NOAA’s Fisheries Service, in response to a petition submitted by the WildEarth Guardians and Friends of Animals is proposing to list four populations of scalloped hammerhead sharks under the Endangered Species Act, two as threatened and two as endangered. U.S. fisheries are not likely to be impacted by the proposed listings, because current regulatory mechanisms in the United States are sufficient for us to find that listing the Northwest Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico and Central Pacific Distinct Population Segments under the ESA are not warranted.
This is a proposed rule and we are seeking public comments. A 60-day public comment period will begin upon publication of this proposal in the Federal Register. We will consider public comments before making a final listing decision, which is expected in February 2014. For more information, please see the attached press release and filed version of the proposed rule or go to the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources webpage at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/