Fishermen react to potential new shark regulations

Fishermen react to potential new shark regulations

fishing rods

OCEAN CITY, Md. – New proposed regulations could change the way you fish in Maryland. The Department of Natural Resources has introduced new regulations in hopes of protecting sharks in the area.

The first regulation bans fishermen from sitting on sharks.

Steve Moore, a local fisherman in Ocean City said, “I think that’s a good rule to have in effect with getting the sand in the gills and you know revival time and everything there’s no reason for that I think.”

Next, if you plan on releasing your catch, don’t pull it in in the first place.

Moore said, “I like that rule I mean, sharks are dangerous to begin with.”

Brett Chauncey, another local fisherman said, “I think it’s another great call honestly too. You know, you don’t think about time, and I’ve seen them out of the water for 20 minutes, a half hour, and then the shark five minutes later is back on the beach rolling around and doesn’t make it.”

On top of that, only use circle hooks.

Officials say by using these, sharks have a better chance of survival after being hooked. Plus, it’s safer for the fisherman to pull them out.

Anglers told 47ABC, they use them anyway since it’s the best way to hook a shark.

Chauncey said, “I think its the best option because the J hooks a lot of the time with tigers and bulls, they always get gut hooked and then you gotta cut the hook or the leader and I don’t like that so honestly I think the circle hooks are a great idea.”

Moore said, “I like the circle hook rule I mean, hook up ratios is good, I would say probably 80 percent of the time it ends up in the corner of the mouth. I like circle hooks as opposed to a J hook.”

There’s one current regulation that has many up in arms, the mako shark minimum size limit of 83 inches.

Fishermen say this hurts their wallet and makes tournaments less fun.

Moore said, “In the charter business, I can’t take somebody out there, tell them the limit is 83 inches and not knowing I’m going to catch that 83 inch shark for them to take home I mean, that’s a lot of money, especially in the economy right now.”

While many were hoping with all these proposals that size limit would change, it looks like it’s here to stay.

Overall, fishermen say they understand the need for these regulations and for the most part, the regulations shouldn’t affect them too much.

If you have any concerns about the proposed regulations, you are encouraged to contact the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to let them know your opinion.

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