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NOAA Fisheries Announces the Availability of the Final Rule to Implement Amendment 9 to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan

Posted November 23, 2015


The final rule to implement Amendment 9 to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) is now available.  This Amendment implements management measures in the shark fisheries and could affect fishermen who fish for smoothhound sharks (e.g., smooth dogfish, Florida smoothhound, and Gulf smoothhound) and fishermen who fish for sharks with gillnet gear. 

Additionally, NMFS will hold an operator-assisted, public conference call and webinar on December 15, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST, to discuss the methodology used to calculate the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico smoothhound shark quotas.  The conference call-in phone number is 1- 800-857-9816; participant pass code is 9776014.  Participants are strongly encouraged to log/dial in 15 minutes prior to the meeting.  NMFS will show a brief presentation via webinar followed by public questions.  To join the webinar go to: , enter your name and email address, and click the “JOIN” button.  If requested, the meeting number is 991 661 137 and the meeting password is NOAA.  Participants who have not used WebEx before will be prompted to download and run a plug-in program that will enable them to view the webinar.

What will it do?

The full range of alternatives considered are included in the final environmental assessment and final rule.  A summary of the final actions is below.

1) As of March 15, 2016, the previously-adopted smoothhound shark management measures finalized in Amendment 3 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and in the 2011 HMS Trawl Rule will be effective.

These actions include, but are not limited to:

2) As of March 15, 2016, the commercial quotas for the smoothhound shark fisheries will be:

3) As of March 15, 2016, fishermen may remove the fins of smooth dogfish if they meet the following criteria, consistent with the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 (SCA):

4) As of March 15, 2016, fishermen using gillnet gear must:

5) As of December 1, 2016, fishermen with a federal directed Atlantic shark limited access permit and gillnet gear on board are now required to use a vessel monitoring system only in the vicinity of the Southeast U.S. Monitoring Area (see figure below), consistent with the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan.

This notice is a courtesy to Atlantic HMS fishery participants to help keep you informed about the fishery.  Official notice of federal actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of the Federal Register.  For further information on this final rule contact Steve Durkee at 202-670-6637 or Karyl Brewster-Geisz at 301-427-8503. 

Copies of the final rule, final environmental assessment, and other supporting documents are available upon request from the Highly Migratory Species Management Division, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (phone: 301-427-8503). 


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