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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsJanuary 2015

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(7 Del.C. §§901(c & d), 903(e)(2)a and 903(e)(3)
7 DE Admin. Code 3541
Consistent with Addendum III, the proposed action adjusts the shark species groupings for management purposes. Most significantly, the proposed action groups scalloped (Sphyrna lewini), great (S. mokarran) and smooth (S. zygaena) hammerhead sharks into a single complex, as it is difficult to differentiate the species. A recent assessment of scalloped hammerhead sharks indicated that the species is overfished and overfishing is occurring. It was also determined that female scalloped hammerhead sharks reach maturity at 78 inches fork length (Hazin et al. 2001, NOAA Fisheries FEIS for Amendment 5a, pp. 2-19). Therefore, NOAA Fisheries changed the recreational size limit for all hammerhead sharks to 78 inches. The proposed action also separates the blacknose shark (Carcharhinus acronotus) from the small coastal shark complex.
Stewart Michels Stewart.Michels@state.de.us (302) 739-9914
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §936(b)(2))
Non-Sandbar Aggregated large coastal species shall means any of the following species of sharks or parts thereof:
Great hammerhead, Sphyrna mokarran
Smooth hammerhead, Sphyrna zyqaena
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” shall 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
Smooth hammerhead, Sphyrna zygaena
“Land or landing” shall means to put or cause to go on shore from a vessel.
Management unit shall means any of the non-sandbar 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. Smooth dogfish (Mustelus canus), although they are a species of shark, are not presently part of the management unit as defined above, and are not subject to minimum size or daily harvest restrictions. They are subject to the provisions of Regulation 3541, Sections 3.0 and 4.0.
NOAA Fisheries” means National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service.
“Pelagic species” shall means any of the following species of sharks or parts thereof:
Shortfin mako, Isurus oxyrinchus
Blue shark, Prionace qlauca
Oceanic whitetip shark, Carcharhinus longimanus
Thresher Common thresher shark, Alopias vulpinus
“Prohibited species” shall 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 speciesshall means Carcharhinus plumbeus or any parts thereof.
"Shore fishing" or “shore angler shall means any fishing that does not take place on board a vessel. The terms "shore fishing" and "shore angler" are synonymous.
Small coastal species shall means any of the following species of sharks or parts thereof:
Bonnethead, Sphyrna tiburo
Atlantic sharpnose shark, Rhizoprionodon terraenovae
Blacknose shark, Carcharhinus acronotus
Finetooth shark, Carcharhinus isodon
Smoothhound” means any of the following species of sharks or parts thereof:
Smooth dogfish, Mustelus canis
Florida smoothhound, Mustelus norrisi
2.0 Prohibited Species
2.1 It shall be is unlawful for any person to land, purchase, trade, barter, or possess or attempt to land, purchase, trade, barter, or possess a prohibited species (1.9).
2.12 It shall be 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.
3.01 It shall be Except as provided in 3.2, it is unlawful for any person to possess the fins from any shark in the management unit (1.6) prior to landing said shark unless said fins are naturally attached to the body of said shark.
4.0 It shall be 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.
5.0 It shall be is unlawful for any person to fillet a shark in the management unit (1.6) 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 that 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.
6.0 It shall be is unlawful to release any shark in the management unit (1.6) 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.
7.01 It shall be 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 (1.6), 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.
7.1 It shall be is unlawful for any shark from the management unit (1.6) caught in state waters to be bought and sold without a federal Commercial shark dealer permit.
9.0 It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in a directed commercial fishery for a prohibited species. Commercial Quotas and Limits
8.09.1 It shall be 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 among those species in the management unit (1.6) during the remainder of any period after the effective date a commercial quota for that group of sharks has been reached in said period or is projected to be reached in said period by the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce after the closure date set by NOAA Fisheries for that fishery. Further, it shall be is unlawful for any person who has been issued a valid commercial food fishing license while on board any vessel to possess any non-sandbar large coastal sharks, small coastal sharks, or pelagic non-prohibited sharks from the management unit in excesss excess of current federal daily harvest limits administered by the National Marine Fisheries Service NOAA Fisheries.
10.01 It shall be is unlawful for the operator of any vessel to possess without a valid commercial foodfishing license to have on board said vessel any non-prohibited shark from among those species in the management unit (1.6) that measures less than 54 inches, fork length (tip of snout to indentation between dorsal and ventral tail lobes), with the exception of Atlantic sharpnose, blacknose, finetooth, bonnethead, and smooth dogfish sharks, for which no minimum size limit applies except as provided in 10.2 and 10.3.
11.0 It shall be unlawful for any shore angler without a commercial foodfishing license to take and reduce to possession any non-prohibited shark from among those species in the management unit less than 54 inches, with the exception of Atlantic sharpnose, blacknose, finetooth, bonnethead, and smooth dogfish sharks, for which no size limit applies. Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks Closed Season
13.0 It shall be is unlawful for any recreational or commercial fisherman 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.
14.0 It shall be is unlawful for any recreational or commercial fisherman to land or possess any sandbar sharks, except for a commercial fisherman in possession of a valid sandbar shark research permit issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service 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.
15.0 It shall is unlawful for any Delaware recreational or commercial fisherman to land or possess any species of shark in state waters that is illegal to catch or land or possess in federal waters. Presently it is unlawful for recreational fishermen to take and possess silky sharks in federal waters at any time of the year.
16.0 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.
Last Updated: December 31 1969 19:00:00.
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