1998 Management Resolutions

DUSKY SHARK
R E S O L U T I O N
June 1998

Whereas the dusky shark, Carcharhinus obscurus, was once an abundant large coastal shark along the Atlantic coast of the U.S., and,

Whereas the dusky shark has been reduced in abundance due to overfishing and is now uncommon in many parts of its range, and

Whereas some scientific assessments suggest the Atlantic coast population has declined by 80%, and

Whereas the dusky shark has the slowest growth rate, the latest age of maturity, and one of the lowest fecundity rates among all large coastal sharks, and

Whereas the dusky shark continues to be harvested by directed shark fisheries, and

Whereas there was a strong consensus and recommendation from scientific shark experts charged with evaluating life history vulnerability at the recent National Marine Fisheries Service Shark Evaluation Workshop in June, 1998, in Panama City, Florida to add dusky sharks to the prohibited species list under the FMP,

Therefore, be it resolved that the American Elasmobranch Society strongly urges the National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Highly Migratory Species to add dusky sharks to the list of species prohibited under the Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic sharks.

Adopted June, 1998.

SMALLTOOTH & LARGETOOTH SAWFISH
R E S O L U T I O N
June 1998

Whereas the smalltooth sawfish, Pristis pectinata, and the largetooth sawfish, Pristis perotteti, were once widespread and common members of coastal and estuarine ecosystems along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the US, and

Whereas these sawfishes are extremely vulnerable to excess mortality because they are slow-growing, late-maturing, and have low fecundity rates, and

Whereas these sawfishes occupy estuarine habitats that have undergone extensive destruction along the southeastern United States, and

Whereas populations of these species have been severely reduced so that they are rare or absent from their former range, and

Whereas the perilous condition of sawfish populations world-wide prompted the United States to support a resolution before the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to list sawfishes under Appendix I (restriction of all trade), and

Whereas the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) formerly listed these species on the Candidate List of Protected Species, and

Whereas the NMFS removed these species from the List with no justification,

Therefore, be it resolved that the American Elasmobranch Society strongly urges the National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Protected Resources to restore these sawfishes to the Candidate List, and further urges that the NMFS undertake a review of the status of these species relative to their inclusion on the US Endangered Species List.

Adopted June, 1998.