NOAA Increases Shark Retention Limits in the Gulf of Mexico

NOAA Fisheries increased the retention limits of large sharks in the Gulf of Mexico through the end of 2021. As of August 24th, fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico who operate under Shark Directed Limit Access Permits may retain up to 55 large coastal sharks per vessel per trip. Large coastal sharks (LCS) do not include sandbar sharks, but do include hammerhead and blacktips. This change increases retention from the previous limit of 45 LCS by an additional 10 per vessel per trip. In the Eastern Gulf of Mexico sub-region, this increase applies to sharks within the LCS, hammerhead, or blacktip management groups. This is in contrast to the Western Gulf of Mexico sub-region. There, the LCS and hammerhead management groups are closed, so the increase applies only to the blacktip group.

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