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Florida Moves To Protect Tiger, Hammerhead Sharks In State Waters; 'Problems We Avoid' With Conservation

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TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) moved Nov. 16 to prohibit the harvest of tiger sharks and three species of hammerheads from state waters in an effort to further protect these top predators that rely on Florida waters to survive.

The action was taken during the first day of the Commission's two-day meeting in Key Largo.

"Sometimes the appropriate measures of conservation are the problems we avoid, not the problems we have to fix," said Commissioner Brian Yablonski.

The new measures, which also prohibit the possession, sale and exchange of tiger sharks and great, scalloped and smooth hammerhead sharks harvested from state waters, will go into effect Jan. 1, 2012. These sharks can still be caught and released in state waters and can be taken in adjacent federal waters.

The change got its start in 2010, after concerned citizens, shark researchers and shark anglers expressed their desires to the Commission to see increased protections for sharks.

Florida waters offer essential habitat for young sharks, which is important for species such as the slow-to-reproduce tiger shark, which takes about 15 years to reach maturity.

Sharks have been strictly regulated in Florida since 1992, with a one-shark-per-person, two-sharks-per-vessel daily bag limit for all recreational and commercial harvesters and a ban on shark finning. Roughly two-dozen overfished, vulnerable or rare shark species are catch-and-release only in Florida waters.

The FWC is also working on an educational campaign highlighting fishing and handling techniques that increase the survival rate of sharks that are caught and released while ensuring the safety of the anglers targeting them.

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

4 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

i think any thing that eats man, should be done away with.
   comment# 2   - Ron · Gainesville, Fl. · Nov 17, 2011 @ 1:41pm

i think any thing that eats man, should be done away with.
   comment# 1   - Ron · Gainesville, Fl. · Nov 17, 2011 @ 1:43pm

sharks have no-limits on humans, two of the most deadly are the bull shark and the great white, great white are protected but these two are the most deadly next to the great hammerhead go figuire
   comment# 3   - gerry · houston tx · Nov 17, 2011 @ 4:13pm

Quote "I think anything that eats man, should be done away with". How stupid a comment is that. The sea is the home of the Shark. Land is the home of man. If we enter the home of the Shark then expect to get bitten. The Sharks don't come onto land and chase you. So you take the risks if you go into the water. Your comments are stupid. If everyone had the same mentality as you then most animals would be extinct. Pity you are not !!!
   comment# 4   - Sandie · UK · Jan 25, 2012 @ 9:46am
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