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Atlantic Shortfin Mako Shark
If You Catch 'em Alive, Let 'em Live
NOAA Fisheries encourages the live release of Shortfin Mako Sharks and helps track their catch and release throughout the Atlantic Ocean.
What's the Problem?
Having healthy populations of shortfin mako and other sharks in the North Atlantic Ocean is important to recreational and commercial fishermen, and to maintain a balanced ocean ecosystem. Keeping shark populations healthy is the responsibility of everyone out on the water that catches shortfin mako or other sharks. If you catch a shortfin mako shark or any other shark that is in good condition, release it alive to reduce the number of sharks that are removed from the population. By doing this, you can help maintain healthy shark populations for future generations.
When releasing any shark, try to follow these steps to maximize their chance of survival and minimize injury if you can safely do so:
- Use non-stainless steel circle hooks.
- Do not remove the shark from the water.
- Do not gaff the shark.
- Remove the hook from the shark using a de-hooking device, if you can do it safely.
- If you cannot remove the hook, cut the line as close to the hook as you can while being safe.
- If you can, tag them (learn how).
And remember, as always when dealing with sharks, safety first! Download the NOAA Fisheries Careful Catch brochure for more safe handling and release information.
Strong recreational and commercial fisheries rely on thriving fish populations. If shortfin mako sharks become overfished, regulations may be necessary to limit the commercial and recreational fishing in order for the population to recover. Releasing a shortfin mako today may help keep the population and fishery strong for years to come.
Below are a variety of links for more information on the North Atlantic population of shortfin mako sharks.
- Current Stock Status
- Life History and Essential Fish Habitat
- NOAA Fisheries FishWatch - Atlantic Shortfin Mako Shark species page