Amendment 5b to the 2006 Consolidated HMS Fishery Management Plan: Atlantic Shark Management Measures
The purpose of Amendment 5b to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) fishery management plan (FMP) is to end overfishing on, and rebuild the dusky shark stock. Draft Amendment 5 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (77 FR 73029) proposed measures were designed to reduce fishing mortality and effort in order to rebuild various overfished Atlantic shark species, including dusky sharks, while ensuring that a limited sustainable shark fishery for certain species could be maintained.
After reviewing all of the comments received on Draft Amendment 5, NOAA Fisheries concluded that further analyses were needed for dusky shark measures and decided to do so in a separate FMP amendment, environmental impact statement, and proposed rule. The FMP amendment for non-dusky shark species (scalloped hammerhead, sandbar, blacknose, and Gulf of Mexico blacktip sharks) included in draft Amendment 5 was renamed Amendment 5a and was developed into a final rule and final environmental impact statement. The future FMP amendment for dusky sharks was renamed Amendment 5b and focused on:
Ending overfishing on dusky sharks.
Making any necessary modifications to the rebuilding plan for dusky sharks to ensure that fishing mortality levels on dusky sharks are maintained at or below levels that would result in rebuilding in the timeframe recommended by the assessment update.
Clarifying annual catch limits and implementing preventative accountability measures for the prohibited shark species complex.
Specifically, based upon the results of the 2016 SEDAR 21 dusky shark assessment update, NOAA Fisheries aims to achieve a 35 percent mortality reduction relative to 2015 levels, and rebuild the dusky shark stock by the year 2107.
Video: Handling and Release of Prohibited Atlantic Sharks