Melbourne Beach mayor worries shark fishing poses danger to swimmers



MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. - The mayor of Melbourne Beach is concerned shark fishing is putting swimmers and surfers in danger along Brevard County beaches.

Since Aug. 5, two young children suffered apparent shark bites near Tables Beach.

A woman was bitten off Cocoa Beach, and a 10-year-old was bitten at Lori Wilson Park.

While none of those were in Melbourne Beach, Mayor Jim Simmons is concerned.

“It’s not a big problem, except it’s a continuing problem,” Simmons said.

Last week, Simmons and the town commission thought it was time to pass a resolution to discourage both shark fishing and chumming--the practice of using bloody bait to attract sharks--in busy beach areas.

“I don’t understand why people would want to shark fish amongst swimmers and surfers,” Simmons said.

But Simmons knew that it stands, it’s a sinking solution.

Per state law, only the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission can regulate fishing.

Some residents said they appreciate the mayor’s effort.

“I want to surf, but I don’t want to surf with sharks,” said Yuxi Hu.

Simmons said it isn’t about a ban but about making the sport safer.

“There are plenty of beaches south of us in the inlet and even further south where they can go shark fishing and not encounter any swimmers,” he said.

Simmons said he will try to convince FWC officials that shark fishing poses a risk to public safety at an upcoming FWC Commission meeting in Orlando.