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Determination that Atlantic Dusky Sharks are Overfished and Subject to Overfishing

October 4, 2016

Atlantic dusky sharks (Carcharhinus obscurus) are managed under the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and its amendments pursuant to the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.  Dusky sharks have been a prohibited species since 2000, and may not be landed or retained in any fisheries.  However, multiple commercial and recreational fisheries sometimes interact with the species as bycatch during the course of normal operations.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recently completed an update to the Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) 21 Atlantic dusky shark stock assessment.  As this was an update to the 2011 assessment, no new methodology was introduced, though all model inputs were updated with more recent data (i.e. 2010-2015 effort, observer, and survey data). All documents and information regarding the original SEDAR 21 stock assessment and recent update can be found on the SEDAR webpage at  

Based on the results of the 2016 stocks assessment update, NMFS has determined that the status of the Atlantic dusky sharks continues to be “overfished” and “subject to overfishing.”  Please see the Federal Register notice for additional information of the bases for these determinations.

This notice is a courtesy to the HMS fishery participants to help keep you informed about the fishery.  For further information, contact Tobey Curtis at 978-281-9273 or Karyl Brewster-Geisz at (301) 427-8503.

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