Man comes to shark's aid after it's caught in Garden City
Those who are interested in shark fishing might be unaware of a local law that prohibits the entire act itself.
And if you get caught, Myrtle Beach police may even fine you hundreds of dollars.
According to city law, it is "unlawful for any person involved in attempting to catch or take, or catch or take any shark or other marine animals that may endanger the public from any fishing pier, or any beach, shore or any coastal waters where one may fish."
Those who intentionally bait, fish for, or attract sharks or other marine animals that may endanger the public within one mile of the beach or coastal waters are considered to be in violation of the law. This applies to all of Horry County as well.
"Normally people are compliant and we don't have a lot of problems with it to begin with, but if we do have an issue we can fall back on writing a city ordinance violation ticket," said Sgt. Philip Cain of Myrtle Beach Beach Patrol.
When someone gets fined for shark fishing, they have to go to court and pay $464, according to Capt. Joey Crosby with Myrtle Beach police.
Of course, not everyone who catches a shark at the end of their line does so intentionally. But the law says once you recognize it's a shark or any other dangerous animal — like a stingray — you must release it.
"People catch sharks, but a lot of times they catch them just by chance," Cain added.
Keep in mind that the law restricts only shark fishing within a mile of the beach or coastal waters. Once you're past a mile in a boat or vessel, you're not in violation anymore.
But the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says there are some sharks that are prohibited from being caught and must be released immediately, regardless of how far you are from the shore.
SCDNR restricts fishermen from reeling in the following species of sharks:
- Atlantic Angel
- Caribbean Reef
- Caribbean Sharpnose
- Bigeye Sixgill
- Bigeye Thresher
- Bigeye Sand Tiger
- Sand Tiger
- Whale and White Sharks
Michaela Broyles: 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles