Outdoors

MDMR officials oppose proposed changes to NOAA shark regulations

A 390 pound tiger shark caught by David Rogers sits on ice during the second day of the Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo on Saturday, July 2, 2016, in Gulfport. The shark beat the state record and is a contender for the $20,000 prize.
A 390 pound tiger shark caught by David Rogers sits on ice during the second day of the Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo on Saturday, July 2, 2016, in Gulfport. The shark beat the state record and is a contender for the $20,000 prize. amccoy@sunherald.com

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources oppose proposals by NOAA Fisheries that would increase shark regulations for recreational and commercial fishermen.

NOAA proposes recreational and commercial fishermen required to complete an online shark identification and fishing regulation training course and use circle hooks when fishing for or landing sharks.

DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller recently sent a letter to the National Marine Fisheries Service. Miller believes the NOAA’s plan would “place punitive regulations on shark species that assessments have indicated healthy stocks which impact both recreational and commercial sectors.”

The NOAA Fisheries states: “these measures are based on recent assessments that determined dusky sharks are overfished and experiencing overfishing.”

Miller and the Office of Marine Fisheries agree with the Dusky Shark’s evaluation, but feels the NOAA’s proposals go much further.

“This proposed amendment impacts other species of sharks in which assessments indicate the stocks to be healthy,” Miller said. “Managing all shark species as a single unit could have undesirable consequences for both recreational and commercial fishermen and stock health.”

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones

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