Top New York wildlife officials are ready to introduce a number of new rules aimed at protecting sharks.

On Thursday, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced proposed changes to recreational fishing rules in New York State.

DEC Proposes New Fishing Regulations to Protect Sharks


The proposed new rules would help protect sharks.

"The targeting and mishandling of protected sharks by recreational shore anglers along New York's ocean beaches has been increasing," Seggos said. "Sharks are a vital part of the marine ecosystem and play an essential role in regulating the balance of life in the ocean. The proposed rules released today for public comment will further enhance protections for vulnerable shark species and benefit the health of New York's coastal ocean.

The new rules will help protect sharks by creating gear restrictions for recreational shore anglers to enhance law enforcement's ability to protect sharks and include new handling and release methods for anglers to improve shark and angler safety, officials say.

"The proposed regulations were designed to protect these shark species while maintaining recreational opportunities for shore-based anglers targeting legal species," the DEC states.

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Great white shark "smiling"

According to the DEC, proposed gear restrictions specific to recreational shore anglers include the prohibition of:

  • baited J-hooks exceeding a width of 7/8 inches and baited circle hooks exceeding 1 1/8 inches in width when measured at the widest inside dimension
  • the use of metal fishing leaders attached to baited hooks that exceed 12 inches in length
  • chumming within 600 feet of the shoreline except with mollusks and crustaceans
  • deploying baited hooks by means other than casting with rod and reel; and
    the use of artificial lures when taking sharks.

Illegal To Take Or Posses Sharks In New York State

It's illegal and will remain illegal to take or possess a shark in New York State.

Shark fish
Getty Images/iStockphoto

"The proposed rules clarify the requirement to immediately release all prohibited shark species and prohibits the removal from the water of any shark that will be released. The rulemaking also requires recreational anglers fishing for sharks to possess a device capable of cutting the leader or hook to remove fishing gear immediately without unnecessary harm, as well as requiring anglers to take every precaution to ensure the maximum probability of survival of any shark that will be released," the DEC states.

Dozens of shark species have been using our waters for millions of years and humans are a much bigger threat to them than they are to humans, according to wildlife officials.

"The proposed fishing regulations are a step forward for shark conservation in New York waters," Wildlife Conservation Society Executive Vice President of Public Affairs John F. Calvelli said. "The perception that sharks do not need our help is the result of a general misunderstanding of their vital role in the marine ecosystem and how they use the waters we all share."

Public Can Comment On New Shark Rules In New York State

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The public is welcome to comment on the new rules until Aug. 7, 2023.

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You can email your comments on the new rules to with the subject line: "Proposed Part 40 - Sharks" or by mail to the NYSDEC - Division of Marine Resources, 123 Kings Park Blvd., Kings Park, NY 11754, ATTN: Christopher Scott.

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