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NOAA Fisheries Announces a Final Rule Regarding the 2015 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Season

Posted: December 2, 2014

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces a final rule that establishes quotas and opening dates for the 2015 Atlantic commercial shark fisheries.  Some of the quotas have changed from the proposed rule based on adjustments to account for additional landings reported as of October 15, 2014.  Additionally, based on public comment, NMFS has changed the opening date of the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark management groups in the Atlantic region from June 1 to July 1, 2015.  The final adjusted quotas and opening dates are:

Region

Management Group

2015
Annual Adjusted Quota

Season Opening
Dates

Gulf of Mexico

Blacktip Sharks

328.6 mt dw
(724,302 lb dw)*

January 1, 2015

Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

156.5 mt dw
(344,980 lb dw)*

Hammerhead Sharks

25.3 mt dw
(55,722 lb dw)

Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks

45.5mt dw
(100,317 lb dw)

Blacknose Sharks

1.8 mt dw
(4,076 lb dw)

Atlantic

Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

168.9 mt dw
(372,552 lb dw)

July 1, 2015*

Hammerhead Sharks

27.1 mt dw
(59,736  lb dw)

Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks

176.1 mt dw
(388,222 lb dw)

January 1, 2015

Blacknose Sharks

17.5 mt dw
(38,638 lb dw)

No
regional
quotas

Non-Sandbar LCS Research

50.0 mt dw
(110,230 lb dw)

January 1, 2015

Sandbar Shark Research

116.6 mt dw
(257,056 lb dw)

Blue Sharks

273.0 mt dw
(601,856 lb dw)

Porbeagle Sharks

1.7 mt dw
(3,748 lb dw)

Pelagic Sharks Other Than Porbeagle or Blue

488.0 mt dw
(1,075,856 lb dw)

                        *Change from proposed rule

All of the shark fisheries will remain open until December 31, 2015, unless NMFS calculates that the fishing season landings have reached, or are projected to reach, 80 percent of the available quota.  In that case, NMFS will publish a notice in the Federal Register of the closure for that shark species group that will be effective no fewer than 5 days from the date of filing.

This notice is a courtesy to the HMS fishery participants to help keep you informed about the fishery.  More details on the reasons regarding the decisions and responses to the public comments received are provided in the final rule for this action.  Copies of these documents are available upon request from the Highly Migratory Species Management Division, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (phone: 301-427-8503, fax: 301-713-1917) or on the HMS website at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/.  For further information on this final rule and its requirements, contact Karyl Brewster-Geisz or GuĂ˝ DuBeck at 301-427-8503. 

 

 

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