Over hundreds of years of trial and error, fishermen have mastered the art of luring a good catch - including dumping bloody fish guts into the sea to lure sharks. Now Florida lawmakers are close to banning chumming - the dumping of blood - on beaches.
According to the information shared by Fox News, later this month the state expects to approve a statewide ban on a common practice used by fishermen that involves dumping bloody fish guts off its shoreline to lure sharks. If passed, the regulation would go into effect on July 1.
Chumming is a common practice because the stink bait draws both bait and target species. Often the target species will consume both the baitfish and chum. Florida Go Fishing says that for certain species, this technique is essential to success.
Wikipedia states that chumming is illegal in some parts of the world (such as in the state of Alabama in the U.S.) because of the danger it can pose by conditioning sharks to associate feeding with the presence of humans.
You can watch a video of a Great White being lured with chum below.
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Great white shark filmmakers clash with rivals at sea over use of 'chum' to lure sharks #FACTS MAY. 17, 2018. Rival filmmakers have come face-to-face on the water above what is claimed to be one of the world's 'top' great white shark hotspots, over the previous use of bait to lure the #sharks American production company #RedRockFilms was shooting a series for the #DiscoveryChannel this week off the south coast of Western #Australia when a local group allegedly confronted their production crew on the water The local group included rival filmmakers protesting against the American company's past use of #chum to lure #greatwhites #Chumming is the use of bait, made up of processed fish parts, to attract sharks in open water through their keen sense of smell Some locals are concerned chumming will result in sharks associating boats with food. They had previously campaigned against the Red Rock film crew, claiming they had used chum and 20 litres of fish oil to attract sharks for filming in the past. The Western Australia Government had banned chumming during this week's filming. #NINFONETWORK #FOODNINFO #FOODNETWORK #TRUECOOKS #FOODANDWINE #EEEEEATS #uglydelicious #NETFLIX #chefsofinstagram #NYC #LAEATS #SFEATS #HOLLYWOOD #VIDEO #VIRAL #TMZ #USWEEKLY #VANITYFAIR #CHEFLIFE #MANHATTAN #BROOKLYN
In Florida, you are allowed to fish several species of sharks. Group 1 sharks include 12 species of no minimum size: Atlantic Sharpnose, Blacknose, Blacktip, Bonnethead, Finetooth, and all species of Dogfish and Smoothhounds fall within the group 1 category.
The eight species in group 2 have a minimum size limit of 54 inches from the tip of the snout to the middle of the forked tail fin, also called the fork length: Bull, Nurse, Spinner, Blue, Oceanic Whitetip, Porbeagle, Shortfin Mako and Thresher sharks fall into Group 2. The daily bag limit (the number of sharks an angler can take home) per person is one catch for both groups. A vessel can bring back no more than two sharks.
Group 3 contains protected sharks that cannot be harvested and include the White, Tiger, Hammerhead, and dozens of others which can all be viewed here.
It remains heavily debated that chumming leads to more shark attacks.
I hope this ends up on Shark Week this year. "Abnormally high shark attacks in Florida, due to people chumming the waters" Yes, this should have it's very own segment this year. @Discovery— Sydney (@NerdUnicorn5) February 20, 2019
But the American Association for the Advancement of Science says unless chumming is done on a constant and regular basis with a large amount of chum in the same area, chumming will not condition sharks to alter their natural behavior over the long term. More information on this report can be found here.
Regardless, we don't know many people who would like to be swimming in shark-infested water.