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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsAdministrative CodeTitle 730003500

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3500 Tidal Finfish

 

3541 Atlantic Sharks

(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §936(b)(2))

1.0 Definitions:

“Aggregated large coastal species means any of the following species of sharks or parts thereof:

Nurse shark, Ginglymostoma cirratum

Blacktip shark, Carcharhinus limbatus

Bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas

Lemon shark, Neqaprion brevirostris

Silky shark, Carcharhinus falciformis

Spinner shark, Carcharhinus brevipinna

Tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvieri

Blacknose shark” means Carcharhinus acronotus or any parts thereof.

Fillet” means to remove slices of fish flesh, of irregular size and shape, from the carcass by cuts made parallel to the backbone.

Hammerhead species” means any of the following species of sharks or parts thereof:

Great hammerhead, Sphyrna mokarran

Scalloped hammerhead, Sphyrna lewini

Smooth hammerhead, Sphyrna zygaena

“Land or landing” means to put or cause to go on shore from a vessel.

Management unit means any of the aggregated large coastal species, small coastal species, blacknose shark, hammerhead species, pelagic species and prohibited species of sharks or parts thereof defined in this regulation.

NOAA Fisheries” means National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service.

“Pelagic species” means any of the following species of sharks or parts thereof:

Porbeagle shark, Lamna nasus

Shortfin mako, Isurus oxyrinchus

Blue shark, Prionace qlauca

Oceanic whitetip shark, Carcharhinus longimanus

Common thresher shark, Alopias vulpinus

“Prohibited species” means any of the following species of sharks or parts thereof:

Basking shark, Cetorhinidae maximus

White shark, Carcharodon carcharias

Bigeye sand tiger, Odontaspis noronhai

Sand tiger, Odontaspis taurus

Whale shark, Rhincodon typus

Bignose shark, Carcharhinus altimus

Caribbean reef shark, Carcharhinus perezi

Dusky shark, Carcharhinus obscurus

Galapagos shark, Carcharhinus galapaqensis

Narrowtooth shark, Carcharhinus brachyurus

Night shark, Carcharhinus siqnatus

Atlantic angel shark, Squatina dumerili

Caribbean sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon porosus

Smalltail shark, Carcharhinus porosus

Bigeye sixgill shark, Hexanchus vitulus

Sevengill shark, Heptranchias perlo

Sixgill shark, Hexanchus griseus

Longfin mako, Isurus paucus

Bigeye thresher, Alopias superciliosus

"Sandbar shark" or “research species” means Carcharhinus plumbeus or any parts thereof.

"Shore fishing" or “shore angler means any fishing that does not take place on board a vessel.

Small coastal species means any of the following species of sharks or parts thereof:

Bonnethead, Sphyrna tiburo

Atlantic sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon terraenovae

Finetooth shark, Carcharhinus isodon

Smoothhound” means any of the following species of sharks or parts thereof:

Smooth dogfish, Mustelus canis

Florida smoothhound, Mustelus norrisi

3 DE Reg. 1088 (02/01/00)

12 DE Reg. 1517 (06/01/09)

18 DE Reg. 701 (03/01/15)

 

2.0 Prohibited Species

2.1 It is unlawful for any person to land, purchase, trade, barter, or possess or attempt to land, purchase, trade, barter, or possess a prohibited species.

2.2 It is unlawful for any hook and line fisherman to remove from the water sandbar shark, or any other species of shark when prohibited from harvest under §3541.

2.3 It is unlawful for any person to engage in a directed commercial fishery for a prohibited or research species.

14 DE Reg. 193 (09/01/10)

14 DE Reg. 1385 (06/01/11)

18 DE Reg. 701 (03/01/15)

 

3.0 Finning

3.1 Except as provided in 3.2, it is unlawful for any person to possess the fins from any shark in the management unit prior to landing said shark unless said fins are naturally attached to the body of said shark.

3.2 A person issued a valid commercial food fish license may completely remove the fins from any smoothhound, provided the total weight of the fins does not exceed twelve (12) percent of the total dressed weight of smoothhound complex carcasses on board a vessel.

18 DE Reg. 701 (03/01/15)

 

4.0 Fishing Methods

It is unlawful for any person to fish for any shark while in state waters with any fishing equipment or by any method, except: (1) Hook and Line; (2) Gill Net.

14 DE Reg. 193 (09/01/10)

18 DE Reg. 701 (03/01/15)

 

5.0 Filleting Prior to Landing

It is unlawful for any person to fillet a shark in the management unit prior to landing said shark. A shark may be eviscerated prior to landing said shark, but the head, tail, and fins must remain naturally attached to the carcass, except as provided in 3.2 and commercial fishermen may eviscerate and remove the head of any shark reduced to possession, but the tail and fins must remain attached to the carcass.

12 DE Reg. 1517 (06/01/09)

14 DE Reg. 193 (09/01/10)

18 DE Reg. 701 (03/01/15)

 

6.0 Shark Handling

It is unlawful to release any shark in the management unit or any sandbar shark in a manner that will not ensure said sharks maximum probability of survival. All species of shark when prohibited from harvest under §3541 must be immediately released.

