FWC Votes To Protect Sharks

Florida’s FWC,(The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) voted to prohibit the harvest of tiger sharks and three species of hammerheads from state waters at there November meeting in Key Largo. The new regulations take effect Jan. 1, 2012 and strengthen 1992 regulations that implemented a one-shark-per-person, two-sharks-per-vessel daily bag limit for all recreational and commercial fishermen and banned fining sharks.

The new regulations came about after concerned citizens, shark researchers and shark anglers asked for increased protections for sharks. Florida waters are essential for young sharks, especially the slow growing tiger shark, which takes about 15 years to reach maturity.The new measures also prohibit the possession, sale and exchange of tiger sharks and great, scalloped and smooth hammerhead sharks caught in state waters. These sharks can still be caught and released in state waters or can be harvested in adjacent federal waters.