Safety goal of blood shark regulations

Published 2:07 am Wednesday, July 30, 2008

By By DAVID RAINER – Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Have any idea how far away a bull shark can pick up a blood trail?
Believe it or not, it's one mile. That's right, 5,280 feet.
And that is one of the reasons there has been a change in the way anglers in Alabama can fish for sharks.
After tweaking the language in the regulation to ensure safe fishing practices would not be hindered, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Marine Resources Division recently enacted a regulation to prohibit chumming or bloodbaiting for sharks in certain areas.
The regulation reads:
Minton said he and members of his staff sat down to try to draft regulation to address the potential for human interaction with sharks that had been baited into an area with blood bait or chum.
Minton said many people who visit the Alabama Coast are not familiar with the species and don't realize how sensitive the olfactory receptors are in a shark.
Dr. Bob Shipp, head of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama and official judge at the recently completed 72nd annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, said there are several species of sharks that roam the beaches in Alabama - Atlantic sharpnose, blacktip, blacknose, spinner, as well as bull and tiger.
Neither Shipp nor Minton are trying to frighten people away from the water but want people to be aware of the potential risk, especially in areas where chum or bloodbait is in the water.
As for the new regulation, Minton said there was never the intent to stop chumming.

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