ANIMAL

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Save Florida Sharks from Cruel Land-Based Fishing

Target: Eric Sutton, Executive Director, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)

Goal: Ban land-based shark fishing and other forms of abuse to protect Florida’s wildlife, environment, and beach-goers alike.

 

Land-based capture and abuse of sharks by recreational “sport” fishermen on Florida’s shores has been on the rise, resulting in the

subsequent deaths of a growing number of sharks, and putting human lives at risk as well.

 

Concern and outrage has been growing among activists, who are calling for action to be taken. Adam Sugalski, founder and executive director of the animal advocacy nonprofit OneProtest, states, “People’s safety and the health of our oceans supersedes anyone’s ‘hobby.’ Land-based ‘trophy shark fishing’ is a destructive practice that needs to be addressed once and for all.”

Land-based “trophy shark fishing” is the attempted or successful capture of a shark using rods, reels, lines, or hooks either from the land or from any permanently attached structure, such as bridges, piers, or jetties. Appallingly, this is often done for the sake of thrill-seeking and even for selfies, endangering the lives of both animals and humans. The “catch-and-release” methods do not spare the sharks from suffering, and often still cause death as they later succumb to their injuries. This happens especially frequently with hammerhead sharks—an endangered species.

According to Sugalski, there are some regulations regarding “sport” shark fishing, but the loose rules that do exist are not being followed, and those who break them face no consequences. He says, “The biggest problem is that there are some rules but there is zero enforcement. Why have the rules if they are not going to be enforced?” This lack of standards and accountability is extremely dangerous for people, wildlife, and the environment. Sign below to demand that land-based “trophy shark fishing” be banned.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Executive Director Sutton,

The dangerous trend of land-based “trophy shark fishing” has been growing, flying in the face of shark fishing regulations and endangering the lives of sharks and humans alike. Thrill-seekers and recreational “sport” fishermen have been attempting to catch and release sharks from the shore, or from bridges, piers, and jetties, for no productive purpose and sometimes for the sake of selfies. This often results in the death of the injured sharks, some of whom are classified as endangered. It puts beach-goers, sharks, and the environment at risk, and is the result of an unacceptable lack of enforcement of existing regulations.

It is the responsibility of the FWC to protect Florida’s wildlife and human populations, and to heed the call of the public and of activists. Stronger regulations must be enacted and strictly enforced. Land-based shark fishing must be by permit only, disallowing those who do it for trophy hunting, bragging rights, or “fun.” The activist movement Save Florida Sharks is recommending regulations for the safety of Florida’s beaches and oceans. I urge you to heed that call and ensure that land-based trophy shark fishing is banned.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

 

Photo Credit: Kris-Mikael Krister

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