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Maryland DNR Enforcing Coastal Shark Catch Limit

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is enforcing a catch limit per vessel per trip of 45 large coastal sharks. The agency stated that the change in catch limit will assist with species management protocol.

Affected species include silky, tiger, blacktip, spinner bull, lemon, nurse, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead and smooth hammerhead. The National Marine Fisheries Service anticipates there will be in-season changes to the trip limit based on harvest. According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, most of the commercial shark fishery landings are comprised of smooth dogfish caught using gillnets.

Maryland manages 41 species of coastal sharks, some of which are found strictly in coastal waters, while others, like the bull shark, are also found in the main stem and some rivers of the Chesapeake Bay. Shark management is a joint effort between the State of Maryland, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas.

There are 20 shark species that recreational and commercial fishermen are prohibited to target or keep. These include:

  • Sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus)
  • Dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus)
  • Silky shark* (Carcharhinus falciformis)
  • White shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
  • Bigeye sandtiger shark (Odontaspis noronhai)
  • Whale shark (Rhincodon typus)
  • Atlantic angel shark (Squatina dumeril)
  • Longfin mako shark (Isurus paucus)
  • Bigeye thresher shark (Alopias superciliosus)
  • Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus)
  • Bignose shark (Carcharhinus altimus)
  • Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis)
  • Nightshark (Carcharhinus signatus)
  • Reef shark (Carcharhinus perezii)
  • Narrowtooth shark (Carcharhinus brachyurus)
  • Caribbean sharpnose shark (Rhizoprionodon porosus)
  • Smalltail shark (Carcharhinus porosus)
  • Sharpnose sevengill shark (Heptranchias perlo)
  • Bluntnose sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus)
  • Bigeye sixgill shark (Hexanchus nakamurai)

*Legal commercial species

To see the story by Kristin Danley-Greiner as it originally appeared on, click here

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Maryland DNR Enforcing Coastal Shark Catch Limit