There are many species of sharks that move around Florida waters. Apart from safety concerns, it is important to be educated about sharks in order to avoid civil or criminal liability. Failure to comply with Florida Fish and Wildlife Rules and Regulations can result in a citation and/or criminal charges for shark fishermen.
Sharks should be kept in good condition, just like other fish species. All heads, tails, and fins must remain attached until the shark is landed. Failure to maintain a shark in its entirety is a second-degree misdemeanor that can lead to 60 days imprisonment and a $500 fine.
The daily bag limit is the maximum number of sharks that you can harvest and keep per day. Sharks are limited to one daily bag limit per person. Two sharks are the vessel limit, which is the maximum number of sharks that can be kept on a boat or ship.
There are fourteen species of sharks that can be harvested. They are then divided into three groups based on their size.
The first group of sharks has no minimum size limit. It includes the Atlantic Sharp Nose and Black Tip, Bonnet Head and Fine Tooth, Smooth Dogfish, Florida Smooth-hounds, and Bonnet Head.
The second group of shark species has a maximum size limit of 54 inches. This includes Bull, Nurse and Spinner sharks, as well as the Blue, Oceanic White Tip and Thresher sharks. This limit applies only to the fork length. The official measurement of a shark does not include the length of its tail. This is a costly error that could lead to a criminal citation.
The Third Group consists only of one shark, the shortfin mako. Its minimum length for harvesting can be 83 inches.
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