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2021 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Year Quotas, Opening Dates, and Retention Limits

Overview

Fishing Type
Commercial
Action Status
Final Rule
Effective
01/01/2021
Point of Contact
Lauren Latchford

Summary

This final rule establishes quota levels, opening dates, and retention limits for the 2021 Atlantic commercial shark fisheries, including those in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. 

The 2021 quotas, adjusted as appropriate to account for over- and under-harvests, are summarized in Table 1 by management group. Adjustments based on over- and under-harvests depend on stock status. The final rule uses landings data received as of October 9, 2020. All dealer reports that are received after the date of the final rule will be used to adjust the 2022 quotas, as appropriate.

Who is affected?

This action could affect:
● Any commercial shark fishermen in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.
● Any dealers who buy or sell sharks or shark products in these areas.


What will it do?

The final 2021 adjusted quotas, retention limits, and opening dates are:

Region or Sub-region

Management Group

2021

Final Adjusted Quota*

Quota Linkages

Commercial Retention Limits for Directed Shark Limited Access Permit Holders

(inseason adjustments are possible)

Season Opening

Dates

Western

Gulf of Mexico

Blacktip Sharks

347.2 mt dw (765,392 lb dw)**

Not Linked

45 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip

January 1, 2021

Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

72.0 mt dw

(158,724 lb dw)

Linked

Hammerhead Sharks

11.9 mt dw

(26,301 lb dw)

Eastern

Gulf of Mexico

Blacktip Sharks

37.7 mt dw

(83,158 lb dw)**

Not Linked

45 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip

January 1, 2021

Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

85.5 mt dw

(188,593 lb dw)

Linked

Hammerhead Sharks

13.4 mt dw

(29,421 lb dw)

Gulf of Mexico

Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks

112.6 mt dw

(248,215 lb dw)

Not Linked

N/A

January 1, 2021

Smoothhound Sharks

504.6 mt dw

(1,112,441 lb dw)**

Not Linked

N/A

Atlantic

Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

168.9 mt dw (372,552 lb dw)

Linked

36 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip

 

If quota is landed too quickly (e.g. if approximately 40 percent of quota is caught at the beginning of the year), NMFS anticipates considering an inseason reduction, and later considering an inseason increase.1

January 1, 2021

Hammerhead Sharks

27.1 mt dw

(59,736  lb dw)

Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks

264.1 mt dw

(582,333 lb dw)

Linked

(South of 34° N. lat. only)

N/A

Blacknose Sharks

(South of 34° N. lat. only)

17.2 mt dw

(37,921 lb dw)

8 blacknose sharks per vessel per trip (applies to directed and incidental permit holders)

Smoothhound Sharks

1,802.6 mt dw

(3,973,902 lb dw)**

Not Linked

N/A

No

regional

quotas

Non-Sandbar LCS Research

50.0 mt dw

(110,230 lb dw)

Linked

N/A

January 1, 2021

Sandbar Shark Research

90.7 mt dw

(199,943 lb dw)

Blue Sharks

273.0 mt dw

(601,856 lb dw)

Not Linked

N/A

Porbeagle Sharks

1.7 mt dw

(3,748 lb dw)

Pelagic Sharks Other Than Porbeagle or Blue

488.0 mt dw

(1,075,856 lb dw)

*1 mt dw = 2,204.6 lb dw
**Baseline quota adjusted based on over- or under-harvest as calculated by landings reported by October 9, 2020.
1 NOAA Fisheries is changing the percent of quota harvested at which it considers adjusting the retention limit. Rather than 35 percent, as was considered in 2020, NOAA Fisheries will consider adjustment to 40 percent to allow fishermen in the Atlantic region to more fully utilize the quota.

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on 08/16/2021

Sharks Atlantic Highly Migratory Species