[Coral-List] New paper identifies illegal shark fishing using angler discussion forums

David Shiffman david.shiffman at gmail.com
Tue Aug 15 11:22:49 EDT 2017

Hello, everyone! I have a new paper out in Fisheries Research that may
interest some of you.

I analyzed posts on an online discussion forum used by shark anglers in
Florida, a method that can reveal the presence of behaviors or attitudes
within a population, but not how common those attitudes are.

The paper can be found here:

A blog post explaining the background issues, including a link to an open
access author copy, can be found here:

I found:

-Many (a minimum of 389) cases of illegal fishing for protected species,
including cases where the anglers themselves knew it was illegal and
discussed ways to avoid getting caught or ways to avoid getting in trouble
if caught;

-The introduction of new laws requiring the release of hammerhead and tiger
sharks in Florida had no effect on reported handling or release practices
of shark anglers;

-Recreational shark anglers in Florida agree that shark populations have
declined significantly, but believe that their own practices play no role
in this and should not be regulated (i.e., there is a problem, but the
problem is someone else, not me);

-Land-based anglers (those who fish from a beach or pier instead of a boat)
had mixed attitudes towards science and scientists, supported restrictions
on commercial fishing in the name of conservation, opposed any restrictions
on their own activities, and had negative attitudes towards
conservationists despite sharing similar goals;

- Land-based shark fishing has the potential to introduce much more stress
to sharks as they are dragged over rough terrain while lacking the buoyant
support of water, which means that even if sharks are released, they are
less likely to survive if handled this way;

-Land based anglers self-identify as relatively young, male, and low-income
compared to other angler groups, and perceive themselves as having little
political power compared to other Florida stakeholders, potentially
contributing to lack of buy-in to fishing regulations.

-For the last several years, more large (non-Dogfish) sharks in the United
States have been killed by recreational anglers than by commercial fishermen

Please feel free to share with interested colleagues, and please let me
know if you have any questions.



*David Shiffman, Ph.D. *
Marine Conservation Biologist and Science Writer
Liber Ero Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver,

*e: *david.shiffman at gmail.com | *t: *@WhySharksMatter
<http://twitter.com/#!/WhySharksMatter> |
*b: *Southern Fried Science Blog <http://www.southernfriedscience.com/> |
*Online CV <http://DavidShiffmanCV.com>*

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