50 CFR 635.24 - Commercial retention limits for sharks and swordfish.

§ 635.24 Commercial retention limits for sharks and swordfish. Link to an amendment published at 77 FR 59851, Oct. 1, 2012.
The retention limits in this section are subject to the quotas and closure provisions in §§ 635.27 and 635.28, and the gear operation and deployment restrictions in § 635.21.
(a) Sharks.
(1) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a valid shark research permit under § 635.32(f) and who has a NMFS-approved observer on board may retain, possess, or land LCS, including sandbar sharks, in excess of the retention limits in paragraphs (a)(2) through (6) of this section. The amount of LCS that can be landed by such a person will vary as specified on the shark research permit. Only a person who owns or operates a vessel issued a valid shark research permit with a NMFS-approved observer on board may retain, possess, or land sandbar sharks.
(2) From July 24, 2008 through December 31, 2012, a person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a directed LAP for sharks and does not have a valid shark research permit, or a person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a directed LAP for sharks and that has been issued a valid shark research permit but does not have a NMFS-approved observer on board, may retain, possess, or land no more than 33 non-sandbar LCS per vessel per trip if the fishery is open per §§ 635.27 and 635.28. Such persons may not retain, possess, or land sandbar sharks. As of January 1, 2013, a person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a directed LAP for sharks and does not have a valid shark research permit, or a person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a directed LAP for sharks and that has been issued a shark research permit but does not have a NMFS-approved observer on board, may retain, possess, or land no more than 36 non-sandbar LCS per vessel per trip if the fishery is open per § 635.27 and § 635.28. Such persons may not retain, possess, or land sandbar sharks.
(3) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued an incidental LAP for sharks and does not have a valid shark research permit, or a person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued an incidental LAP for sharks and that has been issued a valid shark research permit but does not have a NMFS-approved observer on board, may retain, possess, or land no more than 3 non-sandbar LCS per vessel per trip if the fishery is open per § 635.27 and § 635.28. Such persons may not retain, possess, or land sandbar sharks.
(4)
(i) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a directed shark LAP may retain, possess, or land pelagic sharks if the pelagic shark fishery is open per §§ 635.27 and 635.28.
(ii) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a directed shark LAP may retain, possess, or land blacknose and non-blacknose SCS if the blacknose and non-blacknose SCS fisheries are open per §§ 635.27 and 635.28.
(iii) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued an incidental shark LAP may retain, possess, or land no more than 16 SCS and pelagic sharks, combined, per trip, if the respective fishery is open per §§ 635.27 and 635.28.
(5) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a Federal Atlantic commercial shark permit may not retain, possess, land, sell, or purchase prohibited sharks, including any parts or pieces of prohibited sharks, which are listed in section D of Table 1 of Appendix A to this part under prohibited sharks.
(6) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a Federal Atlantic commercial shark permit, and who decides to retain sharks, must retain, subject to the trip limits, all dead, legal-sized, non-prohibited sharks that are brought onboard the vessel and cannot replace those sharks with sharks of higher quality or size that are caught later in the trip. Any fish that are to be released cannot be brought onboard the vessel and must be released in the water in a manner that maximizes survival.
(7) Only persons who own or operate a vessel that has been issued a Federal commercial smoothhound permit may retain, possess, and land smoothhound sharks if the smoothhound fishery is open per §§ 635.27 and 635.28.
(8) Inseason trip limit adjustment criteria. NMFS will file with the Office of the Federal Register for publication notification of any inseason adjustments to trip limits. Before making any adjustment, NMFS will consider the following criteria and other relevant factors:
(i) The amount of remaining shark quota in the relevant area or region, to date, based on dealer reports;
(ii) The catch rates of the relevant shark species/complexes, to date, based on dealer reports;
(iii) Estimated date of fishery closure based on when the landings are projected to reach 80 percent of the quota given the realized catch rates;
(iv) Effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments;
(v) Variations in seasonal distribution, abundance, or migratory patterns of the relevant shark species based on scientific and fishery-based knowledge; and/or
(vi) Effects of catch rates in one part of a region precluding vessels in another part of that region from having a reasonable opportunity to harvest a portion of the relevant quota.
(9) Notwithstanding other provisions in this subsection, possession, retention, transshipment, landing, sale, or storage of oceanic whitetip sharks and scalloped, smooth, and great hammerhead sharks is prohibited on vessels issued a permit under this part that have PLL gear on board.
(b) Swordfish.
(1) Persons aboard a vessel that has been issued an incidental LAP for swordfish may retain, possess, land, or sell no more than 30 swordfish per trip in or from the Atlantic Ocean north of 5° N. lat.
(2) Persons aboard a vessel in the squid trawl fishery that has been issued an Incidental HMS squid trawl permit may retain, possess, land, or sell no more than 15 swordfish per trip in or from the Atlantic Ocean north of 5° N. lat. A vessel is considered to be in the squid trawl fishery when it has no commercial fishing gear other than trawls on board and when squid constitute not less than 75 percent by weight of the total fish on board or offloaded from the vessel.
[64 FR 29135, May 28, 1999, as amended at 71 FR 58169, Oct. 2, 2006; 72 FR 31709, June 7, 2007; 73 FR 40709, July 15, 2008; 75 FR 30526, June 1, 2010; 75 FR 76314, Dec. 8, 2010; 76 FR 49380, Aug. 10, 2011; 76 FR 53658, Aug. 29, 2011]
Effective Date Note:
1. At 75 FR 30526, June 1, 2010, § 635.24 was amended by adding paragraph (a)(7). This paragraph contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.
2. At 77 FR 59851, Oct. 1, 2012, § 635.24 was amended by revising the section heading and adding paragraphs (a)(4)(iv), (b)(3), and (c), effective Jan. 2, 2013. For the convenience of the user, the added and revised text forth as follows:
§ 635.24 Commercial retention limits for sharks, swordfish, and BAYS tunas.
(a) * * *
(4) * * *
(iv) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued an HMS Commercial Caribbean Small Boat permit may retain, possess, or land any LCS, SCS or pelagic sharks only when the HMS Commercial Caribbean Small Boat permit trip limit is set above zero. The current shark trip limit for HMS Commercial Caribbean Small Boat permit holders is set at zero.
(b) * * *
(3) Persons aboard a vessel that has been issued an HMS Commercial Caribbean Small Boat vessel permit may retain, possess, land, or sell no more than 2 swordfish per trip in or from the Atlantic Ocean north of 5° N. lat.
(c) BAYS tunas. Persons aboard a vessel that has been issued an HMS Commercial Caribbean Small Boat permit under § 635.4 may retain, possess, land, or sell no more than 10 BAYS tunas per vessel per trip.
Beta! The text on the eCFR tab represents the unofficial eCFR text at ecfr.gov.
§ 635.24 Commercial retention limits for sharks, swordfish, and BAYS tunas.

