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NMFS Announces the Availability of the Final Amendment 6 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan for Management of Atlantic Sharks

Posted August 17, 2015

Effective August 18, 2015

Final Amendment 6 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) (Amendment 6) implements a range of management measures for the Atlantic commercial shark fisheries.

Who is affected?

Amendment 6 could affect:

What will it do?

The full range of alternatives considered can be found in the final environmental assessment and/or final rule, which can be found at:
This action implements the following measures:    

NMFS may adjust the commercial retention limit and sandbar shark research fishery quota before the next fishing season or mid-season based on various factors including the fishing rates from the current or previous years. 

-Establishes a management boundary in the Atlantic region along 34° 00’ N. latitude (approximately at Wilmington, North Carolina) for the small coastal shark (SCS) fishery; maintains the non-blacknose SCS quota linkage with the blacknose shark quota south of the 34° 00’ N. latitude; and prohibits the retention and landings of blacknose sharks north of the 34° 00’ N. Latitude.

-Establishes a non-blacknose SCS Total Allowable Catch (TAC) of 489.3 mt dw and increases the SCS commercial quota to 264.1 mt dw (582,333 lb dw).

Figure 1: Map depicting the modifications to the quota linkages for the non-blacknose SCS and blacknose quotas along the new management boundary in the Atlantic region


-Splits the Gulf of Mexico regional commercial quotas for aggregated LCS, blacktip, and hammerhead sharks along 88° 00’ W. longitude;

-Establishes a non-blacknose SCS TAC of 999.0 mt dw and increases the non-blacknose SCS commercial quota to 112.6 mt dw (248,215 lb dw); and

-Prohibits the retention of blacknose sharks in the Gulf of Mexico.

Figure 2: Map depicting new Gulf of Mexico blacktip, aggregated LCS, and hammerhead shark sub-regions and sub-regional quotas.



The following fisheries will remain open or will re-open as a result of this action:


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 and final environmental assessment, contact LeAnn Hogan, Guý DuBeck, Delisse Ortiz, 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, fax: 301-713-1917).  The information will also be posted on the HMS website at:


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