THE great hammerhead shark has been listed as a vulnerable species and the scalloped hammerhead shark as an endangered species in NSW.
"Following a detailed assessment, both species are now totally protected, meaning that they may no longer be taken by recreational or commercial fishers," said NSW Primary Industries Minister, Katrina Hodgkinson.
"It is an offence to harm, sell or possess threatened species or damage their habitat without a specific permit, licence of other appropriate approval.
"Penalties for breaching these rules can be severe, ranging up to $220,000 and two years in prison."
The threatened species are particularly susceptible to population depletion.
"Hammerheads have late onset of maturity, long gestation periods, produce relatively few pups and have high rates of pup mortality," Ms Hodgkinson said.
"Scalloped Hammerheads can also form dense aggregations and large migratory schools that are highly vulnerable to fishing.
"Other shark species listed as protected are the Grey Nurse Shark as Critically Endangered and the Great White Shark as Vulnerable."
Further information on protected species can be found on the Fisheries Scientific Committee's website at www.fsc.nsw.gov.au