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NOAA Fisheries Announces a Final Rule to Establish the Quotas, Opening Dates, and Retention Limits for the 2017 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Season

Posted November 22, 2016

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces a final rule that would establish quota levels, opening dates, and retention limits for the 2017 Atlantic commercial shark fisheries.

The 2017 quotas, adjusted as appropriate to account for over- and underharvests, are summarized in Table 1 by management group.  Adjustments based on over- and underharvests depend on stock status.  The final rule uses landings data received as of October 14, 2016.  All dealer reports that are received after the date of the final rule will be used to adjust the 2018 quotas, as appropriate. 

Who is affected?

This action could affect:

What will it do?

The final 2017 adjusted quotas, retention limits, and opening dates are:

Region or Sub-region

Management Group

2017 Annual Adjusted Quota*

Quota Linkages

Commercial Retention Limits for Directed Shark Limited Access Permit Holders (inseason adjustments are possible)

Season OpeningDates

Eastern

Gulf of Mexico

Blacktip Sharks

36.0 mt dw
(79,400 lb dw)**

Not Linked

45 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip

January 1, 2017

Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

85.5 mt dw
(188,593 lb dw)

Linked

Hammerhead Sharks

13.4 mt dw
(29,421 lb dw)

Western

Gulf of Mexico

Blacktip Sharks

331.6 mt dw
(730,425 lb dw)**

Not Linked

45 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip

February 1, 2017 **

Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

72.0 mt dw
(158,724 lb dw)

Linked

Hammerhead Sharks

11.9 mt dw
(23,301 lb dw)

Gulf of Mexico

Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks

112.6 mt dw
(248,215 lb dw)

Not Linked

N/A

January 1, 2017

Smoothhound Sharks

504.6 mt dw
(1,112,441 lb dw)**

Not Linked

N/A

Atlantic

Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

168.9 mt dw (372,552 lb dw)

Linked

25 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip**

 

If quota is landed too quickly (e.g. if approximately 20 percent of quota is caught at the beginning of the year), NMFS anticipates considering an inseason reduction (e.g. to 3 or fewer large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip), and later considering an  inseason increase to 36 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip around July 15, 2017 **

January 1, 2017

 

 

Hammerhead Sharks

27.1 mt dw
(59,736  lb dw)

Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks

264.1 mt dw
(582,333 lb dw)

Linked

(South of 34° N. lat. only)

N/A

January 1, 2017

Blacknose Sharks

(South of 34° N. lat. only)

17.2 mt dw
(37,921 lb dw)

Smoothhound Sharks

1,802.6 mt dw
(3,971,587 lb dw)**

Not Linked

N/A

No

regional

quotas

Non-Sandbar LCS Research

50.0 mt dw
(110,230 lb dw)

Linked

N/A

January 1, 2017

Sandbar Shark Research

90.7 mt dw
(199,943 lb dw)

Blue Sharks

273.0 mt dw
(601,856 lb dw)

Not Linked

N/A

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)

*1 mt dw = 2,204.6 lb dw

**Changed from the proposed rule.

This notice is a courtesy to the HMS fishery participants to help keep you informed about the fishery.  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 Guý DuBeck or Karyl Brewster-Geisz at 301-427-8503 or Tobey Curtis at 978-281-9260.  The information will also be posted on the HMS website at:  http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/news/news_list/index.html.

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