FWC may change rules for shore-based shark fishing in Florida

TAMPA, Fla. -- Sharks can be found all along Florida's 1,350-mile coastline, from deep ocean depths to shallows bays to freshwater rivers.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) creates the regulations people must follow who wish to fish for sharks in state waters.

The Oceanic Whitetip shark is only shark species currently listed as threatened in Florida. The FWC prohibits the harvest of 26 different shark species in state waters. Wildlife officers understand there is a growing interest in both protecting sharks and keeping them away from people enjoying Florida's beaches.

The agency is now asking the public for ideas on how to manage shark fishing from the shore in the future. Over the next six weeks, the FWC is hosting ten workshops across the state to gather feedback.

Based on suggestion made by the public, the FWC could consider rule changes including:

  • Require no-cost FWC-issued permit for shore-based shark fishing
  • Limit/Prohibit chumming from shore
  • Prohibit shore-based shark fishing from specific coastal areas (such as near public beaches)
  • Limit shore-based shark fishing to nighttime hours
  • Require shark fishers to use specific gear when fishing

The first two workshops will be held in Bradenton and Fort Myers:

July 18
State College of Florida
Library and Learning Center
Together Manatee Community Room
5840 26th Street West
Bradenton

July 19
Joseph P D’Alessandro Office Complex
Room 165 C & D,
2295 Victoria Avenue
Ft. Myers

The workshops will begin at 6:00 p.m. If you can’t attend an in-person workshop, you may submit comments online by visiting MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.

Staff will present shore-based shark fishery public feedback and management recommendations to commissions at a meeting tentatively planned for December 12 and 13 in St. Augustine.

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