New Florida shark fishing rules? FWC looks at changing regulations – Pensacola News Journal
Jim Turner, News Service of Florida Published 4:33 p.m. CT April 25, 2018 | Updated 4:44 p.m. CT April 25, 2018
Jessica Veatch and her daughter, Violet, of Port St. Lucie are not happy FWC voted to begin working on shore-based shark fishing regulations. Ed Killer, [email protected]
Photographer Kate Penn captures Taylor Thornton, formerly of Dallastown, pulling a shark from the ocean at South Bethany, Md. Penn’s shark fishing video work helped win a statewide award.(Photo: Kate Penn, York Daily Record)
TALLAHASSEE — Shore-based shark fishing, which attracts sharks already near land to feed in areas that often have low visibility, is increasing in conflict with where people swim and surf.
And now, amid calls to restrict or ban shark fishing from beaches, piers and bridges, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday directed staff members to craft new rules.
Commissioner Michael Sole, a former secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, said a specific permit for land-based shark-fishing should be part of any rule changes, with requirements clearly outlined on how to apply for licenses and when and how the fishing can take place.
“Candidly, I think the evidence in front of us and the information conveyed is compelling enough that it is a resource we need to go forward with,” Sole said during a commission meeting in Broward County.
“I do see ambiguity with the (existing) rules as it relates to, and I call it catch and release, in making sure we’re protecting these species,” Sole added.
Don’t expect any changes to be quickly implemented, as new rule-making requires workshops and