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For decades fishermen have been attracting sharks closer to Floridian shorelines by dumping leftover fish guts into the water. The practice is known as “chumming” and is fairly common along Florida beaches for sport fishermen looking to get a large shark on the line.
A shark conservation advocate and shark bite survivor, Debbie Salamone, says, “Personally, I would strongly prefer to not be in the water where folks are ringing the dinner bell for the ocean’s ultimate predator. It’s really good to be clear that sharks do not want to eat people.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission imposed the regulation placing a statewide ban on chumming along Florida beaches. The rule goes into effect on July 1st and defines chum as “fish, fish parts or other animal products intended to attract marine wildlife”. Many fishermen are against the new rule, specifically those who don’t own or can’t afford to own a boat to fish for sharks, but after several rounds of hearings, the regulation was voted to go into effect.
Many scientists strongly support the rule because catching sharks from the shoreline can severely damage a shark. So-called “angling stress” has been attributed as the cause of death in many sharks days after their release.
Read more from our source Santa Rosa’s Press Gazette.