The retention limits in this section are subject to the quotas and closure provisions in §§ 635.27 and 635.28, and the gear operation and deployment restrictions in § 635.21.

(a) Sharks.

(1) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a valid shark research permit under § 635.32(f) and who has a NMFS-approved observer on board may retain, possess, or land LCS, including sandbar sharks, in excess of the retention limits in paragraphs (a)(2) through (6) of this section. The amount of LCS that can be landed by such a person will vary as specified on the shark research permit. Only a person who owns or operates a vessel issued a valid shark research permit with a NMFS-approved observer on board may retain, possess, or land sandbar sharks.

(2) Except as noted in paragraphs (a)(4)(iv) through (vi) of this section, the commercial retention limit for LCS other than sandbar sharks for a person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a directed LAP for sharks and does not have a valid shark research permit, or a person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a directed LAP for sharks and that has been issued a shark research permit but does not have a NMFS-approved observer on board, may range between zero and 55 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip if the respective LCS management group(s) is open per §§ 635.27 and 635.28. Such persons may not retain, possess, or land sandbar sharks. At the start of each fishing year, the default commercial retention limit is 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip unless NMFS determines otherwise and files with the Office of the Federal Register for publication notification of an inseason adjustment. During the fishing year, NMFS may adjust the retention limit per the inseason trip limit adjustment criteria listed in § 635.24(a)(8).

(3) Except as noted in paragraphs (a)(4)(iv) through (vi) of this section, a person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued an incidental LAP for sharks and does not have a valid shark research permit, or a person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued an incidental LAP for sharks and that has been issued a valid shark research permit but does not have a NMFS-approved observer on board, may retain, possess, or land no more than 3 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip if the respective LCS management group(s) is open per §§ 635.27 and 635.28. Such persons may not retain, possess, or land sandbar sharks.

(4)

(i) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a directed shark LAP may retain, possess, or land pelagic sharks if the pelagic shark fishery is open per §§ 635.27 and 635.28.

