Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.
Division of Fish and Wildlife announces
new online shark identification guide for anglers
DOVER (Sept. 24, 2013) – A new online shark identification guide has been posted on the DNREC website, the Division of Fish and Wildlife announced today, in an effort to increase awareness of these ocean predators whose numbers are in decline. To check out the new guide, click Delaware Sharks.
Growing interest in shark fishing and conservation of shark species in recent years prompted the development of this easily-accessed and printable guide for use by anglers to aid in the identification of some of the most common sharks caught in the Delaware Bay and nearshore waters of the state. The guide also includes some helpful tips on handling and releasing sharks. Shark conservation is important to maintain ecological diversity and balance in our coastal waters.
“To promote shark conservation, we ask anglers to quickly release any shark that they cannot readily identify, since many species of sharks found in Delaware waters are depleted,” said Fisheries Biologist Stewart Michels, adding that sharks are typically late to mature, and they reproduce only once every one or two years with few young produced, as compared to other fishes.
“These characteristics and poor past fishing practices have left many shark populations depleted and vulnerable to exploitation,” Michels said. “Delaware’s waters also serve as an important nursery area for several shark species and care should be given in their safe handling for the benefit of both the sharks and the angler.”
Anglers fishing offshore waters are encouraged to further become familiar with the numerous offshore shark species and federal permit requirements available from the National Marine Fisheries Service (www.nmfs.noaa.gov).
All marine anglers also should be aware of Delaware’s laws and regulations pertaining to sharks – a summary of which is included in the 2013 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide is available at tackle shops and license dealers statewide, or online at www.fw.delaware.gov/fisheries.
For more information, please call the Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.
Vol. 43, No. 374