FWC looking at changes for surf anglers targeting sharks

Posted at 4:47 PM, Dec 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-14 17:54:25-05

Anglers targeting a certain catch from Florida beaches may soon need a state license.

Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is looking at changes because of safety concerns for beach goers.

“We have customers that do a lot of surf fishing in the area,” said Tad Dunsizer, the owner of Fisherman’s Ideal Supply House.

It’s a popular past time in the Sunshine State.

“You need a heavy liter,” explained Dunsizer.

Shore-based, shark fishing brings plenty of locals to Dunsizer’s small business in St. Pete.

“Regulations always change and in order to be successful in this business you just have to be able to adapt and be informed,” he said.

Dunsizer is aware FWC is considering changes for shore-based anglers trying to catch sharks.

“Be informed and let people know the proper way of doing things so we can all benefit from it,” he said.

FWC is looking at requiring a no-cost license, banning chumming from the beach and requiring circle hooks for a quicker release for safety reasons.

“Is chumming occurring? Is that drawing sharks into shore? Is just the act of fishing drawing sharks into shore so there’s concerns there?" FWC’s Amanda Nalley said. "There’s also concerns about the gear that’s being used. If there’s swimming and that gear is in the water next to me?”

The new state regulations may also require the quick release of certain shark species — a conservation move to make sure more sharks survive when they’re caught and released.

“It’s a fine mix between the environment and the economy and those involved,” said Dunsizer.

The regulations will be considered by FWC in February. For more information, visit the FWC's website.