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Amendment 2 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS Fishery Management Plan: Atlantic Shark Management Measures


Fishing Type
Commercial, Recreational
Action Status
Final Rule


In 2008, NOAA Fisheries published the final rule for Amendment 2 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (73 FR 35778; corrected version published July 15, 2008; 73 FR 40658), based on stock assessments conducted in 2005/2006 for the LCS complex, sandbar, blacktip, porbeagle, and dusky sharks. The management measures in Amendment 2 included, among other things:

  • Established an annual shark season instead of trimesters;
  • Modified the shark stock assessment schedule from every 2-3 years to every 5 years;
  • Established a research fishery for sandbar sharks with established base quotas of 116.6 mt dw and a 50 mt dw non-sandbar LCS research quota;
  • Implemented commercial quotas of 188.3 mt dw for Atlantic non-sandbar LCS and 439.5 mt dw for Gulf of Mexico non-sandbar LCS;
  • Implemented a base commercial quota of 454 mt dw for SCS;
  • Implemented commercial quotas of 488 mt dw for pelagic sharks (other than blue and porbeagle sharks), 273 mt dw for blue sharks, and 1.7 mt dw for porbeagle sharks;
  • Implemented time/area closures recommended by South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC);
  • Established a boundary between the Gulf of Mexico region and the Atlantic region, defined as a line beginning on the east coast of Florida at the mainland at 25°20.4’N.lat, proceeding due east. Any water and land to the south and west of that boundary was considered within the Gulf of Mexico. Any water and land to the north and east of that boundary line was considered within the Atlantic region;
  • Established a 33 non-sandbar LCS per trip retention limit for directed permit holders and a 3 non-sandbar LCS per trip retention limit for incidental permit holders;
  • Established no trip limit for SCS or pelagic sharks for directed permit holders and 16 SCS and pelagic sharks for incidental permit holders;
  • Required that all Atlantic sharks must be offloaded with fins naturally attached; and
  • Prohibited the retention of sandbar sharks in the commercial fisheries unless participants were part of the shark research fishery
  • Allowed recreational fishermen to land tiger sharks and non-ridgeback LCS (blacktip, spinner, bull, lemon, nurse, great hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, and scalloped hammerhead sharks);
  • Allowed recreational fishermen to land SCS (bonnethead, Atlantic sharpnose, finetooth and blacknose sharks), and pelagic sharks (shortfin mako, common thresher, oceanic whitetip, blue, and porbeagle sharks);
  • Prohibited recreational anglers from retaining sandbar or silky sharks (and any other prohibited species); and
  • Established the recreational retention limit of one shark greater than 54 inches FL per vessel per trip, also one Atlantic sharpnose and one bonnethead per person per trip with no minimum size.

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Supporting Materials

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on 03/30/2023