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Atlantic Shark Commercial Landings Update from January 1 - September 21, 2015

Posted September 24, 2015

Below are the preliminary landings estimates in metric tons (mt) and pounds (lb) dressed weight (dw) for the Atlantic shark commercial fisheries; 1 mt is equal to 2,204.6 pounds.  These preliminary estimates are based on dealer reports and other information received from January 1 through September 21, 2015.  The estimates include landings by state-only permitted vessels, federally permitted vessels, and the 2015 shark research fishery participants.  

On August 18, 2015, NMFS published a final rule (80 FR 50073) that, among other things,  established sub-regional quotas in the Gulf of Mexico for aggregated large coastal sharks (LCS), reopened the non-blacknose small coastal shark fisheries in the Atlantic (north of 34 degrees only) and Gulf of Mexico regions, adjusted the retention limit for aggregated LCS, and adjusted some of the 2015 shark quotas.  Currently, the commercial retention limit in the Atlantic region is 45 LCS other than sandbar shark per trip.          

Region
Or
Sub-Region

Management Groups

2015
Quota

Estimated Landings in 2015

% of 2015 Quota

2014
Landings During The Same Time Period

Eastern
Gulf of Mexico

Blacktip Sharks

25.1 mt dw
(55,439 lb dw)

21.5 mt dw
(47,366 lb dw) 1

85%
Closed 2

201.3 mt dw
(443,760 lb dw)

Western
Gulf of Mexico

231.5 mt dw
(510,261 lb dw)

197.7 mt dw
(435,961 lb dw) 1

85%
Closed 2

Eastern
Gulf of Mexico

Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

85.5 mt dw
(188,593 lb dw)

82.5 mt dw
(185,529 lb dw) 1

98%
Closed 2

152.8 mt dw
(336,886 lb dw)

Western
Gulf of Mexico

72.0 mt dw
(158,724 lb dw)

69.4 mt dw
(153,150 lb dw) 1

96%
Closed 2

Eastern
Gulf of Mexico

Hammerhead Sharks

13.4 mt dw
(29,421 lb dw)

7.3 mt dw
(16,199 lb dw) 1

55%
Closed 2

13.8 mt dw
(30,470 lb dw)

Western
Gulf of Mexico

11.9 mt dw
(26,301 lb dw)

6.5 mt dw
(14,360 lb dw) 1

55%
Closed 2

Gulf of Mexico

Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks

112.6 mt dw
(248,215 lb dw)

53.3 mt dw
(117,501 lb dw)

47%
Reopened 3

59.0 mt dw
(130,156 lb dw)

Blacknose Sharks

1.8 mt dw
(4,076 lb dw)

1.0 mt dw
(2,096 lb dw)

51%
Closed and Prohibited 3

0.8 mt dw
(1,724 lb dw)

Atlantic

 

Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

168.9 mt dw 
(372,552 lb dw)

69.4 mt dw
(152,917 lb dw)

41%

79.9 mt dw
(176,251 lb dw)

Hammerhead Sharks

27.1 mt dw
(59,736  lb dw)

6.6 mt dw
(14,540 lb dw)

24%

5.1 mt dw
(11,255 lb dw)

Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks

264.1 mt dw
(582,333 lb dw)

102.5 mt dw
(225,986 lb dw)

39%
Reopened (North of 34° N. lat. only) 4

102.5 mt dw
(226,013 lb dw)

Blacknose Sharks
(South of 34° N. lat. only)

17.5 mt dw
(38,638 lb dw)

20.5 mt dw
(45,109 lb dw)

117%
Closed 4

17.6 mt dw
(38,693 lb dw)

No regional quotas

Shark Research Fishery
(Aggregated LCS)

50.0 mt dw
(110,230 lb dw)

17.8 mt dw
(39,171 lb dw)

36%

10.2 mt dw
(22,537 lb dw)

Shark Research Fishery
(Sandbar only)

90.7 mt dw
(199,943 lb dw)

63.3 mt dw
(139,642 lb dw)

70%

31.6 mt dw
(69,579 lb dw)

Blue Sharks

273.0 mt dw
(601,856 lb dw)

0.5 mt dw
(1,114 lb dw)

< 1%

7.8 mt dw
(17,157 lb dw)

Porbeagle Sharks

0 mt dw
(0 lb dw)

0 mt dw
(0 lb dw)

Closed 5

0.2 mt dw
(443 lb dw)

Pelagic Sharks Other Than Porbeagle or Blue

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

68.3 mt dw
(150,580 lb dw)

14%

119.1 mt dw
(262,582 lb dw)

 

1 The blacktip, aggregated LCS, and hammerhead shark management group preliminary 2015 landings were split based on the sub-regional quota percentage splits established in Amendment 6 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP
.      
2 Fishery closed at 11:30 p.m. local time on May 3, 2015 (80 FR 24836).

3 Fishery closed at 11:30 p.m. local time on July 4, 2015 (80 FR 38016).  In the final rule for Amendment 6 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (80 FR 50073; August 18, 2015), NMFS reopened the Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS fishery and prohibited the retention of blacknose sharks in the Gulf of Mexico region.

4 Fishery closed at 11:30 p.m. local time on June 7, 2015 (80 FR 32040), but the non-blacknose SCS fishery was reopened on August 18, 2015 (80 FR 50073) for sharks caught north of 34° N. lat. only.

5 Fishery closed at 11:30 p.m. local time on December 17, 2014 and will remain closed for the 2015 shark fishing season (79 FR 75068).

This notice is a courtesy to the HMS fishery participants to help keep you informed about the fishery.  For further information on this landings update or the closure, contact Karyl Brewster-Geisz or Guý DuBeck at 301-427-8503.  

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