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NOAA Fisheries Requests Applications for Participation in the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species 2018 Shark Research Fishery

Posted: November 2, 2017

NOAA Fisheries requests commercial shark fishermen who would like to participate in the 2018 shark research fishery to submit both a completed shark research fishery application and the required vessel information to the HMS Management Division by December 4, 2017.

Shark research fishery permits authorize participation in the shark research fishery and the collection of sandbar, other large coastal sharks (LCS), small coastal shark (SCS), and pelagic sharks from federal waters in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea, for the purposes of scientific data collection, subject to 100 percent observer coverage. 

NOAA Fisheries will select a limited number of qualified applicants to participate in the 2018 shark research fishery based on the temporal and spatial needs of the research objectives, the available quota, the availability of observers, and the availability of the qualified applicants.  These selected applicants will be issued shark research fishery permits and will be subject to 100 percent observer coverage on all shark research fishery trips.  The shark research vessels may fish without an observer when not on a shark research fishery trip.  A shark research fishery permit will only be valid only for the calendar year 2018 and only for the specific vessel and owner(s) listed on the permit, subject to the terms and conditions listed on the permit.

The specific conditions of the permit (e.g., trip limit, gear requirements, and number of trips per month) will depend, among other things, on the number of selected vessels, available quota, and the objectives of the research fishery. 

NOAA Fisheries will review the submitted applications based on the selection criteria as described in the Federal Register notice and information provided on the application form to determine which applicants are qualified to participate in the shark research fishery in 2018. 

Qualified applicants are those that:

Only vessels that meet all of the above qualifications will be considered for the shark research fishery.  * While incidental permit holders may apply, please note that for 2018, priority will be given to qualified directed permit holders to meet the research objectives.  **Priority will also be given to vessels with past participation in the NMFS observer program and those vessels that can participate year-round round and who affirmatively state that they intend to do so, in order to ensure timely and accurate data collection needed to meet this year’s research objectives.   

Completed Shark Research Fishery Permit Applications that include all information required must be received no later than December 4, 2017, in order to be considered.  For copies of the application, please write to the HMS Management Division, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 or call (301) 427-8503 (phone), or (301) 713-1917 (fax) or email to NMFS.Research.Fishery@noaa.gov.  Copies of the application are also available at the HMS Management Division’s website at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/index.htm.  Please submit completed applications to the HMS Management Division at the address listed above or by fax or email.  Final decisions on the issuance of a shark research fishery permit will depend on the submission of all required information, and review of applicant information as outlined in the Federal Register notice.  Additionally, please be advised your application may be released under the Freedom of Information Act.  

This notice is a courtesy to individuals interested in HMS fisheries activities to keep you informed about the fishery.  Official notice of Federal fishery actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of the Federal Register.  For further information, contact Karyl Brewster-Geisz or Guý DuBeck at (301) 427-8503 or Delisse Ortiz at 240-681-9037.
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