City council bans shark fishing from Venice Fishing Pier

Sarasota County

VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) – An ordinance passed by the Venice City Council on Tuesday will make shark fishing from the Venice Fishing Pier illegal.

New shark fishing regulations from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission went into effect on July 1. The City of Venice found it unlikely that fishing from the pier would comply with the new regulations.

The ordinance clarifies that these gear and methods constitute shark fishing:

  • Fishing with a metal leader greater than 4 feet long
  • Using a fighting belt or harness in conjunction with a fishing rod
  • Using bait not attached to a hook (chumming)
  • Using a hook where the maximum distance measured between two points inside the curve exceeds 1.5 inches

FWC now requires those fishing for sharks to obtain a no-cost, shore-based shark fishing permit that must be renewed annually. An online course must be completed to get the permit.

It is not required for those fishing for sharks from a boat.

Mayor John Holic said he realizes all offenders won’t be caught, but it’s important to have the clear instructions of the ordinance in place.

He also brought up an instance this year when a fisherman threw a shark in the trash rather than back into the gulf.

The ban on shark fishing was proposed in Oct. 2017, after Hurricane Irma.

That year, Holic told 8 On Your Side shark fishermen damaged the pier and disobeyed laws by paddling out on kayaks to drag a line further out into the water.

In addition to the shark fishing ban, the ordinance states no boats can be within 300 feet of the fishing pier and swimmers can’t jump from the pier or swim within 150 feet of it.

The ordinance goes into effect immediately.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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