Shark fishing video goes viral, raises questions

Posted at 5:32 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 04:11:57-05

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- It was quite the catch, and it was all caught on camera.

Some fisherman hooked a 4-to-5 foot blacktip shark over the weekend on Palm Beach. However, the video is creating huge waves on the internet after going viral. It has even been setting off fights on Facebook.

According the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission it is legal. And it’s more common than you’d think. 

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"There’s nothing legally wrong with this," agreed FAU biological science professor Dr. Stephen Kajiura.

Kajiura says fishing for sharks is a popular sport. In fact, there was even a local tournament this weekend. 

“This is what some people do for their hobby. They have fun with that."

However, the professor says compare pulling a fish out of water to you going under.

“What I would suggest is, if you're going to haul the shark out of the water, you should hold your breath."

There are some other points to keep in mind, too.

“When it starts thrashing and flipping around, it could be doing internal damage that the fisherman can’t see,” said Kajiura. “It looks like it swims away just fine, but it might be swimming away with a ruptured liver, for example.”

Then there is safety on the beach to consider. Fishing for sharks from the shore is allowed in Florida;  you're not allowed to fish in between the guarded signs at any beach in Palm Beach County.

The fisherman followed those rules. 

However, the lifeguards we spoke with say shark fishing even outside the guarded beach signs can lead to trouble.

“Not everyone swims in the guarded areas,” said Houston Park, a lifeguard on Palm Beach. “With the shark fishing, it brings in the occasional bait fish, more sharks, more fish activity which can cause harm, obviously to other beach patrons swimming."

While it’s not legal to fish for some types of sharks, it is legal to catch a blacktip like the one seen in the video. 

The fishermen in the video said they were careful to get the shark back in the water in less than 90 seconds, and are always careful of who is around them. 



Shark Capture, Release on Palm Beach

VIDEO: Shark capture, release on Palm Beach(Shark was put farther into water after end of video. It did not resurface for several minutes.) WPTV #amcrew #wptvwx #beach #shark

Posted by Ashleigh Walters on Saturday, February 20, 2016