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Georgia DNR considers new shark regulations

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The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is now accepting written comments on a proposed change to the saltwater fishing regulations. The change will prohibit the harvest of great, scalloped or smooth hammerhead sharks that are less than 78 inches, measured from tip of the nose to the fork of the tail.

That new regulation would make Georgia’s rules consistent with the Interstate Fishery Management Plan of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, as well as the present rules in federal waters more than three miles offshore.

“Like many saltwater fish, the three species of hammerhead sharks covered by this proposed change can easily move between state and federal waters. Thus, it’s imperative that fishing regulations be consistent between state and federal management jurisdictions,” explained Director Spud Woodward of the Georgia Coastal Resources Division and one of state’s three representatives on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. “This proposed change will not impact fishing regulations for the bonnethead shark, which has a hammer-shaped head and is commonly caught in Georgia’s coastal waters.”

Written comments must be received by Tuesday, December 31, 2013. Mailed comments must be postmarked by December 31. E-mailed comments will be accepted through close of business at 4:30 p.m. on the last day of the year.

The Georgia Board of Natural Resources will consider the proposed rule on January 31, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in the College of Coastal Georgia, Southeast Georgia Conference Center, One Mariner Way, Brunswick, GA 31520.

Mailed comments should be sent to Doug Haymans, Coastal Resources Division, One Conservation Way, Brunswick, GA 31520 or e-mailed to doug.haymans@gadnr.org.

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