14 DE Reg. 193 (09/01/10)

14 DE Reg. 1385 (06/01/11)

18 DE Reg. 701 (03/01/15)

 

7.0 Recreational Possession Limits

7.1 It is unlawful for the operator of any vessel without a commercial food fishing license to have on board said vessel more than one non-prohibited shark per trip from among those species in the management unit, regardless of the number of people on board the vessel. In addition each recreational angler fishing from a vessel may harvest and possess one bonnethead, and one Atlantic sharpnose shark per trip.

7.2 It is unlawful for any shore angler without a commercial foodfishing license to take and reduce to possession more than one non-prohibited shark from among those species in the management unit per day (a day being 24 hours). Recreational shore anglers may also harvest one additional bonnethead, and one additional Atlantic sharpnose shark per day.

18 DE Reg. 701 (03/01/15)

 

8.0 Unlawful Sale

It is unlawful for any shark from the management unit caught in state waters to be bought and sold without a federal shark dealer permit.

1 DE Reg. 345 (10/1/97)

3 DE Reg. 1088 (2/1/00)

8 DE Reg. 1718 (6/1/05)

12 DE Reg. 1517 (06/01/09)

14 DE Reg. 193 (09/01/10)

18 DE Reg. 701 (03/01/15)

 

9.0 Commercial Quotas and Limits

9.1 It is unlawful for any person who has been issued a valid commercial food fishing license while on board any vessel to possess any non-prohibited shark from the management unit after the closure date set by NOAA Fisheries for that fishery. Further, it is unlawful for any person who has been issued a valid commercial food fishing license while on board any vessel to possess any non-prohibited sharks from the management unit in excess of current federal daily harvest limits administered by NOAA Fisheries.

9.2 Delaware’s annual smoothhound quota will be 0.339 percent of the coastwide quota in accordance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Coastal Sharks.

9.3 When the Department has determined that 95% of Delaware’s annual smoothhound quota allocation has been landed, the Department shall establish, based on recent fishery performance and landings, a date and time to order the fishery closed.

9.4 It is unlawful for any person who has been issued a valid commercial food fishing license while on board any vessel to possess any smoothhound once the Department has ordered the fishery closed.

9.5 Any overage in the Delaware's annual commercial smoothhound quota will be subtracted from the following year's smoothhound quota allocation.

12 DE Reg. 1517 (06/01/09)

14 DE Reg. 193 (09/01/10)

18 DE Reg. 701 (03/01/15)

 

10.0 Recreational Size Limits

10.1 It is unlawful to possess without a valid commercial foodfishing license any non-prohibited shark from among those species in the management unit that measures less than 54 inches, fork length (tip of snout to indentation between dorsal and ventral tail lobes), except as provided in 10.2 and 10.3.

10.2 It is unlawful to possess without a valid commercial food fishing license any hammerhead species that measures less than 78 inches, fork length (tip of snout to indentation between dorsal and ventral tail lobes).

10.3 Smoothhound, bonnethead, Atlantic sharpnose, blacknose, and finetooth sharks are exempt from size limits.

3 DE Reg. 1088 (2/1/00)

1 DE Reg. 850 (1/1/98)

1 DE Reg. 1005 (2/1/98)

12 DE Reg. 1517 (06/01/09)

14 DE Reg. 193 (09/01/10)

18 DE Reg. 701 (03/01/15)

 

11.0 Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks Closed Season

It is unlawful to possess silky, tiger, blacktip, spinner, bull, lemon, nurse, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead, and smooth hammerhead sharks from May 15 through July 15, regardless of where the shark was caught. Fishermen who catch any of these species in federal waters may not transport them through Delaware state waters during the aforementioned closed season.

12 DE Reg. 1517 (06/01/09)

14 DE Reg. 193 (09/01/10)

18 DE Reg. 701 (03/01/15)

 

12.0 Unlawful Possession of Sandbar Shark and Exception

It is unlawful to land or possess any sandbar sharks, except for a commercial fisherman in possession of a valid sandbar shark research permit issued by NOAA Fisheries. There must be a qualified observer aboard any vessel that lands and possesses sandbar sharks fishing under the auspices of a valid federal research permit.

8 DE Reg. 1718 (6/1/05)

12 DE Reg. 1517 (06/01/09)

14 DE Reg. 193 (09/01/10)

18 DE Reg. 701 (03/01/15)

 

13.0 Federally Prohibited Shark Reciprocity

It is unlawful to land or possess any species of shark in state waters that is illegal to catch or land or possess in federal waters.

12 DE Reg. 1517 (06/01/09)

14 DE Reg. 193 (09/01/10)

18 DE Reg. 701 (03/01/15)

 

14.0 Collecting for Research or Display

The Department may grant anyone permission to take and possess sharks that would otherwise be illegal to take and possess when used for display and/or research purposes. Applicants will need a current State of Delaware scientific collecting permit and a valid federal sandbar shark research permit, if collecting sandbar sharks. Applicants must annually report the number, weight, species, location caught, and gear used for each shark collected for research or display purposes, and the annual disposition of said sharks throughout the life of each shark so taken. The Division reserves the right to place limits on or deny any request to take prohibited species of sharks under the auspices of a scientific collecting permit.

8 DE Reg. 1718 (06/01/05)

12 DE Reg. 1517 (06/01/09)

14 DE Reg. 193 (09/01/10)

18 DE Reg. 701 (03/01/15)

 

Last Updated: November 07 2014 16:14:28.
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