How about Shark Life?
That’s what it feels like during the summer when Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) officials run longlines in the nearshore Gulf to tag and monitor sharks.
Today TPWD’s Derek York messaged me from offshore with these clips and photos showing an eight foot long, 383-pound male bull shark caught, tagged and release 30 miles west of the Sabine Jetties. That’s somewhere along the Bolivar Peninsula.
Sharks are an extremely important part of the Gulf ecosystem and many species have suffered major declines due to overfishing from commercial longliners as well as some pressure from the recreational fishery.
Work like TPWD is doing this summer with their tagging will help gain a better understanding of sharks in Texas waters and give them a better idea on how to manage these predators. Shark regulations have changed several times in recent years as new research has come to light.
In the past some have questioned the wisdom of releasing big sharks like this but the fact is they are always at the beach during peak tourist season and there are very few attacks-even from the notorious bull shark.
I am in fact preparing a defense of the bull shark article coming later this week. These photos and the video attached inspired me to speak up for a species that gets little love.
I salute York and all of the TPWD crew out working hard to monitor our shark fishery and I think it’s kind of cool this big boy was caught right in the middle of Shark Week.
Chester Moore, Jr.
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