Shark fishing is split into three categories: large coastal sharks, small coastal sharks and pelagic sharks under NOAA standards. Tournaments such as the recent Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo allowed some but not all large coastal sharks.
- Large Coastal Sharks (LCS) (non-ridgeback LCS & tiger):
- Black Tip
- Great Hammerhead
- Scalloped Hammerhead
- Smooth Hammerhead
- Small Coastal Sharks (SCS)
- Pelagic Sharks
- Oceanic whitetip
Registered 2022 Gulf Coast tournaments with approved shark fishing:
- Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo – Gulfport, Miss. from July 1 to July 4
- Large Coastal Sharks – “Federal requirements: Sharks have a minimum size of 54 inches and HMS permit is required.”
- Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo – Dauphin Island, Ala. from July 15 to 17
- Large Coastal Sharks
NOAA works under the U.S. Department of Commerce and regulates fishing tournaments across the country.
Registered tournaments are required to file summary reports to NOAA within a week of the tournament ending date.
NOAA Fisheries does not operate or sponsor any fishing tournaments for Highly Migratory Species, including sharks. Tournament organizers are required to register events with NOAA Fisheries and are offered copies of compliance guides, which summarize the relevant regulations. All participants are expected to know and follow the rules of the tournament, as well as all relevant state and federal regulations. Vessel owners and operators who do not follow state and federal regulations may be subject to enforcement actions.
The U.S. Atlantic Ocean has some of the best-managed and sustainable shark fisheries in the world. NOAA Fisheries manages these species consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the foundation of all domestic fisheries regulations.NOAA
A majority of registered tournaments do not participate in shark fishing. The full list of events can be found on NOAA’s website.
Tournaments must register with NOAA 4 weeks prior to the start date. Other tournaments with shark fishing in the region have been announced but are not yet on the NOAA registered list.
- Destin Fishing Rodeo – Destin, Fla. from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31
- Sharks – If you have a Federal Reef Permit, you must adhere to Federal Rules. HMS Permits are required to weigh any shark in the Destin Fishing Rodeo. No Nurse, Lemon or federally protected sharks will be allowed. HMS permits are available by clicking the link here. All sharks brought to the weigh-in station must qualify using Federal Regulations, regardless of State regulations, if they are different. Minimum length on all Hammerheads is 78 inches, Short-fin Mako is 83 inches to be weighed in the Destin Fishing Rodeo. All other sharks (except for the Atlantic Sharpnose), the minimum length is 54 inches.
Tournaments such as the 89th ADSFR recently added shark fishing back to the event after discussing fishery data with marine experts.