A trio of fishermen reeled in a shark on Ponte Vedra Beach Monday.
“It’s a tiger. It’s a tiger. We got him. It’s a tiger,” a fisherman can be heard saying in the video that quickly went viral on social media.
Tiger sharks are a protected species. After dragging the 10 foot predator onto the beach, the anglers cut the fishing line from the hook and dragged the shark back into the surf, letting it go.
That’s in keeping with current shark fishing regulations. But, Amanda Nalley, with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said under new rules that go into effect this summer, the fishermen would have to go to the shark, not bring the shark onshore to them.
“These new regulations specify the entire length of the shark has to remain in the water during release and that it has to be released immediately. So no delaying release for measuring, for taking photos, even so much as trying to get the hook out of the mouth.”
The new regulations that take effect July 1 will also require shark fishermen to get a free shark-fishing permit by taking a mandatory class online.
Regulators say they’ll be monitoring social media.
The public can also report violators via the state’s wildlife alert hotline (1-888-404-FWCC) and by texting or emailing email@example.com.