Shark Smart Marina Initiative


The national Shark Free Marina movement is sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, Pew Environmental Group, and supported by Guy Harvey, and Doug Olander of Sport Fishing Magazine. The effort is to have marinas register as being “shark free” and not allowing any shark to be brought back to their marina docks. There are 157 marinas nationwide that have already signed on.

The Big Game Fishing Journal believes this is a back door tactic by the environmental community, supported by a few misguided and misinformed individuals to shutdown another game fish to recreational fishing. We also believe that Guy Harvey’s intentions are honorable, but his statement that recreational fishermen kill hundreds of thousands of sharks annually is completely untrue. The recreational shark fishermen are the most conservation-minded anglers in the nation. They constantly practice tag and release methods and only bring in mature, edible species of sharks for the dinner table.

The problem sharks are current experiencing today is not the fault of the American shark fishermen. We believe if the environmental community was sincere in helping the plight of the shark, they would turn their shark saving efforts and their money toward foreign countries and their commercial fleets. They are the true cause of the problem. We also believe that fishery management and the decision to shut down a game fish fishery should only be left to competent fishery managers, not anti-fishing environmental groups, or owners or dock masters of the nation’s marinas.

To nip this anti-fishing movement in the bud, the Big Game Fishing Journal will sponsor a Shark Smart Marina effort. This movement will let the public know that the marinas registered sign on to the ideology that only edible sharks should be landed and all others released. They also believe that common sense and good conservation tactics should always be used when fishing for sharks. This Shark Smart Marina effort is an ideology held by marinas that sign on. The movement is not being created to have marinas “dictate” and demand compliance. It is being created to let the public know that we as shark fishermen are not the ignorant, mindless killers of sharks as the environmental community would have them believe. We believe in killing only what we intend to eat, always practicing sound shark conservation procedures and always respect the game fish by limiting what you kill, using a dehooker and practicing proper release methods.

For those companies that support the ideology of the Shark Smart Marina effort, please contact us here at the Journal, 800 827 4468 or via email at, supply us your company logo, and we will list your organization on our soon to be constructed Shark Smart Marina Facebook page, our web site and on a page in the Big Game Fishing Journal letting everyone know you support the Shark Smart Marina ethic. If you own or manage a marina, call us at 800 827 4468 and we will provide you a sign for your dock that reads:

We Are Pro-Fishing.

Captain Len Belcaro
Publisher Big Game Fishing Journal




  1. Angel

    Shark Free Marina movement is fantastic.
    Nobody tells the fishermen to stop shark catch. They just tell you to release it back and do not bring it back to the marina. Which makes a lot of sense.
    I doubt it is a step to finish sport fishing at all.
    Please try to be objective. Just to take a picture, nothing else, sportfishing community kills thousands of sharks every year for the customer. This is not mindful or smart fishing. I can put here hundreds of web sites of boats or captains full of customer with shark pictures to prove the reckless kill. If you think you can train all these charters or captains about it, fine try it. But that it is dream.
    If you can not control the captain, you can control the marina. That is more efficient. And actually it makes sense as well. Since shark kill does not seem to be one of your problems and it is easy for you to say that the conservation groups should spend their moneys elsewhere.
    Please keep in mind that they spend their money to stop the killing. You offered nothing about it. In your own backyard or elsewhere in the world. All you try to stop is the lesser income or money part of the equation. That is selfish.
    The shark you kill is not your shark. It does not belong to you. It belongs to the ocean, a part of an ecosystem. We all, humanity is lucky to have them in the ocean. But you want to kill them for fun, enjoyment or money. And you call it Sport Fishing. Billions of dollars of money each and every year.
    You should read. They are going out of our system for ever. You will not be able to kill them just in a few decades. There will not be any to catch.
    So why don’t you try to be a part of the solution rather than being the part of the problem.
    If the fishing fleets kill sharks illegally, fight against it for you for us and for the shark. All over the world. They are killing your sharks as well.
    This is a global problem, not your backyard discussion. Where ever they are killed, whom ever is killing, in which ocean it is done, will change nothing. We need to save the sharks for the future of humanity no matter what the cost is.
    All people have to write it in capital letters to their brains. ” Sharks gone, Oceans are gone, Reefs are gone, World is gone”
    Humanity and its money will worth nothing…

  2. Vee

    I can only applaude initiatives like shark free marina. I don’t understand what all the fuss is about : you want to go sharkfishing, OK fish BUT catch and release only. Sharks are too important to the ecosystem and too many species are under threat, we cannot afford to wait untill all species are threatened, then it is too late to act. Lots of sharks are also migrating far, so this is not just a problem in your own town / marina, it is a worldwide problem and yes I do believe that worldwide fishermen catch thousands of sharks yearly. So, shark fishing should only be catch and release, it is after all just a sport, a hobby, no need to kill the animal for that !

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