Of note was the recent Bull shark killed on St Petersburg Pier, Bucky Denis’ Hammerhead and ‘Mark the Sharks’ Tiger shark kill. All three of these events have one thing in common, savvy media who questioned the sense of killing breeding age animals.
Wade gave us this example of ecological impacts from his local region:
"Tampa Bay is one of the Gulf of Mexico’s largest estuaries covering 398 square miles and is home to many species of shark. Most sharks that inhabit the bay are small coastal sharks such as Blacktip, Bonnethead, and Lemon sharks. In the warmer months, migrations of large Bull and Hammerhead sharks move into the bay to give birth to their pups.
Now, I’m not a marine biologist, but I’ve noticed there have been fewer large sharks in Tampa Bay over the past decade and an increase in stingrays. I believe the major reason for the boom in the stingray population is the decrease in their number one predator, the shark.
A healthy marine ecosystem needs sharks for a stable environment. It’s time anglers are educated on the role sharks play and the importance of not needlessly killing sharks, especially large sharks.
There have been numerous local and national media hyped shark kills of late in Florida. The parties involved should forego the world records, swallow their egos and think of the negative impact they’re having on this magnificent species.
Media outlets can also play a major role in getting the message out. Instead of sensationalizing the story by touting the “Thrill of the Kill,” try reporting how beneficial it would be to release their trophy to live another day, particularly pregnant females.
All concerned anglers, municipal marinas and private marina owners unite; support the Shark Free Marina Initiative. I do!"
Captain Wade Osborne
Afishionado Guide Services