Final Rule for Amendment 11 Addresses Overfishing of Shortfin Mako Sharks

February 15, 2019

Amendment 11 management measures for shortfin mako go into effect March 3, 2019.

Guy DuBeck
Fishery Biologist
(301) 427-8503
Shortfin mako swimming

The management measures from Amendment 11 to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan will become effective on March 3, 2019. 

Amendment 11 implements management measures to address overfishing and rebuild the overfished North Atlantic shortfin mako shark stock. These measures are based on the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) stock assessment that determined that shortfin mako sharks are overfished and experiencing overfishing. Management measures also reflect ICCAT Recommendation 17-08.

This final rule was crafted after considering public comments on the proposed rule and Draft Environmental Impact Statement and incorporating updated data and information.

When do the final measures take effect?

The management measures implemented in the final rule for Amendment 11 become effective on March 3, 2019.

Who is affected?

Amendment 11 could affect:

  • Any commercial fishermen with HMS permits.
  • Any dealers who buy or sell sharks or shark products.
  • Any recreational fishermen who target or catch shortfin mako sharks.
  • Any tournaments that provide prize categories for shortfin mako or pelagic sharks.

What will it do?

Final measures

Commercial measure

Alternative A7*          

Allow retention of shortfin mako sharks by persons with a Directed or Incidental shark limited access permit when caught with longline or gillnet gear and only if the shark is dead at haulback. Retention of dead shortfin mako sharks with pelagic longline gear is allowed only if there is a functional electronic monitoring system on board the vessel.

Recreational measures

Alternative B2*          

Increase the minimum size limit for retention of shortfin mako sharks from 54 inches FL to 71 inches FL (180 cm FL) for males and 83 inches FL (210 cm FL) for females.

Alternative B9

Require use of circle hooks for recreational shark fishing in all areas (i.e., remove the current management line established for dusky sharks near Chatham, Massachusetts).

Monitoring measure

Alternative C1            

No action. Do not require reporting of shortfin mako sharks outside of current reporting systems.

Rebuilding measure

Alternative D3           

Establish the foundation for developing an international rebuilding program for shortfin mako sharks.

*Change from proposed rule based on public comments and additional analyses.

This notice is a courtesy to Atlantic HMS fishery participants to help keep you informed about the fishery. Official notice of federal actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of Federal the Register.

For further information on this rule and environmental impact statement, contact Guý DuBeck or Karyl Brewster-Geisz at 301-427-8503. Copies of the final environmental impact statement and other supporting documents are available upon request from the Highly Migratory Species Management Division, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (phone: 301-427-8503, fax: 301-713-1917).

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on February 21, 2019