Sarah LaRocca

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2016


The dusky shark, a prohibited species, is managed under the dual authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the Atlantic tuna Convention Act (Final Consolidated 2006). Stock assessments performed by the National Marine Fisheries Service indicate that since the 1990s, dusky shark populations are and continue to be over fished (Marshall et al., 2015). In order to reconcile the various estimates of dusky shark bycatch mortality within the commercial fishing sector, the 2015 SAFE Report, the first edition of U.S. National Bycatch Report, and the Southeast Fisheries Science Center's Pelagic Longline, Shark Bottom Longline, and Southeast Gillnet Observer Programs were evaluated. It was determined that despite the dusky shark's designation as a prohibition species in 2000, observer dat summary reports show that at least 408 of these animals were caught by pelagic longline vessels between the yeas of 2005-2011. Bottom longline observers aboard vessels participating in the Shark Research Fishery recorded 788 dusky shark interactions between the years of 2009-2014, and for the years of 2005-2012, 27 dusky sharks were observed in the southeast gillnet fishery. These numbers indicate that despite management measures focused on habitat effects, gear technology and deployment, and handling and release procedures, dusky shark populations continue to experience high fishing pressure.


Division: MES

MPS Track: MCO

Location: Environmental Defense Fund

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