Some Florida Sharks to Be Off Limits to Fishermen

Harvesting of great hammerhead sharks will be banned in Florida waters starting Jan. 1.
TAMPA (2011-12-29) -

The harvesting of some sharks will be prohibited in Florida state waters in 2012.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Wednesday that recreational and commercial harvesting of tiger sharks and smooth, scalloped and great hammerhead sharks will be banned in state waters starting Jan. 1.

These species still can be caught and released in state waters, and they can be taken in from federal waters.

The wildlife agency says the harvesting ban will help protect these top marine predators. Florida waters are considered essential habitat for these and other sharks.

But some shark advocates say such restrictions are not doing enough to save the species. Fabien Cousteau spoke to journalists in Miami recently.

"It's not about protecting a couple of species of sharks," he said. "It's about doing a global ban on all sharks.

"Because if you start targeting certain species of sharks, then the general public is going to be even more confused than they are now."

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