December 12, 2009 Featured Article Read More →

Florida – new rules for sharks and proposals for other species.

In a two-day meeting of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission it has said that more protection for bonefish and sharks and more research on Goliath grouper and permit are much needed. The commission adopted a series of rules to enhance the state’s protection of Atlantic coastal shark species that take effect in mid-January.

It is informed that the new rules would prohibit harvest of sandbar, silky, and Caribbean sharpnose sharks in state waters; establish a 54-inch minimum size (fork length) for all sharks, except Atlantic sharpnose, blacknose, bonnethead, finetooth, smooth dogfish and blacktip sharks; prohibit removal of a shark’s head or tail at sea; allow only hook-and-line gear to harvest sharks.

In the meeting commissioners gave preliminary approval to a rule pushed by South Florida shark activists to ban the commercial and recreational harvest of lemon sharks in Florida waters. That measure comes up for final adoption at the FWC’s February meeting in Apalachicola.

For permit, commissioners asked to make a rule for consideration in April that would add protection for the species in federal waters but stop short of declaring it a game fish. For Goliath grouper, formerly known as jewfish, the commission received a report from staffer Gil McRae that the FWC plans to take the lead in conducting a stock assessment beginning in 2010.

Posted in: Shark Bites
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