The Tiger Shark is a regular visitor to Florida Beaches.
Picture credit: Albert Kok
This story has been on our local news for several days and it has Floridians divided, once again.
I truly did not want to write about this, but the story will not go away.
Those who fish of course, are completely opposed to the idea that anyone, or anything, should interfere with the enjoyment of their beloved sport of “shark fishing.”
Let me begin by saying that I find this ” sport “ both appalling and cruel.
Yes, the East Coast, or Atlantic Coast of Florida, is and has been for many years, the ” shark bite capital of the world, ” but the behavior of these people in the pursuit of their passion, has only added to the numbers, because sharks will always go where there is blood in the water and that is exactly how these people do their ” sport! “
This provocative, enticing and dangerous action, is called chumming.
Sharks are one of the most ancient of all animals that live today on our planet.
They have survived and thrived, when many others, perished and became extinct.
They are a nearly perfect predator and truly need fear few, if any other animals, only Humans.
We have always been the greatest threat to their continued longevity on Earth.
And, this disgusting sport of “shark fishing “ is being done state-wide in nearly every coastal town here now.
There are a plethora of Clubs, Charters and Organizations here, all devoted to the “exciting sport,” their words, not mine, of ” Shark Fishing.”
The problems arise because of where this sport is being done, which is on the hundreds of beaches in Florida, where swimmers, surfers and tourists are usually gathered for a fun day at the Beach.
What these “shark fishing” groups fail to accept, is that they are responsible for creating a theater of danger at the beach, by their very dangerous actions.
Since the beginning of August, two young children have been bitten by sharks just in Brevard County.
Melbourne Beach Mayor Jim Simmons, is understandably quite concerned for the safety of those who not only come to his town, but of what waits for them when and if, they also visit the beach there.
He has personally experienced this dangerous drama on the Beach and wants to stop it before someone is killed.
The reason for all of the division in the state over this Issue, is quite simple.
Local residents and officials want to stop shark fishing, but really have no legal authority to do so, only Florida Fish and Wildlife can do this.
And the chances of that happening, are slim to none.
There will be an FWC meeting September 11, in Kissimmee, to discuss this and Mayor Simmons not only plans on showing up for it, but to lobby for his concerns there as well.
I can’t help but wonder, where Florida’s Better Business Bureau or Department of Tourism stand on this Issue.
Like the line from the movie says, ” this is not good for the Tourist Trade.”
So for the time being, it is beach users “beware.”
If you are a visitor here, or a surfer new to the area, please be forewarned, the beaches can be a very dangerous place in Florida right now.
Shark Fishermen using Florida Beaches for their blood sport, are protected by our State Officials.
You, on the other hand, are on your own!
Places to learn more:
Shark kills number 100 million annually
Shark-fishing debate hooks town leaders
Florida Shark Attack Risk Has Officials Wanting To Ban Shark Fishing In 2014
International Land-Based Shark Fishing Association
YouTube Shark Fishing (It is sick and cruel, be prepared!)
State officials. That pretty much says is all, Donna. It almost always comes full circle to those whom we, ignorantly, elect.
Yes, Eric, I agree completely.
This is one of the reasons that I waited to write about them.
It seems that so much of the trouble on our planet is caused by Humans behaving badly.
We just don’t seem to learn, do we?
I read this well written article with great interest. I like sharks and stories about sharks and pictures of sharks (nice one up there by the way.) I don’t know if it is my love of the movie JAWS or the fact that I have been face-to-face with sharks on a couple of occasions.
Once while snorkeling near West Palm Beach I poked my head beneath a rocky outcrop in about 20 feet of water and saw what in my mind was a huge catfish – being the freshwater boy that I am – It did not take long however to register that this was a shark and just a little too close for comfort. As I clamored to the surface I was able to calm my nerves by realizing this was indeed a Nurse Shark but at over 4 feet had it been any fish I would have the same reaction of shock and horror. 😉
I once made it to Grand Bahama Island where I was carefree enough to sign the appropriate wavers and put down my hard earned cash to venture on the UNESCO “Shark Dive” and before too long found myself kneeling in the sand 30some feet beneath the surface in crystal clear water while some “brave” soul in chain-mail baited-in and fed by hand upwards of 20 Tiger Sharks that swarmed the area passing within inches of my person on several occasions. During this event perhaps the most impressive sight was a slow swimming monster of a Grouper investigating the activity. To my mind this was akin to seeing a Bluegill the size of a refrigerator.
So anyway – my point being… In fairness, I have to mention that although Sharks have more to fear from man than we of them; we are not alone in being a threat. A couple of days ago I happened upon a video that simply amazed me. If I did not link to it here I would not be a very good follower of “Walking with the Alligators”
If you get the chance please see this: “Grouper fish eats shark whole from fisherman’s hook – video”
What a wonderful set of adventures you have had with Sharks.
I saw the story that you gave here.
Thought it was sad, so did not use it.
I personally love Sharks and have seen them often on both Coasts and in the Caribbean.
I always find them to be so strangely appealing, perhaps because they have so often been labeled as either dangerous, or evil.
Jaws did a lot of harm for the species in general.
Thank you so much for writing this, it was wonderful!
I will grant you that the loss of the shark was indeed sad but it was kind of nice to see the fisherman get his comeuppance from the Grouper as if to say “This is my house and that is MY dinner.” 🙂
I am sorry for being too sensitive too!!!!!!
You are so sweet.
When will cruelty to the wild ever end, Donna? Man has his brain where he sits and no matter how much I see, I am not able to fanthom how man can be so cruel. Yes we all have a dark side, yet, to keep plundering and killing just because man can? Disgusting!
It is so hard to keep writing and seeing these things all around me.
This is the reason that I began others Blogs.
I needed a Break!
This is why I do what I do at Petals. This world’s insanity lately is just ripping me to pieces. I must involve myself with photography in order to hang on to my sanity. Love, Amy
So I hear that sharks are not really a threat to humans and don’t consider humans attractive as meals. Just a side thought after I was reading about sharks in your piece.
True, sharks cannot possibly do as much harm to us, as we do to them.
We are murdering them all over the planet by the thousands.
Reblogged this on rrrmelon.
Thank you so very much for sharing this story and Welcome~
Thank you, Gator Woman 😀
I guess you can modify your blog name to: Walking with the Alligators and Swimming with the Sharks! Very good argument for stopping the chumming.
That is very funny, but it won’t fit!!!!
The whole thing is rotten, for all concerned except the murderers, who are clueless.
An interesting and eye opening article, I had no idea that “shark fishing” was so popular simply as a so called sport. There is always something very disturbing about the callous wanton murder of any creature and the fact that some people get pleasure out of this. Frankly any kind of hunting sickens me; fishing is no different. Such people I believe are one step closer to being able to kill another human being. Mind you I don’t see the two as separate issues. Killing another living being is to my mind simply wrong, whether that being is a shark, a cat, a dog or a human being . All animals have a right to their lives. So sad that those in authority have not yet released the unethical nature of such barbarity.
I completely AGREE with every single word that you have said.
Sharks are innocent, and whatever they do is innocent.
Agree with you completely!
WE NEED SHARKS. As many studies as has been done on their decimation, and their NEED in the ecosystems… How is this even CONSIDERED?
I’m honestly lost.
Reblogged this on Freedom For Cetaceans.