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Reminder: New Requirements for Recreational and Commercial Shark Fishing Take Effect on January 1, 2018

December 18, 2017

NOAA Fisheries reminds highly migratory species vessels that the remaining new recreational and commercial measures implementing Amendment 5b to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic HMS Fishery Management Plan become effective January 1, 2018.


Amendment 5b implemented a range of management measures to end overfishing and rebuild overfished dusky sharks. Other measures for Amendment 5b became effective June 5, 2017. For more details on all of these measures, and to view the associated outreach materials, please refer to the Amendment 5b web page.  

Who is affected?

Amendment 5b could affect:

  • Any commercial fishermen with HMS permits.

  • Any recreational fishermen who catch sharks of any species.

What happens on January 1st?

The following measures will go into effect: 

Recreational Measures

Permit Requirements and Outreach

Require HMS permit holders fishing for sharks recreationally to obtain a shark endorsement, which requires completion of an online shark identification and fishing regulation training course, plus additional recreational fisheries outreach. More information is available through the HMS Permits Shop.

Circle Hook Requirement

Require the use of non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks by all HMS permit holders with a shark endorsement when fishing for sharks recreationally south of 41° 43’ N latitude (near Chatham, Massachusetts - the northern extent of the dusky shark’s U.S. Atlantic range), except when fishing with flies or artificial lures.

Commercial Measures 

Circle Hook Requirement

Require the use of circle hooks by all HMS directed shark permit holders using bottom longline.

This notice is a courtesy to permit holders to help keep you informed about Atlantic shark fisheries. For further information, contact the HMS Management Division at (301) 427-8503, or visit the Atlantic HMS web page

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on July 30, 2018