Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

August 28, 2014

You’re On Your Own!

The Tiger Shark is a regular visitor to Florida Beaches.
Picture credit: Albert Kok

This story has been on our local news for several days and it has Floridians divided, once again.
I truly did not want to write about this, but the story will not go away.
Those who fish of course, are completely opposed to the idea that anyone, or anything, should interfere with the enjoyment of their beloved sport of “shark fishing.”
Let me begin by saying that I find this ” sport “ both appalling and cruel.
Yes, the East Coast, or Atlantic Coast of Florida, is and has been for many years, the "shark bite capital of the world" but the behavior of these people in the pursuit of their passion, has only added to the numbers, because sharks will always go where there is blood in the water and that is exactly how these people do their ”sport! “
This provocative, enticing and dangerous action, is called chumming.
Sharks are one of the most ancient of all animals that live today on our planet.
They have survived and thrived, when many others, perished and became extinct.
They are a nearly perfect predator and truly need fear few, if any other animals, only Humans.
We have always been the greatest threat to their continued longevity on Earth.
And, this disgusting sport of “shark fishing “ is being done state-wide in nearly every coastal town here now.
There are a plethora of Clubs, Charters and Organizations here, all devoted to the “exciting sport,” their words, not mine, ofShark Fishing.”
The problems arise because of where this sport is being done, which is on the hundreds of beaches in Florida, where swimmers, surfers and tourists are usually gathered for a fun day at the Beach.
What these “shark fishing” groups fail to accept, is that they are responsible for creating a theater of danger at the beach, by their very dangerous actions.
Since the beginning of August, two young children have been bitten by sharks just in Brevard County.
Melbourne Beach Mayor Jim Simmons, is understandably quite concerned for the safety of those who not only come to his town, but of what waits for them when and if, they also visit the beach there.
He has personally experienced this dangerous drama on the Beach and wants to stop it before someone is killed.
The reason for all of the division in the state over this Issue, is quite simple.
Local residents and officials want to stop shark fishing, but really have no legal authority to do so, only Florida Fish and Wildlife can do this.
And the chances of that happening, are slim to none.
There will be an FWCmeeting September 11, in Kissimmee, to discuss this and Mayor Simmons not only plans on showing up for it, but to lobby for his concerns there as well.
I can’t help but wonder, where Florida’sBetter Business BureauorDepartment of Tourism stand on this Issue.
Like the line from the movie says, "this is not good for the Tourist Trade.”
So for the time being, it is beach users “beware.”
If you are a visitor here, or a surfer new to the area, please be forewarned, the beaches can be a very dangerous place in Florida right now.
Shark Fishermen using Florida Beaches for their blood sport, are protected by our State Officials.
You, on the other hand, are on your own!
Places to learn more:
Sharks – Wikipedia
Shark kills number 100 million annually
Florida Shark Fishing
Shark-fishing debate hooks town leaders
Florida Shark Attack Risk Has Officials Wanting To Ban Shark Fishing In 2014
International Land-Based Shark Fishing Association
A Shark Fishing Guide
YouTube Shark Fishing  (It is sick and cruel, be prepared!)


  1. Hi Donna,

    I read this well written article with great interest. I like sharks and stories about sharks and pictures of sharks (nice one up there by the way.) I don’t know if it is my love of the movie JAWS or the fact that I have been face-to-face with sharks on a couple of occasions.

    Once while snorkeling near West Palm Beach I poked my head beneath a rocky outcrop in about 20 feet of water and saw what in my mind was a huge catfish – being the freshwater boy that I am – It did not take long however to register that this was a shark and just a little too close for comfort. As I clamored to the surface I was able to calm my nerves by realizing this was indeed a Nurse Shark but at over 4 feet had it been any fish I would have the same reaction of shock and horror. ;)

    I once made it to Grand Bahama Island where I was carefree enough to sign the appropriate wavers and put down my hard earned cash to venture on the UNESCO “Shark Dive” and before too long found myself kneeling in the sand 30some feet beneath the surface in crystal clear water while some “brave” soul in chain-mail baited-in and fed by hand upwards of 20 Tiger Sharks that swarmed the area passing within inches of my person on several occasions. During this event perhaps the most impressive sight was a slow swimming monster of a Grouper investigating the activity. To my mind this was akin to seeing a Bluegill the size of a refrigerator.

    So anyway – my point being… In fairness, I have to mention that although Sharks have more to fear from man than we of them; we are not alone in being a threat. A couple of days ago I happened upon a video that simply amazed me. If I did not link to it here I would not be a very good follower of “Walking with the Alligators”

    If you get the chance please see this: “Grouper fish eats shark whole from fisherman’s hook – video”


    1. Dear Mike:
      Thank you so much for your continuous support of my efforts.
      You are a true friend and I really do appreciate your kind words.