NOAA Fisheries Introduces Amendment 11 for the Conservation of Shortfin Mako Sharks

July 18, 2018

Amendment 11 aims to prevent overfishing and rebuild overfished shortfin mako sharks.

Photo of mako or blue shark

Amendment 11 to the Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan proposes a range of management measures for shortfin mako sharks. These measures are based on the recent International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) assessment determining that shortfin mako sharks are overfished and experiencing overfishing and ICCAT Recommendation 17-08.

Who is affected?

  • Any commercial fishermen with HMS permits.
  • Any recreational fishermen who target or catch shortfin mako sharks.
  • Any dealers who buy or sell sharks or shark products.

What will it do?

The full range of alternatives considered can be found in the draft environmental impact statement (PDF, 230 pages) and/or proposed rule.

 

Preferred Alternatives in DEIS

Commercial Measure

Alternative A2            

Allow retention of a shortfin mako shark by persons with a Directed or Incidental Shark Limited Access Permit, but only if the shark is dead at haul back and there is a functional electronic monitoring system on board the vessel.

Recreational Measures

Alternative B3            

Increase the minimum size of all shortfin mako sharks from 54 inches fork length to 83 inches (210 cm) fork length.

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, MA).

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.

Request for Comments

NOAA Fisheries will accept comments on the proposed rule and draft amendment through October 1, 2018.

Written comments, identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2018-0011,” may be submitted electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal, or by U.S. mail to the Highly Migratory Species Management Division, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. 

All comments received are a part of the public record and will be posted to the Internet without change. Personally identifying information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NOAA Fisheries will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the electronic fields to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

Public Hearings

NOAA Fisheries will hold public hearings along the Atlantic Coast, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico regions until the end of the comment period

  • August 22, 2018 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Dr. Clotilde Garcia Public Library

5930 Brockhampton Street

Corpus Christi, TX 78414

  • August 23, 2018 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Linwood Public Library

301 Davis Avenue

Linwood, NJ 08211

  • August 28, 2018 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Commissioners Meeting Room, Dare County Administration Building

954 Marshall C. Collins Dr.

Manteo, NC 27954

  • August 29, 2018 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

NCDMF Central District Office

5285 Highway 70 West

Morehead City, NC 28557

  • August 30, 2018 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

NOAA Fisheries
Greater Atlantic Regional Office
55 Great Republic Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930

  • August 30, 2018 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

NOAA Fisheries

Southeast Regional Office

263 13th Avenue South

St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Conference Call Public Hearing

  • September 12, 2018 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

To participate in the webinar, please RSVP here. A confirmation email with webinar log-in information will be sent after RSVP is registered.

In addition to the public hearings and webinar, NOAA Fisheries has requested to present information regarding this draft amendment and proposed rule to the New England, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions. Please see the Councils’ and Commissions’ meeting notices for times and locations. 

Official notice of federal actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of Federal Register. For further information on this proposed rule and draft environmental impact statement, contact Guý DuBeck or Karyl Brewster-Geisz at 301-427-8503. Copies of the proposed rule, draft 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, or by calling 301-427-8503.