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.
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
Federal regulations on shark fishing are enforced by the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries
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 http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ole/se_laws.html