DEEP: Notice to Commercial and Recreational Shark Fishermen

Notice to Commercial and Recreational Shark Fishermen
August 10, 2016
Effective Monday, August 22, 2016, an Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) permit is required to take, possess, or land any shark species, other than smooth or spiny dogfish, in this state in either the sport or commercial fisheries. In addition, any person acting as a Seafood Dealer in this state is also required to obtain an Atlantic Highly Migratory Species dealer permit to possess any shark species other than spiny dogfish (smooth dogfish are considered coastal sharks requiring a federal HMS seafood dealer permit).
An HMS permit is already required to take sharks in federal waters, where shark fishing most commonly occurs. This rule extends that requirement to Connecticut state waters in order to comply with mandatory elements of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Coastal Shark Fishery Management Plan. Shark fishing is not common in our state waters but sporadic reports of such activity occurs. If you intend to shark fish, get an HMS permit, whether commercial or sport fishing.
If you take a shark, other than a dogfish, incidental to other fishing activity and do not have an HMS permit, let it go. Many shark species are found in the Atlantic and coastal waters and species identification can be challenging. Even with an HMS permit if you donít know what shark species you have caught, err on the side of conservation (and the law) and let the fish go. ďIf you donít know, let it go.Ē HMS guidelines require such fish be released in a manner that will ensure maximum probability of survival, but without removing the fish from the water. Even with an HMS permit, possession of many shark species is prohibited.
To obtain an HMS permit visit: or call NMFS Customer Service Center at (888) 872-8862.

If you have any questions concerning this notice, please contact Marine Fisheries by telephone at (860) 434-6043, M-F 8:00 am to 4:30 pm or by email:

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