The National Marine Fisheries Service is considering the inclusion of Gulf of Mexico blacktip sharks in an amendment to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan that is currently under development. This amendment process began in October 2011 to address the results of recent stock assessments for scalloped hammerhead, dusky, sandbar, and blacknose sharks. A new stock assessment is ongoing for Gulf of Mexico blacktip sharks, and is expected to be complete and available before the amendment process is completed. Therefore, we are considering including Gulf of Mexico blacktip sharks in the amendment to ensure any changes in the shark fisheries as a result of recent stock assessments are considered at the same time for public clarity and for administrative efficiency.
Agency Contact: Karyl Brewster-Geisz or Peter Cooper at (301) 427-8503, or online at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/ or http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/sedar/Index.jsp.
This is a proposed regulation. Comments were due on June 21, 2012.