To Boca Raton City Commissioners, City Officials and whom else it may concern,
Attached is a PDF of very useful information.http://boatlessfishing.com/forumpics/bocasharkgood.pdf
I wish to inform you, that attempting to impose any law which dictates a restriction from fishing for a specific species. Is in fact illegal under Florida state law. Unless the City Council can show that fishing for that species creates a Public Safety Issue. (Sec 379.2412 State preemption of power to regulate.) Using a little common sense comparison, you will see the facts do not support that Shark Fishing from the beach causes any increased danger to the Public
I will use fishing in general, because pound for pound of Fish Product placed into an area where the public swims, Should if what many claim draw and cause Shark Attacks.
Also keep in mind I have included factual Research and articles by recognized leaders in our environment, that shows that Coastal Pelagic Sharks "which includes all the so called Man Eaters " feed in Shallow beaches, Between Troughs and Tidal flow areas so they are already there, Furthermore It only mentions in research that it is suggested that you do not swim where there is fishing.
We have Many Fishing Piers in Florida, in Broward County there are 4 approximately 3 to 6 miles apart. Every day Hundreds and on certain days Thousands of people fish from those piers. Those Piers are all Located smack in the middle of very busy Public Beaches. Common sense says a lot of Fish products are being put into the water on hooks and from cutting up and scraping the bait tables, one pier alone can place hundreds of pounds per day into the water, yet we have never seen a Shark attack around those piers or any pier to my knowledge in Florida.
Why is that? Because sharks don't bite people but in very rare instances and it is because of mistaken identity due to cloudy and or rough water, people on boards which make them look like food i.e. Turtle. Sharks are Sharks they are not Rocket scientists, they make mistakes. The ocean is a wild environment not your or my backyard. Sharks belong there and swim around people everyday on our beaches. I know this as a fact because I run a fishing pier, I see them swimming near swimmers and not bothering them.
Do you know how many people swim in the ocean around our coast of Florida per Year ?
Florida's beaches are heavily used most of the year; late April to mid-September are the peak season in most of the state. The state's population is estimated at 18 million, and approximately 70 million tourists visit per year. Estimates from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) place the number of swimmers at just over 14 million a year. In addition, NOAA estimates that another 3.5 million snorkelers, surfers, and divers enter Florida water's each year.
Taken from http://water.epa.gov/type/oceb/beaches/2008_fl.cfm
Shark attacks, how common are they? on average there are 60 or so Shark attacks World wide. You may be surprised to know that 40% are right here in Florida, however, by far the greatest number of those are in Volusia County/Daytona.
You will be further surprised to find out that Volusia/Daytona banned beach Shark fishing in 2000 Volusia County OrdinanceSec. 20-116. Fishing.
They tied the all time bite record in 2009, 9 years after their ban went into effect. This is physical proof that Shark fishing Ban's simply don't work.
Banning shark fishing will have no economic effect? Your Bait and Tackle shops would beg to differ.
Yes some Cities in the last 2 years have over-stepped their authority by passing shark fishing bans and some like Indian river county decided to not, because they realized the constitutional issue under Article X. Section 11. and realized they had no authority to impose regulation's on state land. Proof of this can be found by researching City, County, and Municipal challenges to the various Beach re-nourishment projects throughout the state. In every case the state has won due to the fact they own the shore line. The following is the most recent Supreme Court Decision in Stop the Beach re-nourishment Inc. vs The Florida department of environmental protection.
On June 17, the Supreme Court held in Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection (No. 08-1151) that the land under the water at a Florida shoreline continued to belong to the state even after the state added new sand, extending the beach and interrupting property owners’ exclusive access to the water. By a vote of eight to zero, the Court upheld a decision by the Florida Supreme Court, which had held that the state’s ownership of newly created land at the shoreline was not an unconstitutional taking.
