Ocean City Bans 'Chumming' And 'Blood Bait' Fishing For Sharks - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Ocean City Bans 'Chumming' And 'Blood Bait' Fishing For Sharks

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Shark caught along the beach in Ocean City (Courtesy: Ashley Becker) Shark caught along the beach in Ocean City (Courtesy: Ashley Becker)

OCEAN CITY, Md.- An emergency ordinance banning 'chumming' and 'blood bait' fishing for sharks was approved on Monday. Ocean City town officials took swift action banning this type of popular fishing along the beach after receiving several complaints concerning safety.

Ashley Becker is an avid surf fisher and is upset about the shark fishing ban. 

"It's really ironic that we had the White Marlin open, a big fishing tournament just last week and now they're going to ban another type of fishing. How is that possible that you can ban certain types of fishing but you're a city known for fishing tournaments," Becker said.

Jessica Waters, with the Town of Ocean City said out of an abundance of safety concerns for swimmers and the fact that the chum baiting was drawing sharks close to shore, it was necessary to put the emergency ban in effect.

Becker disagrees, and said the surf fishers are not attracting the sharks, but that they are already there in the surf. 

Mitch Whiteley lives in Northern Ocean City and said the shark fishing was getting out of hand. 

"I don't begrudge the shark fisherman for what they do, but I think it's kind of inappropriate where they are doing it and how they're doing it. It's been a proliferation of it and it's more and more common; the size of the rigs they use, the size of the hooks and the other things they do for the sharks and the type of bait they use which is I'm sure to little kids kind of scary to see, a big old fish head with blood pouring out of it," Whiteley said.

The ordinance now makes it illegal to fish by 'chumming' or 'blood baiting' from the beach or within 600 feet from the beach any time of the year. It also states it is illegal to fish using baited hooks sent into the ocean by propulsion or carrying the baited hook into the ocean by any means. 

People in violation of the law could be subject to a fine of up to $1,000. Roseanne Dalisay was visiting Ocean City from Canada and said the swift action was appropriate. 

Dalisay said, "I think it's a great thing because obviously this is a family friendly vacation destination, so obviously to keep it that way is important to the city so that's a good thing." 

Official's said Ocean City Beach Patrol and the Ocean City Police Department will be responsible for enforcement of the town's ordinance. 

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