Florida close to banning the dumping of blood at beaches to lure sharks

Florida is expected later this month to approve a statewide ban on a common practice used by fishermen that involves dumping bloody fish guts off its shoreline to lure sharks.

The proposal is set for a final public hearing in Gainesville of the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It’s staff has already recommended approving the ban, reported Fresh Take Florida, a news service based at the University of Florida.

"Personally, I would strongly prefer to not be in the water where folks are ringing the dinner bell for the ocean's ultimate predator," said Debbie Salamone. In 2014, Salamone had her Achilles tendon was severed by a shark off the Cape Canaveral National Seashore.

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The practice - known as “chumming” – is a technique often used to lure sharks to an area and involves scattering blood, oil and pieces of ground up fish in the water. The regulation would go into effect on July 1.

Some fishermen say the proposed rule threatens their long-held traditions and penalizes anglers who don’t or can’t afford to fish for sharks using boats, according to the news service.

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"I ask that you tread lightly with your rules and fees," one fisherman wrote to the commission. "The ability to enjoy the fishing tradition including shark fishing should be affordable and accessible to everyone."

Scientist says catching sharks from the beaches can damage the sharks. It is not clear how to state will enforce the ban on its 663 miles of shoreline.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.