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NOAA Fisheries Announces a Final Rule that Establishes a Commercial Retention Limit for Blacknose Sharks in the Atlantic Region

Posted December 13, 2016

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces a final rule that establishes a commercial retention limit of 8 blacknose sharks in the Atlantic region south of 34°00’ N. latitude.  The action is necessary to reduce discards of non-blacknose small coastal sharks (SCS) while increasing the utilization of the Atlantic non-blacknose SCS quota and aid in rebuilding and ending overfishing of Atlantic blacknose sharks.

Who is affected?

This action would affect:

What will it do?

As of January 13, 2017, all Atlantic shark limited access permit holders within the Atlantic region south of 34 °00’ N. latitude will be limited to landing no more than 8 blacknose sharks per trip as long as the blacknose and non-blacknose shark fisheries are open. 

As long as the fisheries are open, directed shark limited access permit holders can continue to land non-blacknose SCS without a retention limit, while incidental shark limited access permit holders continue to be limited to no more than 16 SCS or pelagic sharks per trip combined, of which, as of January 13, 2017 no more than 8 can be blacknose sharks.  The full range of alternatives considered can be found in the final Environmental Assessment and/or final rule, which can be found at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/species/sharks/news/shark_news_2016.html

This notice is a courtesy to the 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 Federal Register. For further information on this final rule, contact Guý DuBeck, Larry Redd, Cliff Hutt, or Karyl Brewster-Geisz at 301-427-8503.  Copies of the final rule 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:  http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/news/news_list/index.html.

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