2020 Commercial Atlantic Shark Fishing Quotas, Dates & Retention Limits

Overview

Fishing Type
Commercial
Action Status
Proposed Rule
Published
09/18/2019

Summary

NOAA Fisheries is proposing a rule to adjust quotas for Atlantic commercial shark fisheries in 2020. The proposed rule would also establish opening dates and retention limits for the 2020 fishing year. 

The proposed quotas, adjusted as appropriate to account for over- and underharvests, are summarized in the tables below. Adjustments based on over- and underharvests depend on stock status.

Proposed Quotas

These proposed quotas are subject to change in the final rule. The proposed rule uses landings data received as of September 13, 2019. However, the final rule will be based on public comment and updated data received in dealer reports as of by late October to mid-November 2019. We anticipate that dealer reports received after the date of the final rule would be used to adjust the 2020 quotas, as appropriate. 

Western Gulf of Mexico Sub-Region

Opens January 1, 2020

Management Group 2020 Annual Adjusted Quota* Quota Linkages Commercial Retention Limits for Directed Shark Limited Access Permit Holders
Blacktip sharks 358.9 mt dw (792,161 lb dw) Not linked 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip
Aggregated large coastal sharks (LCS)

72.0 mt dw

 (141,176 lb dw)
Linked with hammerheads 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip
Hammerhead sharks

11.9 mt dw

(26,301 lb dw)
Linked with agg. LCS 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip

*1 mt dw = 2,204.6 lb dw. 

Eastern Gulf of Mexico Sub-Region

Opens January 1, 2020

Management Group 2020 Annual Adjusted Quota* Quota Linkages Commercial Retention Limits for Directed Shark Limited Access Permit Holders
Blacktip sharks 39.0 mt dw (86,066.7 lb dw) Not linked 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip1,2
Aggregated large coastal sharks (LCS)

85.5 mt dw

(188,593 lb dw)
Linked with hammerheads 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip1,2
Hammerhead sharks

13.4 mt dw

(29,421 lb dw)
Linked with agg. LCS 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip1,2

*1 mt dw = 2,204.6 lb dw. 

1NOAA Fisheries may consider a higher starting retention limit for the entire region of 55 sharks per trip to increase the harvest level and ensure the management group can maximize its quota.

Gulf of Mexico Region

Opens January 1, 2020

Management Group 2020 Annual Adjusted Quota* Quota Linkages Commercial Retention Limits for Directed Shark Limited Access Permit Holders
Non-blacknose small coastal sharks (SCS)

112.6 mt dw

(248,215 lb dw)
Not linked None
Smoothhound sharks

504.6 mt dw (1,112,441 lb dw)

Not linked None

*1 mt dw = 2,204.6 lb dw. 

Atlantic Region

Opens January 1, 2020

Management Group 2020 Annual Adjusted Quota* Quota Linkages Commercial Retention Limits for Directed Shark Limited Access Permit Holders
Aggregated LCS

168.9 mt dw

(372,552 lb dw)

Linked with hammerheads

25 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip1,2

Hammerhead sharks

27.1 mt dw

(59,736 lb dw)

Linked with agg. LCS 25 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip1,2
Non-blacknose SCS

264.1 mt dw

(582,333 lb dw)

Linked with blacknose sharks

(south of 34° N. lat. only)

None

Blacknose sharks

(south of 34° N. lat. only)

17.2 mt dw

(37,921 lb dw)

Linked with non-blacknose SCS

(south of 34° N. lat. only)

8 per vessel per trip3
Smoothhound sharks 1,802.6 mt dw (3,971,587 lb dw) Not linked None

*1 mt dw = 2,204.6 lb dw. 

1If quota is landed too quickly (e.g. if approximately 20 percent of quota is caught at the beginning of the year), NOAA Fisheries anticipates an inseason reduction (e.g. to 3 or fewer large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip) then an inseason increase to 36 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip around July 15, 2020.

2NOAA Fisheries is proposing changing the percent of quota harvested at which it considers adjusting the retention limit. Rather than 20 percent, we would consider adjustment at a higher percentage to allow fishermen in the Atlantic region to more fully utilize the quota. Additionally, NOAA Fisheries is also considering an increase from the initial 25 sharks per trip in the beginning of the fishing year to a higher number of landings per trip within the 55 sharks per trip limit.

3Applies to directed and incidental permit holders. 

No Regional 

Opens January 1, 2020

Management Group 2020 Annual Adjusted Quota* Quota Linkages Commercial Retention Limits for Directed Shark Limited Access Permit Holders
Non-sandbar LCS research

50.0 mt dw

(110,230 lb dw)

Linked with sandbar shark research

None

Sandbar shark research

90.7 mt dw

(199,943 lb dw)

Linked with non-sandbar LCS research None
Blue sharks

273.0 mt dw

(601,856 lb dw)

Not linked

None

Porbeagle sharks

1.7 mt dw

(3,748 lb dw)

Not linked

None
Pelagic sharks other than porbeagle or blue

488.0 mt dw

(1,075,856 lb dw)
Not linked None

*1 mt dw = 2,204.6 lb dw. 

Federal Register

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on 09/18/2019