Current up to date information about proposed closures, political action, and grassroots efforts to save our fishing!
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Hello everyone, my name is Matthew Hartfiel. I am a new member to this forum, but I am asking for everyone one of you to help me. More importantly I am asking that you help the entire fishing community that enjoys the sport of land-based shark fishing. If you are unfamiliar with LBSF, its the practice of using a kayak to deploy baits hundreds of yards off the beach and catching numerous species of sharks from the beach. In the past, the media has painted LBSF as a source of danger for swimmers and as a cause for shark population declines. This has come to a head in years past in the form of some counties across the Southeast US to ban all forms of shark fishing near the beach. However, there is currently no scientific data to base any of these fishing bans because no one has taken LBSF seriously enough to do any scientific analysis. This is where I believe I can make a difference. I am a graduate student at Jacksonville University and I am trying to study the effects of LBSF. I will be conducting my research all throughout the east coast of FL. I will be taking blood samples from these sharks as well as administering a test that examines all signs of life. From these tests I will determine the state of their physical health and have real scientific data to back up the actual effects of LBSF. Now I won't lie to you and say this is all about fishing because its not. I love sharks and have for all my life that I can remember. I want all sharks that encounter fishing gear to live, but as a fishermen I also understand the value of food for the table and if done the proper way sharks can be a sustainable way to provide food for the family. I am not against that form of shark fishing at all, it is just not for me. I have this deal that if I don't eat them they don't eat me . Currently, I am busy writing grants and applying for scholarships, like the Guy Harvey Scholarship. I am trying to find the funds to allow me to perform this vital project. Unfortunately, as most of you know, fishing isn't cheap and fishermen aren't generally the wealthiest individuals. I have been awarded funds from my school, but it was only enough to buy the equipment needed for the scientific portion of the study, such as needles, syringes, a device to analyze the blood, and cartridges for that device. While I have the basic gear needed to perform this study, I still need funds to buy hooks, new line, swivels, leader, etc etc etc. Also, if enough money is raised I want to buy better gear because I need to upgrade my gear to better replicate the gear that most fishermen use. What good would this study be if I am not using the gear that actual fishermen are using? This is why I am hoping any and all of you to see the value of this project to help save fishing and help save sharks in the process. The end goal of my project is to help provide the public with a go to guide for how to properly fish for and safely (for you and the shark) handle any shark you may catch. I am hoping that with this guide we can increase the amount of sharks that are released and live through the process. In turn, by helping save these sharks lives we can help save shark fishing. This will hopefully help change the current climate in the media about our sport and by saving sharks we can insure that our kids and their kids have sharks to fish for. I have created a GoFundMe page that is solely going to go towards the expenses of the fishing side of this project. I will provide the link below and in advance I appreciate everyone of you that took the time to read this LONG post (I apologize for that but I had a lot to say). If you find yourself in a position to donate to the cause that would be amazing, but all I am asking is that you help spread the word by sharing my link through Facebook, twitter, etc. If everyone that sees this just shares it I believe I can reach my goal and in turn reach the goal of my study which is to Save Shark Fishing by saving shark lives. Thank you and Tight Lines!