In a huge win for sharks and shark conservation, the Florida Wildlife Commission has unanimously voted to make it illegal to pull endangered species of shark onto land.
The FFWC voted on February 20th to adopt the new regulations. Under the law, it will be illegal to drag ashore species such as tiger or lemon sharks ashore and you will have to unhook the animals in the water.
The decision comes after years of researchers and conservationists pointing out that dragging large sharks ashore can cause severe damage to a sharks organs or even crush them due to the immense size of the animals.
The law is a pivotal step forward in shark protections in a state that is so important to protecting sharks in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. Due to the gulf stream flowing up and around about half of Florida’s coastline, many of the sharks in the Atlantic pass by the state during annual migration. Not only that, it may open up other states in the US to adopt similar laws.
Researchers estimate than more than 100 million sharks are being killed every year due to a majority of deaths coming from the shark finning industry and bycatch. While shark deaths to bringing the animals onto the beach are a much lower contribution to the total number, anything and everything is vital to the continued push to get shark populations back to a healthy number.