Despite multiple types of hammerhead sharks being protected from fishing in Florida waters, a "catch and release" loophole has lead to countless of these sharks being dragged up on shore for selfies before being tossed back into the sea, regardless of their "post-selfie" condition.
There are a few different reasons this is problematic. Hammerhead sharks are one of the most vulnerable species ever studied when it comes to delayed mortality. This means that even if the shark appears to swim off just fine, the build up of lactic acid and stress from struggling on a line for hours is ultimately too much and MORE THAN HALF die shortly afterwards out at sea and out of sight.
Other protected species are also vulnerable! Sharks do not have rib cages and aren't meant to support their body weight on land causing immense stress on their organs. Studies are also now showing that up to a quarter of pregnant sharks may abort their offspring when caught.
The good news is the Florida Wildlife Commission is finally beginning to address this and you can make your voice heard for these animals!
Click here and scroll to the form at the bottom to submit a public comment for the upcoming hearings on the topic! You don't need to live in Florida to comment and you can help get these animals acquire much needed protection! All you need to do is take a minute or two to let the Florida Wildlife Commission know that you want stronger protection for sharks from shark anglers!