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Sharks

Fishing Regulations Icon Maryland Fishing

SEASON, HARVEST RESTRICTIONS,
MINIMUM SIZE & DAILY CREEL/POSSESSION LIMITS

Shark Species Approved for Recreational Harvest*

season

minimum
fork length

Daily Creel Shore*

(per angler)

Daily Creel Vessel*

(per trip)

Atlantic Sharpnose Shark

Bonnethead Shark

Smooth Dogfish

Open Year Round None Each recreational shore angler is allowed a maximum of 1 shark per calendar day from this list of approved species.

In addition, each recreational shore angler may harvest 1 of each of the following species per calendar day:

1. bonnethead

2. Atlantic
sharpnose shark

3. smooth dogfish

Each recreational vessel is allowed a maximum of 1 shark per trip from this list of approved species.

In addition, each recreational anglerl may harvest 1 of each of the following species per trip:

1. bonnethead

2. Atlantic
sharpnose shark

3. smooth dogfish

Blacknose Shark

Blue Shark

Common Thresher Shark

Finetooth Shark

Oceanic Whitetip Shark

Porbeagle Shark

Shortfin Mako Shark

Open Year Round 54 inches
Blacktip Shark

Bull Shark

Lemon Shark

Nurse Shark

Spinner Shark

Tiger Shark

Open Year Round Except

May 15–July 15

54 inches
great, Scalloped, & smooth Hammerhead Sharks Open Year Round Except May 15–July 15 78 inches
Spiny Dogfish None None None None
*Sharks that are transported by vessel are considered boat assisted, and regulated under the more restrictive vessel-fishing possession limits regardless of where they were caught. All species not listed in the above table, including sandbar and dusky sharks, are prohibited and must be released.

Roundscale spearfish look very similar to white marlin

For more information on identification of Swordfish and billfish, please go to: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/species/billfish/documents/hms_swo_billfish_id_guide_aug_2012.pdf

Shark Identification
“If you don’t know,
Let it go”

www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/species/
sharks/shark_id_placard.pdf

Shark illustrations by Diane Rome Peebles

Key Catch and Release Points that Maximize Survivability
Leave sharks in the water

  • Don’t drag them onto the sand
  • No sitting on them
  • Don’t hold their jaws open
  • Using circle hooks;
  • Minimizing fight times by using the appropriate gear;
  • Know how to identify the species;
  • Know what species are legal and illegal;
  • Don’t gaff a shark that is going to be released;
  • Have a release plan and make sure everyone knows their part;
  • Use a dehooker;
  • Don’t place hands in the gills;
  • Keep the shark in the water if possible;