Shark Regulations

Sharks are protected by both state and federal regulations.

State and federal fishery biologists are aware of the many factors complicating the management of shark populations. Since sharks are top-level predators, they tend to have lower population numbers than other fishes. Sharks also have slow growth rates, mature late in life, and produce few offspring. These biological characteristics coupled with overfishing can reduce population levels to a point where recovery can take many years. A number of shark species have been overfished and are now protected by regulations in both state and federal waters.


State Regulations
Regulations on shark fishing in the state of Florida are managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Information on current state regulations, including a listing of protected shark species, can be found in the Saltwater Fishing Regulations section.


Federal Regulations
Federal regulations on shark fishing are enforced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

Information on current federal regulations, including a listing of protected shark species, can be found on the NMFS Office of Law Enforcement Southeast Region Web site, located at

FWC Facts:
Pyrodinium bahamense, an HAB organism that blooms each summer in Tampa Bay and Indian River Lagoon, chemically lights up to glow in the dark. This is called bioluminescence.

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