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NOAA Fisheries Announces a Proposed Rule to Modify the Commercial Retention Limit For Small Coastal Sharks in the Atlantic Region

August 1 , 2016

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces a proposed rule that would establish a commercial retention limit for blacknose sharks in the Atlantic region.  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 rebuilding and ending overfishing of Atlantic blacknose sharks.

Who is affected?

This action could affect:

What will it do?

The preferred alternative would establish a commercial retention limit of 8 blacknose sharks per trip for all Atlantic shark limited access permit holders.  The full range of alternatives considered can be found in the draft Environmental Assessment and/or proposed rule, which can be found at: Sharks Homepage

Submit Comments by September 20, 2016:

During the comment period, NMFS will hold 1 public hearing and 1 conference call for this proposed rule (Table 1).  NMFS has also asked to present information on the proposed rule and draft Environmental Assessment to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council during the public comment period.  Please see their meeting notices for dates, times, and locations.  

Table 1.  Dates, times, and locations of upcoming public hearings and conference call.



Meeting locations

Location contact information

Conference call

August 16, 2016,

2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

  To participate in conference call, call: (888) 635-5002
Passcode: 6429428
To participate in webinar, RSVP at:, A confirmation email with webinar log-in information will be sent after RSVP is registered.  
Public Hearing

August 24, 2016,

5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Cocoa Beach, FL

Cocoa Beach Public Library

550 North Brevard Avenue

Cocoa Beach, FL 32931

(321) 868-1104


During these hearings, NMFS will receive public feedback on the proposed management measures.  Written comments, identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2016-0095,” may be submitted electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal, or sent by fax or mail to the contact information included below.   All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to without change.  All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible.  Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.  NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous).  You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

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 proposed rule, contact Guý DuBeck, Larry Redd, Cliff Hutt, or Karyl Brewster-Geisz at 301-427-8503.  Copies of the proposed 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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