[acn-l] WAIS Document Retrieval

Bob Jenkins (bjenkins at calacademy.org)
Wed, 12 Apr 2000 14:14:23 -0700



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[I.D. 112399D]

Fisheries Off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific;
Petition for Rulemaking on the Prohibition of Shark Finning and Related

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of receipt of petition for rulemaking; request for


SUMMARY: NMFS announces receipt of, and requests public comment on, a
petition for rulemaking. The Western Pacific Fisheries Coalition
(Petitioner), consisting of the Hawaii Fishermen's Foundation and
Hawaii Audubon Society, has petitioned the Secretary of Commerce
(Secretary) to prohibit shark finning (i.e., removal of only the fins
and returning the remainder of the shark to the sea), and implement
measures to require full utilization of sharks harvested in fisheries
conducted under the Fishery Management Plan for the Pelagic Fisheries
of the Western Pacific Region (FMP).

DATES: Comments on the petition must be received by NMFS no later than
May 12, 2000.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to, and copies of the
petition are available from, Dr. Charles Karnella, Administrator,
Pacific Islands Area Office, NMFS, 1601 Kapiolani Blvd., Rm 110,
Honolulu, HI 96814. Please mark the outside of the envelope ``Shark
Petition.'' Comments also may be sent via facsimile (fax) to 808-973-
2941. Comments submitted via e-mail or Internet will not be accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alvin Katekaru, 808-973-2935 ext. 207,
fax 808-973-2941, e-mail alvin.katekaru at noaa.gov

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The fishery affected by this petition for
rulemaking is primarily the Hawaii-based longline fishery, which is
managed according to the FMP developed by the Western Pacific Regional
Fishery Management Council (Council). The Secretary has management
authority, under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and
Management Act, over the shark resources in the U.S. Exclusive Economic
Zone of the western Pacific region.
The purpose of the petition is to facilitate maximum utilization of
sharks harvested in the western Pacific, particularly in the Hawaii
longline fishery. The Petitioner maintains that the continued
unrestricted practice of shark finning in the fishery is wasteful and
could lead to overexploitation of certain vulnerable shark species that
are managed under the FMP. A prohibition on shark finning would be
consistent with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's
International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of
The Petitioner requests the Secretary to amend the FMP and to
promulgate regulations for the western Pacific region that would govern
the possession at-sea and landing of sharks, as well as implement
restrictions on the sale/purchase of sharks, similar to those contained
in the regulations implementing the Fishery Management Plan for
Atlantic Tunas, Swordfish, and Sharks (50 CFR 635.30(c); 64 FR 29090,
May 28, 1999). Such regulations would be precautionary and would likely
reduce the harvest of Pacific shark stocks, including the relatively
abundant blue shark.
NMFS requests comments on the petition for rulemaking. NMFS
recognizes that shark fin transshipments and importation of processed
shark fins into the United States are closely related to the
conservation and management issues raised in this petition. In addition
to comments on the petition for rulemaking, NMFS requests public
comment addressing the practice of shark finning as it relates to
transshipments and importation of processed fins. NMFS will consider
this information in determining whether to proceed with the development
of regulations requested by the Petitioner.

Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Dated: April 7, 2000.
Andrew A. Rosenberg,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries
[FR Doc. <strong>00</strong>-<strong>9071</strong> <strong>Filed</strong> 4-7-<strong>00</strong>; 3:54 pm]



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