Does NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service monitor sharks?


Sharks are fished for food, fins and for sport.  NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) manages the commercial and recreational shark fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean, including the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. In the Pacific Ocean, NOAA’s Fisheries Service works with regional fishery management councils and is developing shark management measures.

NOAA’s NMFS scientists conduct extensive research on shark biology, life history and distribution to improve shark conservation and management. The agency is mandated by Congress under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to conduct stock assessments, monitor shark species abundance, and implement fishery regulations that maximize the benefits of sharks as a resource for humans, while ensuring that shark populations are not depleted.

The United States began regulating shark fisheries in 1993, which have been regulated under a catch limit and quota system ever since.

Humans are one of only a few species (besides killer whales and other sharks ) that prey on sharks, killing more than a hundred million per year. Strong domestic and international fishing regulations help ensure that sharks will thrive in the ocean for millions of years to come.

This month’s expert: Monica Allen, NOAA Communications and External Affairs.

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