NOAA Fisheries announces an interim final rule to adopt internationally recommended management measures in the Atlantic highly migratory species fisheries. The emergency rule implements management measures to address overfishing of North Atlantic shortfin mako sharks. These measures are based on the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna's Standing Committee for Research and Statistics benchmark stock assessment for North Atlantic shortfin mako sharks, which found the stock to be overfished with overfishing occurring.
Any commercial fishermen with highly migratory species permits who interacts with shortfin mako sharks.
Any recreational fishermen who catches or targets shortfin mako sharks.
Any tournament that has a prize category for shortfin mako sharks.
Any dealers who buys or sells shortfin mako sharks or products.
Live release of shortfin mako sharks in the commercial pelagic longline fishery, no landings of shortfin mako sharks by fishermen using other commercial gear types.
The recommendation requires the release of all shortfin mako sharks in a manner that causes the least harm, while giving due consideration to the safety of crew members. Therefore, this emergency rule implements the following measures:
Fishermen using pelagic longline gear (who are already required to have a functional electronic monitoring system)
Release all live shortfin mako sharks with a minimum of harm, while giving due consideration to the safety of crew members.
Retain a shortfin mako shark only if it is dead at haulback.
Fishermen using non-pelagic longline commercial gear (e.g., bottom longline, gillnet, handgear, etc) must release all shortfin sharks, alive or dead, with a minimum of harm, while giving due consideration to the safety of crew members.
Recreational minimum size limit of 83 inches (210 cm) FL for shortfin mako sharks.
Fishermen that hold the above permits may only land a shortfin mako shark (male or female) if the shark meets the following minimum size: 83 inches (210 cm) FL.
NOAA Fisheries has been promoting the live release of shortfin mako sharks since 2013 through the "Release Mako" app. It is a free app for mobile devices that allows fishermen to share information about releasing North Atlantic shortfin mako sharks. Download the free Release Mako app.
Measures are immediately effective on March 2, 2018. These measures are effective for up to 180 days from publication of the emergency rule, with a possible extension of up to 186 days, but are expected to be replaced by measures being considered in a proposed and final regulatory amendment currently under development.
Yes. The Environmental Assessment for the emergency rule is available on the HMS website.
Yes. Written comments may be submitted by May 7, 2018, to the HMS Management Division by either of the following methods:
Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA Fisheries. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted on the Federal e-Rulemaking portal for public viewing on without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NOAA Fisheries will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).
During the comment period, NOAA Fisheries will hold one public hearing for this interim final rule.
March 7, 2018 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
HMS Advisory Panel MeetingSheraton Silver Spring8777 Georgia AvenueSilver Spring, MD 20910