(ii) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a shark LAP and is operating south of 34°00′ N. lat. in the Atlantic region, as defined at § 635.27(b)(1), may retain, possess, land, or sell blacknose and non-blacknose SCS if the respective blacknose and non-blacknose SCS management groups are open per §§ 635.27 and 635.28. A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a shark LAP and is operating north of 34°00′ N. lat. in the Atlantic region, as defined at § 635.27(b)(1), or a person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a shark LAP and is operating in the Gulf of Mexico region, as defined at § 635.27(b)(1), may not retain, possess, land, or sell any blacknose sharks, but may retain, possess, land, or sell non-blacknose SCS if the respective non-blacknose SCS management group is open per §§ 635.27 and 635.28.

(iii) Consistent with paragraph (a)(4)(ii) of this section, a person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued an incidental shark LAP may retain, possess, or land no more than 16 SCS and pelagic sharks, combined, per trip, if the respective fishery is open per §§ 635.27 and 635.28.

(iv) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued an HMS Commercial Caribbean Small Boat permit may retain, possess, or land any LCS, SCS or pelagic sharks only when the HMS Commercial Caribbean Small Boat permit trip limit is set above zero. The current shark trip limit for HMS Commercial Caribbean Small Boat permit holders is set at zero.

(5) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a Federal Atlantic commercial shark permit may not retain, possess, land, sell, or purchase prohibited sharks, including any parts or pieces of prohibited sharks, which are listed in section D of Table 1 of Appendix A to this part under prohibited sharks.

(6) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a Federal Atlantic commercial shark permit, and who decides to retain sharks, must retain, subject to the trip limits, all dead, legal-sized, non-prohibited sharks that are brought onboard the vessel and cannot replace those sharks with sharks of higher quality or size that are caught later in the trip. Any fish that are to be released cannot be brought onboard the vessel and must be released in the water in a manner that maximizes survival.

(7) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a Federal commercial smoothhound permit may retain, possess, and land smoothhound sharks if the smoothhound fishery is open in accordance with §§ 635.27 and 635.28. Persons aboard a vessel in a trawl fishery that has been issued a Federal commercial smoothhound permit and are in compliance with all other applicable regulations, may retain, possess, land, or sell incidentally-caught smoothhound sharks, but only up to an amount that does not exceed 25 percent, by weight, of the total catch on board and/or offloaded from the vessel. A vessel is in a trawl fishery when it has no commercial fishing gear other than trawls on board and when smoothhound sharks constitute no more than 25 percent by weight of the total catch on board or offloaded from the vessel.

(8) Inseason trip limit adjustment criteria. NMFS will file with the Office of the Federal Register for publication notification of any inseason adjustments to trip limits by region or sub-region. Before making any adjustment, NMFS will consider the following criteria and other relevant factors:

(i) The amount of remaining shark quota in the relevant area, region, or sub-region, to date, based on dealer reports;

(ii) The catch rates of the relevant shark species/complexes in the region or sub-region, to date, based on dealer reports;

(iii) Estimated date of fishery closure based on when the landings are projected to reach 80 percent of the quota given the realized catch rates;

(iv) Effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments;

(v) Variations in seasonal distribution, abundance, or migratory patterns of the relevant shark species based on scientific and fishery-based knowledge; and/or

(vi) Effects of catch rates in one part of a region or sub-region precluding vessels in another part of that region or sub-region from having a reasonable opportunity to harvest a portion of the relevant quota.

(9) Notwithstanding other provisions in this subsection, possession, retention, transshipment, landing, sale, or storage of silky sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks, and scalloped, smooth, and great hammerhead sharks is prohibited on vessels issued a permit under this part that have pelagic longline gear on board or on vessels issued both an HMS Charter/Headboat permit and a commercial shark permit when tuna, swordfish or billfish are on board the vessel, offloaded from the vessel, or being offloaded from the vessel.

(b) Swordfish.

(1) Persons aboard a vessel that has been issued an incidental LAP for swordfish may retain, possess, land, or sell no more than 30 swordfish per trip in or from the Atlantic Ocean north of 5° N. lat.

(2) Persons aboard a vessel in the squid trawl fishery that has been issued an Incidental HMS squid trawl permit may retain, possess, land, or sell no more than 15 swordfish per trip in or from the Atlantic Ocean north of 5° N. lat. A vessel is considered to be in the squid trawl fishery when it has no commercial fishing gear other than trawls on board and when squid constitute not less than 75 percent by weight of the total fish on board or offloaded from the vessel.

