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New Shark Fishing Rules In Florida?
By Matt J. Weiss, June 9, 2009 @ 01:00 PM (EST)
Source: Floridatoday.com

“Jaws” would still be a keeper.

But Florida fisherman this year could face a suite of new shark fishing rules that include a first-ever size limit on sharks they catch in state waters.

The 4.5-foot minimum size limit would affect just about all the shark species fishermen can catch and keep, except certain more plentiful sharks.

The state has yet to make a specific proposal.

First, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will hold five workshops this month to take public comment about how it ought to manage sharks, including one on June 22 at the Brevard Agricultural Center in Cocoa.

New rules in state waters also could include stricter shark bag limits, gear restrictions and changes to the prohibited shark species list and shark landing requirements.

Florida waters extend three miles in the Atlantic and nine miles in the Gulf of Mexico.

The state rules are needed to comply with an interstate shark management plan approved late last year by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which manages fishing in coastal waters in 15 states from Maine to Florida. 

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