Tuesday, April 16, 2024

US Government Prohibits Retention, Possession Of Whitetip and Hammerhead Sharks In Atlantic Ocean


The US government has announced it is prohibiting the retention and possession of whitetip and hammerhead sharks in US waters off the Atlantic Ocean.

According to a final rule published by the US National Marine Fisheries Service on January 3rd:

“In this final rule, NMFS is prohibiting the retention and possession of oceanic whitetip sharks (Carcharhinus longimanus) in U.S. waters of the Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, and hammerhead sharks (great (Sphyrna mokarran), smooth (S. zygaena), and scalloped (S. lewini) hammerhead sharks) in U.S. waters of the Caribbean Sea.

“This action is responsive to two Biological Opinions (BiOps) for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS): one for the pelagic longline (PLL) fishery and one for the non-PLL fisheries. The BiOps strongly encouraged the inclusion of the scalloped hammerhead shark Central and Southwest Atlantic Distinct Population Segment (DPS) and the oceanic whitetip shark on the list of prohibited sharks for recreational and/or commercial HMS fisheries.”

The new rule “will reduce mortality of oceanic whitetip sharks and promote the conservation and recovery of this threatened species,” the notice states.

The final rule is effective February 2nd, 2024.

Check out the full text of the rule here.

John Liang
John Lianghttps://www.deeperblue.com/
John Liang is the News Editor at DeeperBlue.com. He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.