New York State regulations prohibit the take or possession of the following sharks: Atlantic angel, basking, bigeye sand tiger, bigeye thresher, bignose, blacknose, Caribbean sharpnose, dusky, Galapagos, longfin mako, narrowtooth, night, reef, sand tiger, sandbar, sharpnose sevengill, silky, bigeye sixgill, bluntnose sixgill, smalltail, whale, and white.
The take or possession of prohibited shark species has been illegal in New York’s marine waters since 2010. “Take” is defined in New York’s Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) as pursuing, killing, and capturing sharks, but also includes lesser acts such as disturbing, harrying, worrying, or using any device commonly used to take sharks. Any recreational angler who is making an effort to catch a prohibited shark is pursuing or targeting that species, including the intentional catch and release of prohibited sharks, and can be ticketed and fined up to $250 for first-time violations. If a prohibited shark is hooked, the angler must release the shark immediately without further unnecessary handling.
DEC is aware of increased fishing activity that appears to be directly targeting prohibited sharks. DEC continues to investigate these matters, and by way of the letter, seeks to remind anglers of the prohibitions. Participating in NOAA Fisheries Cooperative Shark Tagging Program (CSTP) does not exempt anglers from New York State laws and regulations. DEC appreciates the efforts that NOAA Fisheries has made to communicate state law and regulations with CSTP volunteers, and DEC fully supports continued conservation and management of these vulnerable shark species.
In New York’s waters, some of the most commonly encountered prohibited shark species include sandbar (“brown”), dusky, and sand tiger sharks. Prohibited shark species are at risk of being overfished due to a combination of life-history traits that include low reproduction rates, older age of sexual maturity, and long gestation periods that produce relatively fewer young. Vulnerability to certain fishing practices may also contribute to reduced population sizes and mishandling sharks while fishing can significantly reduce their chance of survival.
This information and more can be found on DEC’s Recreational Shark Fishing webpage: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/119778.html