What Are the Laws on Shark Fishing in Sarasota, FL?

August 9, 2019

If you’re interested in any type of fishing, you are probably aware that this activity is regulated by permits, licensing and other laws. These are designed to protect both fish and fishermen. Shark fishing in Sarasota, FL is no exception.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with all laws regarding shark fishing in Sarasota, FL before attempting to catch a shark. Since these laws have recently changed, make sure your practices adhere to current regulations. Following is an overview of the most recent updates to laws on shark fishing in Sarasota, FL.

Shark Fishing Permit

As of July 2019, all anglers who will be targeting or harvesting sharks from the shore must acquire a permit to do so. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reports that this law is designed to protect people in and near the waters. Since shark fishing brings these predators closer to beaches and other swimming areas, those targeting sharks must be equipped with proper knowledge for best practices. The goal is to prevent deadly situations for fishermen and swimmers.

This new law also serves to protect sharks. Since targeting these species can bring their numbers dangerously low, the law is designed to maximize sharks’ chances of survival.

Law Requirements

To obtain this shark fishing permit, anglers must complete an online course. This course includes four modules, which cover smart shark fishing, shark anatomy, shark identification and shark fishing regulations. Course takers must complete a 10-question quiz with a score of 100 percent to receive their permit. If they pass, anglers will receive an identification code, which they can enter into the FWC’s licensing system and receive their permit at no cost.

Regulation Specifics

The laws, which are covered during the permitting process, include several stipulations. Current rules require anglers to release shark catches immediately, prohibiting them from bringing sharks to the shore. Additionally, some who are not shark fishing in Sarasota, FL may be required to obtain this permit as well. Anglers are required to take this course if they are using a fighting belt/harness, are fishing with a metal leader longer than four feet or deploy bait by means other than casting while using a hook 1.5 inches or larger.

Age Requirements

Anglers 65 and older are usually exempt from licensing requirements, but shark fishing in Sarasota, FL is an exception. These anglers must adhere to this new shark fishing law. Those under age 16 do not have to have a permit but must complete the course or be accompanied by someone over 18 who has a license.


Violations of these rules regarding shark fishing in Sarasota, FL are considered Level Two violations. Consequences can include fines up to $500 and jail terms of up to 60 days.

We Know the Law

Want to make sure all your fishing excursions adhere to current laws? Charter Boat Shark offers the knowledge and experience you need for your next fishing adventure. Our expert fishing guides will help you plan and execute an exciting fishing outing you’ll never forget. We guarantee you’ll be satisfied with the number of fish you catch. Contact us today to make your next reservation for shark fishing in Sarasota, FL.

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