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Delaware Does Shark Fishing By the Book


If you’re fishing for shark in Delaware, the Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources wants you to know the regulations.

Delaware is becoming a popular destination for shark anglers. With the two easily accessible fisheries of Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, fishermen can catch a wide range of species from shore or just a short distance out.

The state’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources (DFWNR) wants people to know that they are serious about enforcing shark fishing laws. A few folks found out the hard way. reports that five anglers can attest to the Division’s seriousness. These men were each cited for being in possession of protected sharks.

That’s going to make for an expensive trip to the water and a difficult conversation once they get home. Want to know how much it cost them?

From the Delaware DFWNR’s press release, each man was fined the following amounts:

      • Luis-Rayo was fined $321
      • Messick was fined $700 (He was also in possession of undersized blue crabs)
      • Millman was fined $214
      • Sefil was fined $535
      • Edwards was fined $214
York Daily Record

But it’s not just possession of an illegal shark that can result in a fine.

In Delaware, it is unlawful to remove any protected shark from the water. This typically happens when an angler hauls the fish up onto the beach after it’s played out.

To help the shark survive the encounter and reduce stress from the fight, all protected sharks must be released while still in the water. Additionally, taking only a shark’s fins or fileting the fish before coming back to shore are prohibited practices also.

Sharks that may be taken in Delaware waters are dogfish, black tip, bull, lemon, nurse, silky, spinner, tiger, great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, blue, oceanic white tip, porbeagle, shortfin mako, thresher, Atlantic sharpnose, blacknose, bonnethead and finetooth.

Size limits, possession numbers and seasons vary among the species. A chart is available to help anglers understand the laws for legally-taken sharks.

To ensure compliance with the regulations, the Delaware DFWNR has published a document illustrating commonly misidentified sharks and has made their 2015 Delaware Fishing Guide available online.

NEXT: Another Australian Goes “Shark Riding” For Some Reason [VIDEO]

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Delaware Does Shark Fishing By the Book