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 Regulations section.
Federal regulations on shark fishing are enforced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Fisheries Service.
Information on current federal regulations can be found on the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Region Web site, located at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.