Delaware reminds anglers of new shark regulations

News Release by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).

DNREC Fish & Wildlife Agents, State Park Rangers remind ocean anglers of new shark regulations

DOVER (July 26, 2011)

To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources, DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agents and Delaware State Park Rangers concluded an investigation into shark fishing violations on July 24, when agents cited Kevin E. Schultze, age 26, of Milton, for possession of a prohibited shark species at Cape Henlopen State Park.

With fishing season in full swing, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement and Delaware State Park Rangers remind anglers that amended shark regulations became effective in June to conserve protected and prohibited species of sharks. The new regulations were crafted, with public input, in response to DNREC’s findings last summer that increased fishing activities were being aimed at catching large coastal sharks classified by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission as prohibited species, including sand tiger sharks.

Studies have shown that sand tiger sharks suffer significant injury and occasionally die as a result of being caught by hook and line even when circle hooks are used. In some cases, these sharks have been caught using large baits and hooks, dragged up on the beach and handled inappropriately for an extended period before being released, and mortalities have been reported.

“To help minimize injury to these protected and prohibited sharks, and to reduce trauma from handling as well as possible targeting of the species by anglers, the newly amended regulations make it unlawful to remove sand tiger sharks from the water and require their immediate release when they are caught,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement.

“To help conserve and protect these sharks, State Park Rangers are working with Fish and Wildlife Agents to enforce these regulations at our ocean beach parks,” said Chief Wayne Kline of the Delaware State Park Rangers.

The regulations list 19 species of prohibited sharks, including sand tigers, which may not be in the possession of anglers.

– Link to PDF: Tidal Finfish Regulation 3541 ( Sharks on page 11-15).

SOURCE: State of Delaware – Devision of Fish and Wildlife.

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