Police Look for Illegal Shark Fishing off Delaware Coast - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Police Look for Illegal Shark Fishing off Delaware Coast

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Over the past two weeks police officers issued more than one citation a day in the waters of Delaware for illegal shark fishing. DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers patrol the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean trying to prevent it.
Sgt. Troy Trimmer and Cpl. Nate Evans were out in the Atlantic not far from shore Tuesday afternoon patrolling for prohibited shark fishing.
"[That's] any landing or possession of prohibited species of sharks," Sgt. Trimmer said.
Trimmer says there are three sharks he's particularly concerned with.
"The prohibited species are sandbar, dusky and sand tiger."
They are prohibited due to low reproductive rates and overfishing.
Trimmer says part of the problem is people don't always know they've hooked a prohibited species. And even if they do, they may not understand bringing that shark onto land or into a boat can do serious damage to its internal organs.
Trimmer says people think the shark will survive after they release it.
"The majority of them don't. They go out, and in a couple days they end up dying," he said.
Technically it's not illegal to hook a prohibited shark of the coast of Delaware. It's what anglers do next that matters.
"People can fish for them, " said Trimmer. "They actually can hook the shark. But then they have to release it in the whitewater or in water. They can not land or possess the shark."
Sgt. Trimmer and Cpl. Evans did make a routine stop during their afternoon patrol. They found a cooler full of legally caught flounder and nothing more.
They spotted no illegal shark fishing this time around. But Trimmer says there have been more arrests for it this year than ever before, and that's all the more reason to remain vigilant.

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