08.02.22.03

.03 Commercial Fishery.

A. Shark Groups.

(1) Prohibited Species. The species of shark in the prohibited group are:

(a) Sand tiger (Carcharias taurus);

(b) Bigeye sandtiger (Odontaspis noronhai);

(c) Whale (Rhincodon typus);

(d) Basking (Cetorhinus maximus);

(e) White (Carcharodon carcharias);

(f) Dusky (Carcharhinus obscurus);

(g) Bignose (Carcharhinus altimus);

(h) Galapagos (Carcharhinus galapagensis);

(i) Night (Carcharhinus signatus);

(j) Reef (Carcharhinus perezii);

(k) Narrowtooth (Carcharhinus brachyurus);

(l) Caribbean sharpnose (Rhizoprionodon porosus);

(m) Smalltail (Carcharhinus porosus);

(n) Atlantic angel (Squatina dumeril);

(o) Longfin mako (Isurus paucus);

(p) Bigeye thresher (Alopias superciliosus);

(q) Sharpnose sevengill (Heptranchias perlo);

(r) Bluntnose sixgill (Hexanchus griseus); and

(s) Bigeye sixgill (Hexanchus nakamurai).

(2) Research. The species of shark in the research group is Sandbar (Carcharhinus plumbeus).

(3) Smoothhound. The species of shark in the smoothhound group is Smoothhound (Mustelus canis).

(4) Non-Blacknose Small Coastal. The species of shark in the small coastal group are:

(a) Atlantic sharpnose (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae);

(b) Finetooth (Carcharhinus isodon); and

(c) Bonnethead (Sphyrna tiburo).

(5) Blacknose. The species of shark in the blacknose group is Blacknose (Carcharhinus acronotus).

(6) Aggregated Large Coastal. The species of shark in the aggregated large coastal group are:

(a) Silky (Carcharhinus falciformis);

(b) Tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier);

(c) Blacktip (Carcharhinus limbatus);

(d) Spinner (Carcharhinus brevipinna);

(e) Bull (Carcharhinus leucas);

(f) Lemon (Negaprion brevirostris); and

(g) Nurse (Ginglymostoma cirratum).

(7) Hammerhead. The species of shark in the hammerhead group are:

(a) Scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini);

(b) Great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran); and

(c) Smooth hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena).

(8) Pelagic. The species of shark in the pelagic group are:

(a) Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus);

(b) Porbeagle (Lamna nasus);

(c) Common thresher (Alopias vulpinus);

(d) Oceanic whitetip (Carcharhinus longimanus); and

(e) Blue (Prionace glauca).

B. Season.

(1) Closure. During the period of May 15—July 15, inclusive, an individual may not:

(a) Harvest the species listed in §A(6) and (7) of this regulation from State waters; or

(b) Transport the species listed in §A(6) and (7) of this regulation in State waters, unless the shark was harvested from federal waters provided:

(i) The vessel does not engage in fishing within the closed area while possessing the species listed in §A(6) and (7) of this regulation;

(ii) The sharks possessed were not caught in the closed area; and

(iii) All fishing gear is stowed as described in §D(4) of this regulation and not available for immediate use.

(2) A person may not harvest, possess, or land sharks for commercial purposes in State waters when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration closes the fishery in federal waters for any species listed in §A of this regulation.

C. Catch Limits. An individual who has been issued a federal shark permit issued under 50 CFR §635 may not harvest, possess, or land more sharks than authorized by the individualís federal shark permit.

D. Gear.

(1) The following gear types are the only gear authorized for use by a commercial tidal fish licensee to catch sharks in State waters:

(a) Rod and reel;

(b) Handline, which shall be:

(i) Retrieved by hand, not by mechanical means; and

(ii) Attached to, or in contact with, a vessel;

(c) Small mesh gillnet;

(d) Large mesh gillnet, which shall be:

(i) Shorter than 2.5 kilometers; and

(ii) Checked once every 2 hours;

(e) Trawl net;

(f) Shortline;

(g) Pound net; and

(h) Weir.

(2) A maximum of two shortlines are allowed per vessel.

(3) Any vessel using a shortline shall:

(a) Use corrodible circle hooks;

(b) Practice the protocols and possess the federally required release equipment for pelagic and bottom longlines for the safe handling, release, and disentanglement of sea turtles and other nontarget species; and

(c) Have all captains and vessel owners federally certified in using handling and release equipment.

(4) Methods of Stowing Gear.

(a) On Reel.

(i) The net shall be on a reel, its entire surface covered with canvas or other similar opaque material, and the canvas or other material securely bound.

(ii) The towing wires shall be detached from the doors.

(iii) A containment rope, codend tripping device, or other mechanism to close off the codend may not be attached to the codend.

(b) Hook Gear.

(i) All anchors and buoys shall be secured.

(ii) All hook gear, including jigging machines, shall be covered.

(c) Sink Gillnet Gear.

(i) All nets shall be covered with canvas or other similar material and lashed or otherwise securely fastened to the deck or rail.

(ii) All buoys larger than 6 inches (15.24 centimeters) in diameter, high flyers, and anchors shall be disconnected.

E. General.

(1) Prior to harvesting or landing a shark for commercial purposes, an individual shall be authorized in accordance with Natural Resources Article, §4-701, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) A vessel which is used to catch, possess, or land any shark species listed in §A of this regulation for commercial purposes from the waters of the federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Atlantic Ocean, which are defined as those ocean waters between 3 and 200 miles offshore, shall be permitted by the National Marine Fisheries Service in accordance with 50 CFR §635.

(3) A federal commercial shark dealer permit is required to buy and sell any shark harvested from State waters.

(4) Except as provided in §E(5) of this regulation, all sharks harvested in accordance with this chapter shall have the tails and fins attached naturally to the carcass through landing.

(5) Smoothhound sharks harvested in accordance with this chapter may have the dorsal, pectoral, and caudal fins removed if smoothhound sharks make up at least 25 percent, by weight, of the total catch on board at the time of landing.

(6) If fins are removed from a smoothhound shark, the total wet weight of the:

(a) Caudal fins may not exceed 4 percent of the total dressed weight of smoothhound shark carcasses landed or found on board a vessel; and

(b) Dorsal and pectoral fins may not exceed 8 percent of the total dressed weight of smoothhound shark carcasses landed or found on board a vessel.

(7) Sharks harvested in accordance with this chapter may be eviscerated and have the heads removed.