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NOAA Fisheries Announces a Final Rule to Implement the ICCAT Recommendation Requiring Release of Live Porbeagle Sharks

August 23 , 2016

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)  announces a final rule to implement International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Recommendation 15-06 that requires “...fishing vessels to promptly release unharmed, to the extent practicable, porbeagle sharks caught in association with ICCAT fisheries when brought alive alongside for taking on board the vessel.”  This final rule would require the following fishermen to release unharmed, to the extent practicable, porbeagle sharks that are live at the time of haulback.  The rule would impact HMS commercial fishermen that deploy pelagic longline gear and HMS recreational fishing vessels that retain tunas, billfish, and swordfish.  This final rule would not affect HMS permitted fishermen who target sharks and do not retain tunas, swordfish, and billfish.    

As of September 23, 2016, commercial and recreational fishermen operating in association with ICCAT fisheries must release unharmed, to the extent practicable, porbeagle sharks that are live at the time of haulback.

This rule would impact:

This rule would not impact:

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.  Responses to the public comments received at the proposed rule stage can be found in the final rule.  For further information on this final rule, contact Larry Redd, Carrie Soltanoff, or Karyl Brewster-Geisz at 301-427-8503.  Copies of the 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). 
 

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