2014 - 2015

Prohibited Shark Species

Similar Species and Distinguishing Characteristics

The following species MAY NOT be retained (zero bag limit) and must be released immediately without removing them from the water.

If you catch a shark and are unsure of the species identification, release it.

Atlantic Angel
Flat skate-like body; large spiracles behind eyes; two small dorsal fins located near the tail
Basking
Has enormous gill slits nearly encircling head; maximum size about 32 feet; no similar species; rare in Texas waters
Bigeye Sand Tiger
Similar to sand tiger; similar to lemon shark but has first dorsal fin far back on body closer to pelvic fins than pectoral fins; similar to nurse shark but has a distinct lower lobe of caudal fin; rare in Texas waters
Bigeye Sixgill
Has six gill slits; similar only to sixgill; rare in Texas waters
Bigeye Thresher
Upper lobe of caudal fin extremely long and about half of total body length; similar to thresher but has large eyes directed upward, deep grooves on top of the head, and white abdominal coloring that does not extend above pectoral fins; rare in Texas waters
Bignose
Similar to silky and dusky but has first dorsal fin originating over pectoral fin insertion; similar to sandbar but has longer snout; similar to blacktip and bull but has interdorsal ridge; rare in Texas waters
Bignose shark
Bignose shark
Caribbean Reef
Similar to blacktip but has interdorsal ridge; similar to sandbar but has first dorsal fin originating behind the pectoral fins; similar to dusky, silky and Galapagos but has a much shorter free rear tip of the second dorsal fin.
Caribbean Sharpnose
Similar to Atlantic sharpnose but is rare in Texas waters
Dusky
Similar to bull, blacktip and spinner but has interdorsal ridge; similar to sandbar but has sloping first dorsal fin origination over or slightly before free tips of pectoral fins; similar to silky but length of second dorsal fin free tip rarely more than twice the fin height
Dusky Shark
Dusky Shark
Galapagos
Similar to grey reef and dusky but is rare in Texas waters.
Longfin Mako
Similar to shortfin mako but has dusky or bluish-black mouth area and long broad tipped pectoral fins; similar to blue shark but has caudal keel; rare in Texas waters
Narrowtooth
Similar to blacktip and spinner but has distinctive narrow triangular upper teeth and a slight arch to the back above the gill slits
Night
Similar to silky and dusky but has large green eyes; similar to spinner and blacktip but has small dorsal fin and interdorsal ridge; rare in Texas waters
Sandbar
Similar to dusky but has large first dorsal fin originating over or slightly before pectoral insertion; similar to bull, blacktip and spinner but has interdorsal ridge
Sandbar Shark
Sandbar Shark
Sand Tiger
Similar to bigeye sand tiger; similar to lemon shark but has first dorsal fin far back on body closer to pelvic fins than pectoral fins; similar to nurse shark but has a distinct lower lobe of caudal fin
Sand Tiger
Sand Tiger
Sevengill
Has seven gill slits; no similar species
Silky
Similar to bull, blacktip and spinner but has interdorsal ridge; similar to sandbar but has dorsal fin originating behind pectoral fins; similar to dusky but length of second dorsal fin free tip usually more than twice the fin height
Silky Shark
Silky Shark
Sixgill
Has six gill slits; similar only to bigeye sixgill
Smalltail
Has deeply notched anal fin and short gill openings; no similar species
Whale
Unique pattern of light spots and stripes; maximum size about 40 feet; no similar species
White
Similar to mako sharks but has large triangular serrated teeth

Interdorsal ridge is a distinctive, raised strip found along the midline of the back between the dorsal fins.

Sawtooth Prohibitions

NOTE: It is prohibited to take, kill or disturb the endangered smalltooth sawfish, or to take or kill a largetooth sawfish. Please report all sawfish encounters to the National Sawfish Encounter Database.

Email:
sawfish@flmnh.ufl.edu
Phone:
(352) 392-2360
Web:
www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/sawfish

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