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Comments Requested: 2019 Exempted Fishing Permits and Other Related Permits for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species

October 30, 2018

NOAA Fisheries is opening a public comment period and holding an informational webinar.

Craig Cockrell
Fishery Biologist
(301) 427-8503

NOAA Fisheries will consider issuing exempted fishing permits, scientific research permits, display permits, letters of acknowledgment, and shark research fishery permits for the research and collection of Atlantic highly migratory species in 2019. 

In general, exempted fishing and related permits authorize the collection of a limited number of tunas, swordfish, billfishes, and sharks from federal waters in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of these collections is scientific data, bycatch research, public display, and to evaluate the efficacy of environmental clean-up efforts, among other things. Letters of acknowledgment will document that scientific research activity is being conducted aboard scientific research vessels. The shark research fishery assists NOAA Fisheries in collecting valuable shark life history and other scientific data required in shark stock assessments.

Generally, NOAA Fisheries receives fewer than 50 applications with most relating to scientific sampling and tagging of Atlantic highly migratory species. This will be the only public comment opportunity before NOAA Fisheries issues this type permits. We will provide additional opportunity for public comment for applications outside of this scope. 


Comments must be received on or before November 30, 2018.

Electronic submissions: 

U.S. Mail: Craig Cockrell, Highly Migratory Species Management Division (F/SF1), NOAA Fisheries, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. 

Permit applications and copies of the regulations pertaining to exempted fishing permits, scientific research permits, display permits, and letters of acknowledgment may also be requested from this address. Shark research fishery permit applications can be received via information found in the request for applications, expected to publish shortly. 

Webinar Information

NOAA Fisheries will host a webinar on November 14, 2018, from 2 to 4 p.m. EDT. Applicants and other interested members of the public will see a general overview of the exempt fishing permit program and have an opportunity to ask questions. 

Call-in: 1-888-942-8612; passcode 6276326. We encourage you to log/dial in 15 minutes prior to the meeting.

password: NOAA 

Requests for language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Craig Cockrell at 301-427-8503 at least 7 days prior to the meeting.

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on November 07, 2018