Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Division of Marine Fisheries
251 Causeway Street, Suite 400
Boston, MA 02114
Fax (617) 626.1509
August 10, 2007
SAND TIGER SHARK CONSERVATION –
MARINEFISHERIES SEEKS INFORMATION ON SIGHTINGS; HARVEST PROHIBITED
The sand tiger (Carcharias taurus) is a coastal shark often encountered by shore fishermen while fishing for striped bass and bluefish. Along with other coastal sharks, this species is protected by both State and Federal laws (see 322 CMR 6.37 below). MarineFisheries is studying sand tigers in Massachusetts waters and any information on the occurrence of these sharks is much appreciated. If you would like to report sand tiger information, please call the Massachusetts Shark Research Program at 508-910-6329 or 508-693-4372. Please note the date, location, time of day, estimated length and condition of the shark.
Fishermen in the area should be aware that these sharks are in our coastal waters, bays, and estuaries from July through September. Sand tigers have two dorsal fins of equal size and are grayish brown in appearance, often with dusky spots on their sides and tail. They are most often confused with smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis), but sand tigers have very noticeable long thin teeth while smooth dogfish do not. The spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) is another small coastal shark, but can easily be distinguished from a sand tiger by its two dorsal fin spines and the lack of anal fin.
State and Federal regulations prohibit anglers from actively fishing for sand tigers. If you accidentally catch a sand tiger, you should take care to return it to the water unharmed. If you witness anyone retaining, killing, or otherwise harming sand tigers please notify the Massachusetts Environmental Police at 800-632-8075.
|(a) Basking shark means that species of fish known as Cetorhinus maximus.|
|(b) Dusky shark means that species of fish known as Carcharhinus obscurus.|
|(c) Sand tiger shark means that species of fish known as Carcharias taurus.|
|(d) White Shark means that species of fish known as Carcharodon carcharias.|
|(a) It shall be unlawful to attempt to harvest, or to harvest, catch, take, possess, transport, sell or offer to sell any basking shark, dusky shark, sand tiger shark, or white shark taken from the coastal waters of the Commonwealth.|
|(3) Incidental Catch.|
|(a) All basking sharks, dusky sharks, sand tiger sharks, or white sharks caught incidental to fisheries directed toward other species must be released in such a manner as to ensure maximum probability of survival.|