The conference call will be held on February 16 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. (EST). Participants and interested parties should call 1-888-942-9261 and use the passcode 8567825. Selected participants who do not attend will not be allowed to participate in the shark research fishery. While the conference call is mandatory for selected participants, other interested parties may call in and listen to the discussion. Selected participants are encouraged to invite their captain, crew, or anyone else who may assist them in meeting the terms and conditions of the shark research fishery permit.
Shark research fishery permits are issued annually and authorize participation in the shark research fishery and the collection of sandbar, non-sandbar large coastal sharks, small coastal shark, and pelagic sharks from federal waters in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea, for the purposes of scientific data collection, subject to 100 percent observer coverage. Interested shark fishermen can apply to participate in the research fishery each year.
On November 3, 2017 (82 FR 51218), NMFS published a notice inviting qualified commercial shark permit holders to submit an application to participate in the 2018 shark research fishery. NMFS received six applications, of which all of the six applicants were determined to meet all the qualifications. NMFS selected all six qualified participants after considering how to meet research objectives in particular regions.
As with the past years, the 2018 permit terms and permitted activities (e.g., number of hooks and retention limits) specifically authorized for selected participants in the shark research fishery are designated depending on the scientific and research needs of the Agency as well as the number of NOAA Fisheries-approved observers available. Those terms and conditions are similar to the terms and conditions of 2017, with some modifications. In order to inform selected participants of this year’s specific permit requirements and ensure all terms and conditions of the permit are met, NOAA Fisheries is holding a mandatory meeting with selected participants.
This notice is a courtesy to individuals interested in Highly Migratory Species fisheries activities to keep you informed about the fishery. Official notice of Federal fishery actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of the Federal Register. For further information, contact Karyl Brewster-Geisz or Delisse Ortiz at (301) 427-8503.