Final Rule for the 2019 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Year

November 26, 2018

NOAA Fisheries announces a final rule that would establish quota levels, opening dates, and retention limits for the 2019 Atlantic commercial shark fisheries.

Atlantic Sharpnose

The 2019 quotas, adjusted as appropriate to account for over- and underharvests, are summarized below and organized by management group. Adjustments based on over- and underharvests depend on stock status. The final rule uses landings data received as of October 15, 2018. All dealer reports that are received after the date of the final rule will be used to adjust the 2020 quotas, as appropriate. 

Who is affected?

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.

What will it do?

The final 2019 adjusted quotas, retention limits, and opening dates are:

Region or Sub-region

Management Group

2019

Final Adjusted Quota*

Quota Linkages

Commercial Retention Limits for Directed Shark Limited Access Permit Holders

(in-season adjustments are possible)

Season Opening

Dates

Western

Gulf of Mexico

Blacktip Sharks

255.8 metric ton (mt) dressed weight (dw)

(563,799 lb dw)**

Not Linked

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

January 1, 2019

Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

72.0 mt dw

(158,724 lb dw)

Linked

 

 

Hammerhead Sharks

11.9 mt dw

(26,301 lb dw)

 

 

 

Eastern

Gulf of Mexico

Blacktip Sharks

27.7 mt dw

(61,256 lb dw)**

Not Linked

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

January 1, 2019

Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

85.5 mt dw

(188,593 lb dw)

Linked

 

 

Hammerhead Sharks

13.4 mt dw

(29,421 lb dw)

 

 

 

Gulf of Mexico

Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks

112.6 mt dw

(248,215 lb dw)

Not Linked

N/A

January 1, 2019

Smoothhound Sharks

504.6 mt dw

(1,112,441 lb dw)**

Not Linked

N/A

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 considering an inseason reduction (e.g. to 3 or fewer large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip), and later considering an  inseason increase (e.g., to 36 large coastal sharks other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip) around July 15, 2019

January 1, 2019

 

Hammerhead Sharks

27.1 mt dw

(59,736  lb dw)

 

 

 

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

Blacknose Sharks

(South of 34° N. lat. only)

17.2 mt dw

(37,921 lb dw)

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

 

 

 

Smoothhound Sharks

1,802.6 mt dw

(3,973,902 lb dw)**

Not Linked

N/A

No

regional

quotas

Non-Sandbar LCS Research

50.0 mt dw

(110,230 lb dw)

Linked

N/A

January 1, 2019

Sandbar Shark Research

90.7 mt dw

(199,943 lb dw)

 

 

 

Blue Sharks

273.0 mt dw

(601,856 lb dw)

Not Linked

N/A

Porbeagle Sharks

1.7 mt dw

(3,748 lb dw)

 

 

 

Pelagic Sharks Other Than Porbeagle or Blue

488.0 mt dw

(1,075,856 lb dw)

 

 

 

*1 mt dw = 2,204.6 lb dw

**Baseline quota adjusted based on over- or underharvest in 2018.

 

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on November 26, 2018