All along the Folly Beach pier there are signs warning people that fishing for sharks is banned. These signs, however, are not always effective. Mark Patrick of Charleston County Parks says that, despite the signs, they still receive inquiries about shark fishing as well as catching some people continuing to target the sharks at the pier.
With the current rules set in place, if you are caught fishing for sharks on the pier you may be asked to leave by employees of Charleston County Parks, but, with the new ordinance, you could be facing fines totaling as much as $500 and up to 30 days of jail time.
Some believe that sharks will not stay away from the pier while there is fishing of any kind going on, and argue that, regardless of the bait that you use, you are going to catch a shark if it is swimming in the area. Patrick believes that the sharks are being lured in by those trying to feed them off the pier, but acknowledges Sharks are going to be in the area naturally because its their habitat. He claims that, though the ordinance will not get rid of the sharks altogether, it could help the problem, and say that he just wants to prevent people from using large bait and hooks that disproportionately attract sharks.
The area affected by the law will cover from 3rd St. East to 3rd St. West with the pier being within this area. The ordinance will have its second reading and vote during the March 8th City Council meeting.