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Reminder: Some of the New Dusky Shark Rebuilding Measures Take Effect on June 5, 2017

Posted June 1, 2017

NOAA Fisheries reminds Highly Migratory Species (HMS) vessels that some of the new commercial measures implementing Amendment 5b to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic HMS Fishery Management Plan (FMP) become effective June 5, 2017.  Amendment 5b implemented a range of management measures to end overfishing and rebuild overfished dusky sharks.  Additional commercial and recreational measures for Amendment 5b become effective January 1, 2018.  For more details on those measures, please refer to the HMS website:

Who is affected?

The management measures that become effective on June 5, 2017, could affect any commercial HMS vessel with pelagic longline, bottom longline, or shark gillnet onboard.

What happens on June 5?

The following commercial management measures will go into effect: 

Commercial Measures


Shark Release Protocol

Fishermen with an Atlantic shark limited access permit with pelagic longline gear onboard must release all sharks not being retained using a dehooker or cutting the gangion less than three feet from the hook as safely as practicable.

Additional Training Requirements

HMS pelagic longline, bottom longline, and shark gillnet vessel owners and operators will receive new training on shark identification, regulations, and safe handling and release at their next scheduled Safe Handling, Identification, and Release Workshops.  Vessel owners and operators are encouraged to take this course sooner than required.

Outreach and Fleet Communication Protocol

When a dusky shark is caught, HMS pelagic longline, bottom longline, and shark gillnet vessel operators must broadcast the dusky shark’s location to surrounding vessels as quickly as practicable.  Subsequent sets must be at least 1 nmi from where the interaction took place.  If local conditions suggest it is warranted, vessels are encouraged to move further to minimize additional dusky shark interactions. 

 This notice is a courtesy to Atlantic HMS fishery participants to help keep you informed about the fisheries.  For further information on these management measures, contact Tobey Curtis at (978) 281-9273 or Karyl Brewster-Geisz at (301) 427-8503.

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