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From the National Marine Fisheries Service:

Final Environmental Impact Statement Available for Amendment 11: Conservation of Shortfin Mako Sharks

Who is affected?

Amendment 11 could affect:

  • Any commercial fishermen with HMS permits.
  • Any dealers who buy or sell sharks or shark products.
  • Any recreational fishermen who target or catch shortfin mako sharks.
  • Any tournaments that provide prize categories for shortfin mako or pelagic sharks.

What will it do?

The purpose of Amendment 11 is to address overfishing of North Atlantic shortfin mako sharks based on the results of the 2017 International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas stock assessment and Recommendation 17-08, recognizing that the United States cannot end overfishing or rebuild the stock on its own given that it is fished internationally. The Final Environmental Impact Statement analyzes the potential environmental impacts of a range of alternatives, including preferred alternatives, to meet the Amendment objectives. After considering comments on the Proposed Rule and Draft Environmental Impact Statement, NOAA Fisheries revised some of the preferred alternatives.

The preferred alternatives are summarized below: 

Preferred Alternatives in FEIS

Commercial Measure

Alternative A7            

Allow retention of shortfin mako sharks by persons with a Directed or Incidental shark limited access permit when caught with longline or gillnet gear and only if the shark is dead at haulback.  Retention of dead shortfin mako sharks with pelagic longline gear is allowed only if there is a functional electronic monitoring system on board the vessel.

Recreational Measures

Alternative B2            

Increase the minimum size limit for retention of shortfin mako sharks from 54 inches FL to 71 inches FL (180 cm FL) for male and 83 inches FL (210 cm FL) for female shortfin mako sharks.

Alternative B9

Require use of circle hooks for recreational shark fishing in all areas (i.e., remove the current management line established for dusky sharks near Chatham, MA)

Monitoring Measure

Alternative C1            

No action. Do not require reporting of shortfin mako sharks outside of current reporting systems

Rebuilding Measure

Alternative D3           

Establish the foundation for developing an international rebuilding program for shortfin mako sharks

Please note, the final rule for this FEIS is still in development, and the agency has not yet formally made a determination or filed a Record of Decision. NOAA Fisheries will provide additional notice, including information about the effective date, once the final rule has filed with the Office of the Federal Register.

For more information please see the Atlantic HMS Management Division's website.

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