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NOAA Fisheries Requests That Fishermen Voluntarily Adopt Shortfin Mako Shark Measures
Thursday, January 18, 2018

NOAA Fisheries Requests That Fishermen Voluntarily Adopt Shortfin Mako Shark Measures


In 2017, a new shortfin mako stock assessment conducted by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas’ (ICCAT’s) Standing Committee on Research and Statistics found the North Atlantic shortfin mako stock to be overfished with overfishing occurring. As a result of this assessment, in November 2017, ICCAT adopted Recommendation 17-08 requiring new management measures for shortfin mako, which the United States must implement under the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act. For more details on the stock assessment and recommendation, please refer to the ICCAT website at http://www.iccat.int/.

NOAA Fisheries requests that Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) permit holders and tournaments voluntarily adopt the internationally recommended shortfin mako shark measures to decrease fishing mortality pending an upcoming emergency rulemaking. The assessment estimated shortfin mako catches would have to be significantly reduced to prevent further population declines. In 2018, ICCAT will review the catches from the first six months of 2018 and decide whether the measures contained in Recommendation 17-08 should be modified. Without the voluntary measures suggested here, in addition to any changes in an upcoming emergency rule, the reported U.S. catch data for the first half of 2018 would reflect catches under the existing management practices, and thus not reflect the true potential of the new measures at addressing overfishing. Any resulting action by ICCAT based on such incomplete information could disadvantage U.S. fishermen.

Who is affected?

Any commercial fisherman with HMS permits who interacts with shortfin mako sharks.
Any recreational fisherman who catches or targets shortfin mako sharks.
Any tournament that has a prize category for shortfin mako sharks.
Any dealer who buys or sells shortfin mako sharks or products.


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