The high number of Florida shark attacks in 2014 has some government officials desiring to ban shark fishing and chumming entirely.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, a Florida woman went shark fishing and caught a giant sized lemon shark that was more double her size and weight. In a similar case to Florida, a shark attack in California was allegedly caused by great white shark fishing in the area, and now PETA is leading a campaign to have a shark fishing ban.
In Brevard County, Melbourne Beach mayor Jim Simmons is looking at the sharp rise in shark attacks in recent times. In 2013, there were 23 Florida shark attacks, and Brevard County accounted for just three of them. But during this summer the number of shark attacks in Brevard County alone has jumped up to five and counting.
The first victim was eight-year-old Aadyn Crick, who was bitten by a shark just feet from the shore in Indialantic. The second victim was a third grader named Christian Sanhueza. He was dragged underwater and although he escaped the boy suffered a severed Achilles tendon that will require multiple surgeries over time. The third victim was a 45-year-old woman swimming in the water near Tulip Lane in Cocoa Beachy. She was bitten on the foot and has already been treated and released from the hospital. The fourth victim was a woman named Karma Fordham who suffered a shark attack when only knee deep in the surf of Cocoa Beach. The fifth victim was an unnamed surfer at Cocoa Beach who required stitches for his wound.
Mayor Simmons is attributing the increase in shark attack incidents can be linked to shark fishing and chumming in areas where surfers and swimmers are active. He also claims that fishermen are not willing to give up their shark fishing.
“I was down at the beach and saw the shark fishermen putting their bait right next to people surfing. They had a group of kids that were swimming right next to them. And we asked them to move, and they said they weren’t moving because they had their rights, they didn’t have to move, and this is where they wanted to fish,” Simmons said, although the mayor admits his beef isn’t with fishing in general but with people who are trying to attract sharks closer to the beach. “People fish, and I have no problem with people fishing. It’s just, why do they want to attract sharks to an area that we primarily know as a bathing beach?”
Melbourne Beach cannot ban shark fishing altogether because they do not have the authority to restrict fishing in general. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) does have this authority and mayor Simmons will be presenting the evidence related to the Florida shark attacks at the next quarterly FWC meeting. Local shark fishermen are already criticizing the proposal, saying that the government can’t stop shark fishing in general since it’s impossible to know what will hit the line while on the beach, whether it be a small fish or a great white shark.
Do you think the increase in shark attacks in Florida justifies a shark fishing ban?
[Image via Blirk.net]