Melbourne Beach, FL proposes an ordinance to ban shark fishing and chumming near the beach.
Officials in Melbourne Beach, FL have proposed an ordinance that will ban shark fishing and chumming for sharks withing 300 feet of the beach.
Mayor Jim Simmons, who supports the ordinance, has seen anglers shark fishing near swimmers and surfers, and feels that it increases the odds of an attack.
Though the proposal has been in the works for a while, this current push comes on the tail of a recent shark attack involving a woman in her early 20s bitten while surfing.
Violators could receive fines up to $500 and/or up to 60 days jail time, however many feel the town cannot enforce the ban since saltwater fall under the jurisdiction of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) and the beach itself is owned by the state. The town attorney wrote and opinion in 2009 that stated “I think if you enforce it, you’ll end up in court.”
In 2011 the FWCC drafted a similar ordinance but decided not to pursue it.