Sharks on the east coast and Gulf of Mexico need your help!!
The public comment period for dusky sharks is due TODAY and COULD mean the REMOVAL OF PELAGIC LONGLINES from the Atlantic, Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico.
People often ask how they can get involved, well this is how! PLEASE send a comment in support of ALT-B10. The comment period ends tonight, but comments may still be accepted tomorrow.
For your convenience, Melissa Michaelson and Sarah Mucha have written sample text below. All you need to do is copy and paste it into an email and send it to:
Put on Subject Line: Amendment 5B (A5B) to the 2006 Consolidated HMS Fishery Management Plan
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing in reference to the comment period on Amendment 5B (A5B) to the 2006 Consolidated HMS Fishery Management Plan. My comment is as follows-
POTENTIAL RECREATIONAL MEASURES It is my opinion the closure of the Atlantic recreational shark fishery "ALT-A8" would have the most impact on helping reduce the number of incidental landings of Dusky sharks. If this measure is unattainable I feel the next appropriate measures would be to combine "ALT-A3" for public awareness on regulations and shark identification, "ALT-A4" prohibiting retention of all ridgeback sharks in the Atlantic Recreational Fishery, ALT-A5" extending end of existing shark closures from July 15th to July 31st would give added protection to nursery areas, along with "ALT-A7" allowing only catch and release of all Atlantic HMS managed sharks and retention of recreational caught sharks prohibited would all help meet the goal of reducing mortality and rebuilding populations of not just Dusky sharks but also other listed species
POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL MEASURES Over all "ALT-B10 removal of all pelagic longlines as authorized gear for Commercial Atlantic shark permit holders or "ALT-B5" closure of the hot spots would have the greatest results of impact towards reducing the mortality of Dusky sharks along with multiple listed HMS of sharks and other marine life. This would help maintain at or below levels of mortality that in turn would work towards the result in a 70% rebuilding in the time frame recommended of a 100 years by assessment. Along with "ALT-B9" extending end of existing shark closure from July 15th to July 30th to further protect nursery grounds.
Due to the slow growth rate of dusky sharks ( late maturation, their 3 year reproductive cycle, and small litter sizes of 3-12 pups) they fall under the characteristics resulting in a low intrinsic rate of population increase. The implementation of these alternative stringent regulatory measures should be required to recover the collapsed populations of Dusky sharks.