Proposed shark fishing ban may impact other anglers

A proposed ordinance that would ban gear typically used to target sharks at the Venice Municipal Fishing Pier may imperil fishing in general, because the Venice City Council on Oct. 22 agreed to limit fishermen to having only one line in the water.

“If they pass it with one line, they will have universal disobedience on that,” said Rob Merlino, a south Sarasota County resident who frequents the pier and has been critical of the city’s attempt to ban shark fishing. “That basically says, ‘Let’s eliminate fishing.’” The ordinance, which passed unanimously on first reading Oct. 22, was changed on the suggestion of Mayor John Holic to cut the number of poles any single angler can have in the water from two to one.

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