(3) Persons aboard a vessel that has been issued an HMS Commercial Caribbean Small Boat vessel permit may retain, possess, land, or sell no more than 2 swordfish per trip in or from the Atlantic Ocean north of 5° N. lat.

(4) Persons aboard a vessel that has been issued a Swordfish General Commercial permit or an HMS Charter/Headboat permit (and only when on a non for-hire trip) are subject to the regional swordfish retention limits specified at paragraph (b)(4)(iii), which may be adjusted during the fishing year based upon the inseason regional retention limit adjustment criteria identified in paragraph (b)(4)(iv) below.

(i) Regions. Regional retention limits for swordfish apply in four regions. For purposes of this section, these regions are: the Florida Swordfish Management Area as defined in § 635.2; the Northwest Atlantic region (federal waters along the entire Atlantic coast of the United States north of 28°17′10″ N. latitude); the Gulf of Mexico region (any water located in the EEZ in the entire Gulf of Mexico west of 82° W. longitude); and the Caribbean region (the U.S. territorial waters within the Caribbean as defined in § 622.2 of this chapter).

(ii) Possession, retention, and landing restrictions. Vessels that have been issued a Swordfish General Commercial permit or an HMS Charter/Headboat permit (and only when on a non for-hire trip), as a condition of these permits, may not possess, retain, or land any more swordfish than is specified for the region in which the vessel is located.

(iii) Regional retention limits. The swordfish regional retention limits for each region will range between zero to six swordfish per vessel per trip. At the start of each fishing year, the default regional retention limits will apply. During the fishing year, NMFS may adjust the default retention limits per the inseason regional retention limit adjustment criteria listed in § 635.24(b)(4)(iv), if necessary. The default retention limits for the regions set forth under paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section are:

(A) Zero swordfish per vessel per trip for the Florida Swordfish Management Area.

(B) Two swordfish per vessel per trip for the Caribbean region.

(C) Three swordfish per vessel per trip for the Northwest Atlantic region.

(D) Three swordfish per vessel per trip for the Gulf of Mexico region.

(iv) Inseason regional retention limit adjustment criteria. NMFS will file with the Office of the Federal Register for publication notification of any inseason adjustments to the regional retention limits. Before making any inseason adjustments to regional retention limits, NMFS will consider the following criteria and other relevant factors:

(A) The usefulness of information obtained from biological sampling and monitoring of the North Atlantic swordfish stock;

(B) The estimated ability of vessels participating in the fishery to land the amount of swordfish quota available before the end of the fishing year;

(C) The estimated amounts by which quotas for other categories of the fishery might be exceeded;

(D) Effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of the fishery management plan and its amendments;

(E) Variations in seasonal distribution, abundance, or migration patterns of swordfish;

(F) Effects of catch rates in one region precluding vessels in another region from having a reasonable opportunity to harvest a portion of the overall swordfish quota; and

(G) Review of dealer reports, landing trends, and the availability of swordfish on the fishing grounds.

(c) BAYS tunas. Persons aboard a vessel that has been issued an HMS Commercial Caribbean Small Boat permit under § 635.4 may retain, possess, land, or sell no more than 10 BAYS tunas per vessel per trip.

[64 FR 29135, May 28, 1999, as amended at 71 FR 58169, Oct. 2, 2006; 72 FR 31709, June 7, 2007; 73 FR 40709, July 15, 2008; 75 FR 30526, June 1, 2010; 75 FR 76314, Dec. 8, 2010; 76 FR 49380, Aug. 10, 2011; 76 FR 53658, Aug. 29, 2011; 77 FR 60637, Oct. 4, 2012; 77 FR 59581, Oct. 1, 2012; 78 FR 40346, July 3, 2013l 78 FR 52030, Aug. 21, 2013; 80 FR 50098, Aug. 18, 2015; 80 FR 73145, Nov. 24, 2015]

Title 50 published on 2015-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 50 CFR Part 635 after this date.

  • 2015-12-02; vol. 80 # 231 - Wednesday, December 2, 2015
    1. 80 FR 75436 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico Region
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
      Temporary rule; closure.
      The commercial fishery for non-blacknose SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region is closed effective 11:30 p.m. local time December 5, 2015, until the end of the 2015 fishing season on December 31, 2015, and will reopen on January 1, 2016.
      50 CFR Part 635