Nov 24

Florida Law Protects Tiger and Hammerhead Sharks

By Nadia Aly CEO/Founder

Nadia is the CEO of ScubaDiverLife.com . You can find her on Twitter at @DigiTalkVan or email her: Nadia@ScubaDiverLife.com

Recently, on November 16, 2011, there was a new law passed by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stating that it would be illegal from January 1, 2012 to harvest the tiger shark and the three species of hammerhead sharks in Florida. To be more specific, the exact names of these sharks are: the tiger sharks also known as Galeocerdo cuvier, the great hammerhead shark, scientifically known as the Sphyrna mokarran, the smooth hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna zygaena) and the scalloped hammerhead sharks also known as Sphyrna lewini.

The catching of these four species should be on a release basis & they should not be possessed, killed, sold or exchanged in state waters. These rules are applicable only for the state waters and are not applicable for the harvesting of these species in the federal waters.

Why this new regulation?

This new regulation has been specifically made on these four species as the tiger shark population has declined rapidly in past few years, as almost 97% of tiger sharks have been reduced in US Atlantic waters. While the three other species of the hammerhead sharks have reduced up to 70% in the same area. The main purpose of these sharks being caught is for their fins as they are commonly found in shark fin soup.

Further the tiger sharks reproduce very slowly and are estimated to reproduce once in every two to three years. It takes almost 15 years for the tiger sharks to reach sexual maturity. With such a slow reproduction rate and high harvesting or killing rate, the tiger sharks declined with such a high rate as 97%.

Similarly, the other hammerhead sharks species reproduce once after two or three years so it was highly essential to protect these sharks before they vanish from the Atlantic Ocean in Florida.

The Punishment for Killing These Sharks

According to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, killing of these newly protected sharks would result in a second degree misdemeanor which means, the culprit may end up 60 days in jail along with the fine of $500.

Public Workshops

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission held some public workshops in which the people made some public comments on the changes that need to be done for the current Commission shark rule. To be more specific, the motive of these public workshops was that they need to gather some public comments to know what addition they need to make to protect the other several species of the sharks in order to protect them from harvesting. These workshops were held in mid to late June 2011, and all the people of Florida who were passionate about the protection of the tiger and hammerhead sharks, and also for the environment participated in it.

So with the help of these workshops, public comments and observations, it was found that even killing a few of these sharks can have a huge impact so this new law was made and will be in practice from January 1st, 2012.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Latest entries
Jul 22

Please Don’t Feed The Fish: How To Overcome Seasickness

Woman getting seasick on boat

By Juanita Pienaar As a diver, you’ll generally spend more time on boats than you will exploring the underwater world. Feeding the fish, mal de mer, seasickness — call it... Read More

Jul 21

Just How Smart Is The Smart Console?

smart console

  How many times have you tried and failed to get your buddy’s attention underwater? Most of the time it’s just to point out something of interest that they missed,... Read More

Jul 20

Scuba Cartoon: Longer Dives

July1

Ever grow a beard while underwater?  This is the 43rd of our scuba cartoon series by Jerry King. Let us know what you think and submit your own if you... Read More

Jul 19

Top Dive Spots For Big Animal Encounters

whale

There are many places in the world where divers can see specific large marine animals, but only a few locations offer the opportunity to see many different kinds of animals... Read More

Jul 18

The Dangers of Ghost Nets

ghost net

Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been abandoned by fishermen or lost in the ocean, and they’re a big, yet relatively unknown, problem for marine life. The Olive Ridley Project was... Read More

Jul 17

Secret Spot: Saint Helena

island of St Helena

by Mark Stevenson Where in the world is Saint Helena? So apt a question was this that it became a marketing slogan for the tiny island in the South Atlantic off... Read More

Jul 16

Kalinga Ornata Nudibranch

featuredimage

by Dustin Adamson   The Kalinga Ornata Nudibranch is one of the rarest nudibranchs to ever be seen. One will most likely go an entire diving career without seeing this... Read More

Jul 15

My Favorite Dive: Temple of Doom, Yucatán, Mexico

temple of doom

By C. David Conner It took more than an hour to drive from the hotel in Cancun to the Abyss Dive Center near Playa del Carmen. After securing our gear,... Read More

Jul 14

App Review: Diving Buddy

divebuddy

Diving Buddy aims to be your go-to app for dive planning, and does a pretty good job of it. First things first: Diving Buddy isn’t a dive log. Diver and... Read More

Jul 13

Sharks And Shipwrecks

nc

The Best of Both Worlds in the Graveyard Of The Atlantic The waters off North Carolina’s coast are often called the Graveyard of the Atlantic, thanks to the more than... Read More