New shark fishing limits set for Florida waters

TALLAHASSEE — The harvesting of some sharks will be prohibited in Florida state waters in 2012.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Wednesday that recreational and commercial harvesting of tiger sharks and smooth, scalloped and great hammerhead sharks will be banned in state waters starting Jan. 1.

The ban also extends to the possession, sale and exchange of these sharks caught in state waters.

These species still can be caught and released in state waters, and they can be taken in from federal waters.

The wildlife agency says the harvesting ban will help protect these top marine predators. Florida waters are considered essential habitat for these and other sharks.

About two-dozen overfished, vulnerable or rare shark species are catch-and-release only in Florida waters.

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