START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

More Sharks Protected in Florida

More Sharks Protected in Florida

Tiger sharks and smooth, great, and scalloped hammerhead sharks will be protected by law from fishing, possession, and sales in Florida state waters from now on. Each of the four sharks declined by fifty percent or more mainly due to overfishing, so enacting legal protection was necessary. Additionally, they use Florida waters for reproduction so fishing for them interferes with their ability to regenerate.

“We are one of the first states to have a prohibition on commercial and recreational shark harvest in state waters. This is an important step in protecting these species,” said a spokesperson from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (Source:

An estimated 800,000 sharks were killed by recreational fisherman in Gulf coast and Atlantic waters between 2004 to 2008.

While the prevailing public perception of sharks is that they are dangerous and need to be eliminated or kept at very low levels, the reverse is actually true. The number of sharks attacks on humans worldwide is extremely small and as the top predators in their habitats, if they are removed the whole ecosystem can become unbalanced.

The fishing industry depends on balanced marine ecosystems to stay in business. For example, “A study in North Carolina showed that the loss of the great sharks increased the ray  populations below them. As a result, the hungry rays ate all the bay scallops, forcing the fishery to close. Without scallops to eat, the rays have moved on to other bivalves.

The decline of the quahog, a key ingredient in clam chowder, is forcing many restaurants to remove this American classic from their menus. The disappearance of scallops and clams demonstrates that the elimination of sharks can cause harm to the economy in addition to ecosystems.” (Source:

Another study in the Bahamas showed one reef shark can be worth $250,000 due to the ecotourism associated with it. To a fisherman the same shark might be worth just $50.

Image Credit: Josh Hallett/Wiki Commons


Related Links

Thousands of Sharks Perish in Texas
Pacific Basking Sharks Decline Dramatically

Read more: Nature, Nature & Wildlife, Wildlife

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love


+ add your own
11:31PM PDT on May 11, 2013

Sharks are keystone predators--we've known this for years, yet very little has been done to protect them. I'm glad at least some policymakers are starting to see the light.

It seems these protections are working--I read somewhere recently that shark populations in Florida waters were quite high this past winter.

11:37PM PDT on Apr 14, 2013


12:16PM PDT on Sep 12, 2012


10:36AM PDT on Sep 11, 2012

glad to know some sharks are protected

6:40PM PDT on Aug 17, 2012

Great! Good news.

11:15AM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

Good news. Proves we do not know it all and have a duty of care

9:46AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

yes, this is great!

7:27AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

yay! terrific news! let's hope everywhere else follows suit! stop finning and overhunting sharks! they are very important and crucial parts of the ecosystem of the sea!

6:46AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Thank you! Wonderful news. I hope it works without delay!

9:07PM PST on Nov 20, 2011

Good! We must do what ever we can, to save the sharks!

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

No matter where you live you must exercise.

if you use a lot of Soy it reduces the absorption of your thyroid medication. I believe my use of …

From the study, Results section: "After adjusting for environmental predictors and socio-demographi…

A fattening neighbourhood????


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!