FWC Law Enforcement: Shark-related Reports, April 15 to July 7, 2016
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission ( FWC )
Division of Law Enforcement
July 1 through July 7, 2016
PALM BEACH COUNTY
Officers Spradling, Newman and Hankinson responded to a deceased hammerhead shark on shore at the south Lake Worth inlet. After determining the shark’s death was by natural causes, Officers Spradling and Newman transported the approximately 14-foot hammerhead shark five miles off shore.
Officers Osorio-Borja and Tidwell responded to a call at Clam Pass in reference to a report of a sawfish beaching itself. Upon arrival, the officers observed the sawfish near the shoreline. They were able to grab the tail of the sawfish and push it back into deeper water; however, the sawfish was not able to swim and was being washed onshore by the waves. The officers continued to push the sawfish into the water while they waited for a biologist to respond. After a few hours, the sawfish appeared to be getting worse and was not moving at all. The sawfish appeared to die just before the biologist arrived. Officer Johnson also responded and assisted the officers with transporting the sawfish until the biologist arrived and took possession of it.
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June 17 through June 23, 2016
Officer Thompson responded to a complaint of a male subject catching and cutting up baby bull sharks at the Cape Coral Yacht Club fishing pier. Officer Thompson made contact with the subject and found the subject in possession of two undersized, finned, beheaded and gutted spinner sharks. The subject admitted to Officer Thompson that he thought he caught two black tip sharks. Officer Thompson educated the subject on the difference of a black tip shark and spinner shark. The subject admitted to the sharks having a black tip anal fin. Officer Thompson issued the subject a citation to appear in court for the violations.
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May 27 through June 2, 2016
Officer Wilkenson received information that an individual was fishing and keeping undersized sharks at the Cape Coral Yacht Club Fishing Pier. While speaking to a group of fishermen who stated they did not catch anything, an inspection of their coolers revealed two undersized sharks. The sharks were not in whole condition and were identified as spinner sharks. The individual that caught the sharks was given a notice to appear for being in possession of two spinner sharks less than the required length and warnings for over the bag limit and not in whole condition.
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May 20 through May 26, 2016
Officer Mattson was on water patrol in the area of Channel 5 Bridge on the bayside. He observed 3 men actively fishing from their vessel. During the subsequent resource inspection he observed 8 undersized mutton snapper, 9 total barracuda, which put them over the vessel limit of 6 and an undersized nurse shark. They were cited for the violations. In addition, one of the men was taken into custody on an active warrant out of Monroe County. He was transported to jail by Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies.
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May 13 through May 19, 2016
During an offshore patrol, Lieutenant Givens, Officers Read and Geib were conducting fisheries and safety inspections out of Mayport approximately 22 miles from the inlet. Officer Read boarded a vessel to inspect the boat. While conducting the inspection, Officer Read noticed a large shark head. Officer Read also noticed that they were using black seabass as bait. Officer Read informed the captain and crew that both sharks and reef fish needed to remain in whole condition. A citation was issued to the captain of the boat for shark not maintained in whole condition and a warning was issued for black seabass not maintained in whole condition.
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April 15 through April 21, 2016
Officer Plussa was on board a US Coast Guard (USCG) Station Marathon patrol vessel when a 911 call was received reporting a shark-bite victim near the Content Keys. A US Fish and Wildlife Service officer also heard the 911 call and, being closer, responded to the scene, picked up the victim and later transferred him to the awaiting USCG vessel where a medic was on board. Officer Plussa and the medic tended to the injuries as they transported the victim to EMS on shore and then to Fisherman’s Hospital. The victim told Officer Plussa that he caught a “Jack” and was trying to revive it by holding it over the side of his vessel in the water, moving it back and forth before he released it. The victim said that was when a 6-7 foot unknown type of shark swooped in and bit his left hand causing a severe injury.