Planning to fish for sharks soon? New shark fishing requirements went into effect July 1, including a mandatory, no-cost, annual Shore-based Shark Fishing Permit and educational course for shore-based anglers and other requirements that apply to all shark fishing and fishing from the beach in general.
The Shore-based Shark-Smart Fishing educational course and Shore-based Shark Fishing Permit are now available online. To take the educational course, which must be completed before getting the permit, visit MyFWC.com/SharkCourse.
The permit is required for all shore-based shark anglers age 16 and older, including those 65 and older who are normally exempt from needing a fishing license.
Those under 16 are required to take the educational course unless they are fishing with an adult who already holds the permit. Persons under 16 are not required to get the permit.
The education and permit requirements also apply if you plan to fish from shore for any species of fish and will be:
• Fishing with a metal leader more than 4 feet long.
• Using a fighting belt/harness.
• Deploying bait by any means other than casting (kayaking for example) while using a hook that is 1.5 inches or larger at its widest inside distance.
See below for more on how to take the educational course and receive your permit.
Other regulation changes
Several other rule changes have gone into effect, including:
• Prohibiting chumming when fishing for any species from the beach.
• Requiring immediate release of prohibited shark species when fishing from the shore and requiring anglers to cut the leader or hook to prevent delaying release of prohibited species.
• Requiring that prohibited shark species remain in the water (when fishing from shore or from a vessel).
• Requiring the use of non-offset, non-stainless-steel circle hooks to target or harvest sharks when using live or dead natural bait (when fishing from shore and from a vessel).
• Requiring the possession/use of a device capable of quickly cutting the leader or hook when targeting sharks (when fishing from shore or a vessel).
These rules are intended to increase survival of released sharks, improve information-gathering from the fishery and address public safety concerns.
For more, visit MyFWC.com/Marine and click on “Recreational Regulations” and “Sharks.”
Shore-based Shark-Smart Educational Course Instructions
• Go to MyFWC.com/SharkCourse.
• If you do not already have a user profile, you will need to create a new account by providing your first and last name, email address and login credentials.
• After logging in or creating your account, select “Shore-based Shark-Smart Fishing” from the list of courses.
• View all four educational modules.
• Take the 10-question quiz and pass with 100% correct.
• Receive Certificate of Completion with unique identification code.
Getting your Shore-based Shark Fishing Permit
• If you are under 16, keep your Certificate of Completion with you to fish for sharks from shore without someone who already has the shark fishing permit.
• If you are 16 or older, keep the unique identification code on your Certificate of Completion and sign in at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.
• Click “Purchase a License.”
• Navigate to the Shore-based Shark Fishing Permit (Unless exempt, a valid saltwater fishing license is required to get this permit.)
• Click “Add to Cart.”
• When prompted, type in the unique identification code from your Certificate of Completion.
• Complete the process of obtaining this no-cost permit by confirming the selection.
• Print a copy of the permit to carry with you or store your permit on the Fish|Hunt FL mobile app.