1999 Management Resolutions

SAWFISHES
R E S O L U T I O N
June 1999

"Resolution to list two species of sawfishes, Pristis pectinata and Pristis perotteti on the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973"

Whereas, the smalltooth (Pristis pectinata) and largetooth sawfishes (Pristis perotteti) are highly vulnerable to incidental capture in entangling fishing gear in coastal waters;

Whereas a recent analysis of the demography of two sawfish species indicate, that sawfish have a very low biological potential for population growth;

Whereas, these sawfishes are vulnerable to habitat disturbances in coastal regions due to their almost exclusive distribution in freshwater and estuaries;

Whereas, there is no federal management for sawfish populations in U.S. waters;

Whereas, early accounts from coastal waters of the Southeast U.S. suggest that sawfish were once abundant in the region;

Whereas, the U.S. proposal to prohibit the international trade of all species of sawfishes was considered at the 1Oth Conference of Parties to CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species;

Whereas, the IUCN Shark Specialist Group has listed the smalltooth sawfish as Endangered globally and Critically Endangered in the Northwest Atlantic, and the largetooth sawfish as Critically Endangered globally, on the World Conservation Union's (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Animals;

Whereas, the NMFS has placed these sawfishes on the U.S. Endangered Species Act Candidate Species List;

Therefore, be it resolved that the membership of the American Elasmobranch Society requests the NMFS to begin a review as soon as possible of the status of the smalltooth (Pristis pectinata) and largetooth (Pristis perotteti) sawfishes to evaluate their listing as Threatened or Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Adopted, June 26, 1999.

SPINY DOGFISH
R E S O L U T I O N
June 1999

"Resolution for the Implementation of a spiny dogfish Squalus acanthias Management Plan in the US western North Atlantic"

Whereas, scientists (from the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Spiny Team and the Scientific and Statistical Committees of the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils) have determined that North West Atlantic spiny dogfish regulations are urgently needed in order to halt serious overfishing and rebuild the spawning stock biomass within the legal time limit of ten years;

Whereas, the National Marine Fisheries Service has yet to publish the spiny dogfish Fishery Management Plan (FW) more than three months after its submission by the Councils;

Whereas, the FMP's rebuilding plan is based on implementation in May of 1999,

Whereas, National Marine Fisheries Service denied the Mid-Atlantic Council's request for interim action to protect the stock during peak summer fishing;

Whereas the female segment of the population is depleted and recruitment overfishing has been occurring;

Whereas, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission recently voted unanimously to begin development of coast-wide spiny dogfish regulations based on the Federal FMP;

Therefore be it resolved, that the American Elasmobranch Society calls upon the National Marine Fisheries Service to publish and expeditiously review the spiny dogfish FMP and to implement final regulations, based on the scientifically-derived spawning stock biomass (SSB) rebuilding target of 200,000 mt (rather than the Councils' target of 180,000 mt) no later than November 1, 1999.

Adopted June 26, 1999.

PROHIBITION OF FINNING IN WESTERN PACIFIC
R E S O L U T I O N
June 1999

"Resolution on finning of sharks in the U.S.

Whereas, finning is the practice of removing the fins from a shark and throwing the rest of the shark back into the water;

Whereas, tens of thousands of blue sharks are subject to finning each year in the US Pacific;

Whereas, pelagic sharks are not subject to effective management in the Western Pacific Management Council region;

Whereas, the National Marine Fisheries Service has stated that finning of sharks is wasteful and contrary to US fisheries policy;

Whereas, a finning ban would be consistent with other State, Federal and international fishing policies

Whereas, the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council and the State of Hawaii recently failed to take action to end or to control finning, despite widespread concern from fishermen, the public, scientists, conservationists, and the National Marine Fisheries Service;

Therefore, be it resolved that the American Elasmobranch Society urges the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, the State of Hawaii, and the National Marine Fisheries Service to immediately end the practice of finning in US Western Pacific waters.

Adopted June 26, 1999.