FWC directs staff to stay engaged on all shark-related issues
Fort Lauderdale, Fl (treasurecoast.com)-
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is set to draft new shore-based shark fishing rules, months after a little girl was bitten at Bathtub Beach.
Mayor Jim Simmons of Melbourne Beach spoke at the FWC hearing. He said he originally saw shark fishing at the beach an issue and did reach out to FWC in 2014. The issue was referred to staff who said they could only reach out to shark fisherman. “Responsible shark fisherman know not to fish among the swimmers.” The mayor’s son in law said. “The problem is with the irresponsible minority who refuse to respect the rights of others to use our beaches safely.”
Jessica Veatch spoke about the day that Violet was bit at Bathtub Beach. She also spoke about how she has been attacked on Social Media.
Last August 27, at Bathtub Beach, Violet was playing in the water a few feet away from her mother when she was bitten by a shark. Jessica Veatch heard her little girl scream and saw blood in the water. She lifted her and saw a chunk missing above Violet’s knee.
Violet was airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach. The doctor who operated told Veatch that it appeared Violet had been bitten by a 5- to 6-foot-long bull shark.
After listening to public comments on and discussing the current and future management of sharks in Florida at the April meeting in Fort Lauderdale, the FWC directed staff to continue to stay engaged on all shark-related issues and to pursue development of draft regulations for shore-based shark fishing.
The FWC said they understand this is an issue that is important to the public, especially those who have had negative interactions, and we want to work toward finding solutions.
They have reported that staff is in the process of planning public meetings on the topic and is gathering public input on development of draft regulations that will be brought back to a future Commission meeting. To comment, visit MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.