ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — New rules Florida wildlife officials are drafting would change the way shore-based shark fishing is allowed along the coast.

At a public meeting Wednesday, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation commissioners made tweaks to draft rules that would implement some limits on the sport. A final public hearing on the issue will take place in February.

Among the changes include the following rules:

  • Creating a mandatory, no-cost, annual shore-based shark fishing permit
  • Banning chumming from beaches
  • Prohibit delaying the release of shark species that are banned from being caught
  • Require that prohibited sharks remain in the water

FWC says shore-based shark fishing is a popular sport for fishermen, and it's been happening in Florida for decades. 

But there have been recent concerns about shark conservation and also about the safety of allowing chumming on the beach.

FWC staff said they approached the rule changes from the position of "shark-smart fishing," and creating the shore-based shark fishing permit with an educational aspect to it had broad support from groups they spoke to when developing these rules.

FWC has a complete list of shark-smart fishing rules, including a list of sharks that are allowed to be caught, and are prohibited from being caught, on the FWC website.