Proposed Rule for the 2019 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Year

September 10, 2018

The proposed rule would establish quota levels, opening dates, and retention limits for the 2019 Atlantic commercial shark fisheries.

blacktip shark

Blacktip shark caught on longline research cruise

The proposed 2019 quotas, adjusted as appropriate to account for over- and underharvests, are summarized in the table below by management group. Adjustments based on over- and underharvests depend on stock status. The proposed rule uses landings data received as of July 13, 2018.  The final rule will be based on updated data received in dealer reports as of October 2018. Thus, the quotas in the proposed rule are subject to change in the final rule. All dealer reports that are received after the date of the final rule will be used to adjust the 2019 quotas, as appropriate. 

This action could affect:

  • Any commercial shark fishermen in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.
  • Any dealers who buy or sell sharks or shark products in these areas.

The proposed adjusted quotas, retention limits, and opening dates are:

Region or Sub-region

Management Group

2019 Annual Adjusted Quota*

Quota Linkages

Commercial Retention Limits for Directed Shark Limited Access Permit Holders (inseason adjustments are possible)

Opening Dates

Western Gulf of Mexico

Blacktip Sharks

265.6 mt dw

(586,662 lb dw)**

Not Linked

36 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip

January 1, 2019

Western Gulf of Mexico

Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

72.0 mt dw

(158,724 lb dw)

Linked

36 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip

January 1, 2019

Western Gulf of Mexico

Hammerhead Sharks

11.9 mt dw

(26,301 lb dw)

Linked

36 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip

January 1, 2019

Eastern Gulf of Mexico

Blacktip Sharks

28.9 mt dw

(63,740 lb dw)**

Not Linked

36 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip. 

NMFS anticipates an inseason increase to 50 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip around April 1, 2019

January 1, 2019

Eastern Gulf of Mexico

Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

85.5 mt dw

(188,593 lb dw)

Linked

36 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip. 

NMFS anticipates an inseason increase to 50 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip around April 1, 2019

January 1, 2019

Eastern Gulf of Mexico

Hammerhead Sharks

13.4 mt dw

(29,421 lb dw)

Linked

36 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip. 

NMFS anticipates an inseason increase to 50 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip around April 1, 2019

January 1, 2019

Gulf of Mexico

Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks

112.6 mt dw

(248,215 lb dw)

Not Linked

N/A

January 1, 2019

Gulf of Mexico

Smoothhound Sharks

504.6 mt dw

(1,112,441 lb dw)**

Not Linked

N/A

January 1, 2019

Atlantic

Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

168.9 mt dw (372,552 lb dw)

Linked

25 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip.

If quota is landed too quickly (e.g. if approximately 20 percent of quota is caught at the beginning of the year), NMFS anticipates inseason reduction (e.g. to 3 or fewer large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip), then an inseason increase to 36 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip around July 15, 2019

January 1, 2019

 

 

Atlantic

Hammerhead Sharks

27.1 mt dw

(59,736 lb dw)

Linked

25 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip.

If quota is landed too quickly (e.g. if approximately 20 percent of quota is caught at the beginning of the year), NMFS anticipates inseason reduction (e.g. to 3 or fewer large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip), then an inseason increase to 36 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip around July 15, 2019

January 1, 2019

 

Atlantic

Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks

264.1 mt dw

(582,333 lb dw)

Linked

(South of 34° N. lat. only)

N/A

January 1, 2019

Atlantic

Blacknose Sharks

(South of 34° N. lat. only)

17.2 mt dw

(37,921 lb dw)

Linked

(South of 34° N. lat. only)

8 Blacknose sharks per vessel per trip (applies to directed and incidental permit holders)

January 1, 2019

Atlantic

Smoothhound Sharks

1,802.6 mt dw

(3,973,902 lb dw)**

Not Linked

N/A

January 1, 2019

No regional quotas

Non-Sandbar LCS Research

50.0 mt dw

(110,230 lb dw)

Linked

N/A

January 1, 2019

No regional quotas

Sandbar Shark Research

90.7 mt dw

(199,943 lb dw)

Linked

N/A

January 1, 2019

No regional quotas

Blue Sharks

273.0 mt dw

(601,856 lb dw)

Not Linked

N/A

January 1, 2019

No regional quotas

Porbeagle Sharks

1.7 mt dw

(3,748 lb dw)

Not Linked

N/A

January 1, 2019

No regional quotas

Pelagic Sharks Other Than Porbeagle or Blue

488.0 mt dw

(1,075,856 lb dw)

Not Linked

N/A

January 1, 2019

Submit Comments by October 11, 2018:

Written comments, identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2018-0097”, may be submitted electronically on the Federal eRulemaking Portal or sent by fax or mail to the contact information included below. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to regulations.gov without change. All Personal 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 to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

Copies of these 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)For more information contact Lauren Latchford at 301-427-8503.

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on September 10, 2018