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Draft Amendment 14 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS Fishery Management Plan: Shark Quota Management

September 23, 2020

NOAA Fisheries is exploring options for implementing management measures to be consistent with the current National Standard 1 policy guidelines for Atlantic sharks in the HMS management unit.

NOAA Fisheries announces the availability of Draft Amendment 14 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan.

What is Draft Amendment 14?

Draft Amendment 14 will establish a new framework action for the establishment of acceptable biological catch (ABCs) and annual catch limits (ACLs) for Atlantic shark fisheries. The Preferred management options are below.

Topic Preferred Options
ABC control rule

Management Option A3

Create a tiered ABC control rule.
Phase-in ABC control rule

Management Option B2                     

Allow consideration of phase-in ABC control rules for any modifications in ABC.
ACL development

Management Option C2

Actively manage all sector ACLs (commercial and recreational).

Management Option C5

Establish an ACL for each Atlantic shark management group, without commercial ACL quota linkages.

Management Option D6                    

Allow carry-over, and only for underharvest of the commercial quotas (landings only) under certain conditions.
Multi-year overfishing status determination criteria

Management Option E3                     

Compare a three-year average of fishing mortality estimates to the overfishing limit to determine overfishing status.


This amendment does not contain a proposed rule or regulatory text. It does not change any fishery quotas or implement any new HMS fishery management measures. It does not consider any management changes for prohibited shark species. Any operational changes to HMS fishery management measures as a result of Amendment 14 will be considered in future rulemakings, as appropriate.

Public Comment

We encourage anyone affected or otherwise interested in the general management of Atlantic HMS and the contents of the Atlantic HMS FMP to participate in the Draft Amendment 14 process. We request comment on the provisions described in Draft Amendment 14. 

We intend to hold two operator-assisted public hearings via conference calls and webinars to solicit comments on this topic. Time and dates are listed below.

Venue Date Time Instructions
Webinar October 13, 2020 2-4 pm

Join WebEx
Meeting number: 199 057 6075
 Password: 2utD84dRnPv

Join by phone: 1-415-527-5035
 Access code: 199 057 6075

Webinar November 18, 2020 2-4 pm

Join WebEx
Meeting number: 199 661 2520
Password: mMS2QWuuF43
Join by phone: 1-415-527-5035
Access code: 199 661 2520


Comments are due by December 31, 2020. You can submit comments online at the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal (search for “NOAA-NMFS-2019-0040”). For further information, contact Guý DuBeck, Ian Miller, or Karyl Brewster-Geisz at (301) 427-8503.

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on October 21, 2020