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Final Rule for Amendment 11 Addresses Overfishing of Shortfin Mako Sharks
Thursday, February 21, 2019

Final Rule for Amendment 11 Addresses Overfishing of Shortfin Mako Sharks

The management measures from Amendment 11 to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan will become effective on March 3, 2019.

Amendment 11 implements management measures to address overfishing and rebuild the overfished North Atlantic shortfin mako shark stock. These measures are based on the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) stock assessment that determined that shortfin mako sharks are overfished and experiencing overfishing. Management measures also reflect ICCAT Recommendation 17-08.

This final rule was crafted after considering public comments on the proposed rule and Draft Environmental Impact Statement and incorporating updated data and information.

When do the final measures take effect?

The management measures implemented in the final rule for Amendment 11 become effective on March 3, 2019.

Who is affected?

Amendment 11 could affect:

Any commercial fishermen with HMS permits.
Any dealers who buy or sell sharks or shark products.
Any recreational fishermen who target or catch shortfin mako sharks.
Any tournaments that provide prize categories for shortfin mako or pelagic sharks.
What will it do?

This final rule implements separate size limits for male (71 inches FL) and female (83 inches FL) shortfin mako sharks under Alternative B2 as opposed to the single size limit of 83 inches FL (Alternative B3) that was preferred in the proposed rule and implemented in the emergency interim final rule. NMFS decided to change the preferred alternative due to public comment and updated data on the effects of the emergency interim final rule measure on estimated landings and directed effort for shortfin mako sharks in the recreational fishery. The minimum sizes in the final rule also directly match the measures in the ICCAT recommendation, which provided different minimum sizes for males and females.
*Change from proposed rule based on public comments and additional analyses.

This notice is a courtesy to Atlantic HMS fishery participants to help keep you informed about the fishery. Official notice of federal actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of Federal the Register.

For further information on this rule and environmental impact statement, contact Guý DuBeck or Karyl Brewster-Geisz at 301-427-8503. Copies of the final 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 (phone: 301-427-8503, fax: 301-713-1917).

The information will also be posted on the HMS website.

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