Under Florida law, all beachfront property seaward of the median high-water mark belongs to the state, while the owners of beachfront property own the land between that line and their homes. In 2003, two Florida cities sought to deposit new sand along the shoreline of their beaches, extending the beaches into the sea by seventy-five feet. The new land would belong to the state, depriving the owners of adjacent property of their exclusive access to the water, as well as ownership of any new land subsequently added by gradual natural change. A group of property owners went to state court, arguing that the actions violated the Takings Clause of the Constitution. The Florida Supreme Court rejected that argument, and the Supreme Court agreed. Quote;
You should familiarize yourself with our State laws and our Constitution, because you will be seeing this a lot if you try to stop peoples right to fish for a specific species.
From Our Great States Constitution
379.101 Definitions.--In construing these statutes, where the context does not clearly indicate otherwise, the word, phrase, or term:
(2) "Beaches" and "shores" shall mean the coastal and intercoastal shoreline of this state bordering upon the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Straits of Florida, and any part thereof, and any other bodies of water under the jurisdiction of the State of Florida, between the mean high-water line and as far seaward as may be necessary to effectively carry out the purposes of this act.
379.104 Right to hunt and fish.--The Legislature recognizes that hunting, fishing, and the taking of game are a valued part of the cultural heritage of Florida and should be forever preserved for Floridians. The Legislature further recognizes that these activities play an important part in the state's economy and in the conservation, preservation, and management of the state's natural areas and resources. Therefore, the Legislature intends that the citizens of Florida have a right to hunt, fish, and take game, subject to the regulations and restrictions prescribed by general law and by s.
9, Art. IV of the State Constitution.
379.2412 State preemption of power to regulate.
The power to regulate the taking or possession of saltwater fish, as defined in s. 379.101, is expressly reserved to the state. This section does not prohibit a local government from prohibiting, for reasons of protecting the public health, safety, or welfare, saltwater fishing from real property owned by that local government.
The Florida State Constitution, Article X, Miscellaneous Section 11 states as follows:
SECTION 11. Sovereignty lands.—The title to lands under navigable waters, within the boundaries of the state, which have not been alienated, including beaches below mean high water lines, is held by the state, by virtue of its sovereignty, in trust for all the people. Sale of such lands may be authorized by law, but only when in the public interest. Private use of portions of such lands may be authorized by law, but only when not contrary to the public interest.
History.—Am. H.J.R. 792, 1970; adopted 1970.
Florida Wildlife Commission
* 53,927 square miles of land
* 5,983 square miles of water
* More than 34 million acres of public and private land
o Including 5.8 million acres of wildlife management areas (one of the largest public-hunting systems in the country)
* 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline (8,426 "detailed" miles)
* About 1,700 named rivers, streams and creeks travelltraveling miles
* Approximately 12,000 miles of fishable rivers, streams and canals and an overall total of 51,858 miles of flowing water, including minor tributaries, creeks and ditches (20,000 of which consistently have water)
* About 7,700 lakes greater than 10 acres, covering 3 million total acres
Our Fish and Wildlife
The FWC protects and manages...
* More than 575 species of wildlife
* More than 200 native species of freshwater fish
* More than 500 native species of saltwater fish
...balancing these species' needs with the needs of more than 18 million residents and the millions of visitors who share the land and water with Florida's wildlife
Annual Economic Impact
* Hunting - $745 million, 10,700 jobs
* Saltwater Fishing - $5.4 billion, 54,500 jobs
* Freshwater Fishing - $2.5 billion, 24,800 jobs (details)
* Total Fishing - $7.5 billion (some anglers don't specify fresh or salt), number one in the nation (Texas, the next highest state, generates $6.1 billion)
* Total Nonresident Economic Impact (Tourism) - $1.0 billion, number one in the nation (Wisconsin, the next highest state, generates $0.6 billion)
* Wildlife Viewing - $3.3 billion, 34,700 jobs
* Commercial Fishing & Seafood Processing - $2.9 billion, 103,200 jobs
* Boating - $18.9 billion, 220,000 jobs
A violation of Constitutional Right is a very serious issue, I will leave you with that to think about.
Have a Great Day.