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Shark fishing on Venice Pier may soon be banned

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VENICE, FL (WWSB) - Five days a week, about 5:30 in the morning, you'll find Jim Green on the Venice Fishing Pier, his rod and reel in hand.

"I don't golf, I don't do anything else. This is it," said  Green. "The fish not only has to be hungry, he has to be stupid for me. I don't know why but that's the way it is."

While catching a fish may not be the easiest for Green… he does often catch sharks. But, the city council is considering a new ordinance that would prohibit shark fishing. In a memo, Venice's City Attorney says other localities including Naples, St. Augustine, Jacksonville and Flagler Beach all currently prohibit shark fishing.

"I am deeply concerned. I understand buckets of blood and chum being dumped off the pier, and that flowing in towards shore," said Council Member Fred Fraize.

Fraize worries that drawing sharks close to the shore may lead to a shark attack. Beyond the potential damage to a swimmer, Fraize also says that could have an economic impact.

"What is that going to do to the shark capital of the state? Sharky's. That's going to hurt tourism," said Friaze.

The City Council is expected to direct staff to write that ordinance prohibiting shark fishing before holding public hearings on the matter and then voting to make it official.

Green says he has been fishing on the pier since 1971 and has never seen any major problems.

"I think they really ought to give serious consideration to leaving things alone. It has worked here for over 40 years," Green said.