff and shark fishers and no chum. Then we can see who gets attacked first." There were no takers.

I was also repeatedly insulted by a certain FWC staff member who patronizingly said that what we don't realize is that there are always sharks in the swimming areas and always used the term "anxiety" when we raised our legitimate objections. I finally had to call her out by saying, "Look, while you were studying about sharks at the Univ of Texas in Austin (far away from them), I was swimming and surfing with sharks for my entire 63 years of life. Don't tell me that I don't know sharks are always present. The intent of chumming is to invoke feeding activity. It is not a passive action." She finally abandoned that argument.
 06/29/2019 03:18 PM
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big rick

Posts: 5175
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i have limited time but read the OG post...

good on ya for enacting this law!!!!
i cannot express how much this means to me as i used to see this done off of the pier all the time
we would be in the water and the fishermen would chop up stingrays that they caught and just start
throwing pieces of them in the water around us surfers in hopes to catch "fish" but were really trying
to catch sharks and get us out of the water at the same time.

around this time, we were cutting lines of the fishermen at the pier because they were doing this and
then intentionally hitting us with their fishing hooks and weights while casting. nothing like getting a
brand new rash guard then seeing a hook cut that in half.

so i am happy to see this

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FORUMS : Surfing : Shore based shark fishing

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