Last year while I was the HMS proxy for Captain Bob Bogan at the Silver Springs, MD - HMS meeting, an extremely prolonged discussion was on rebuilding the SHORTFIN MAKO minimum retention size brought about some debate on "what would work" and of course how impractical it may be for the for-hire(charter) and private vessel fishermen to go about measuring and recognizing the sex difference of this species.
The short story is in this release:
83 inches (fork length) for female sharks
Identification of the male shark is clearly seen when the fish is rolled over as they have "two machine guns mounted" on the underside of their body...comprende?
Questions were raised on how a private vessel fishermen can measure after making the shark ID, and the best answer was to make marks on the port, starboard and stern of the vessel to give one an idea of a mako shark in reaching a minimum retention length.
Yes...................a long pause here because there is worry about fishermen literally fiddling with a critter which can cause serious injury if one is not carefully in going about handling a mako shark especially one green and "wired up" as mentioned.
If you are not sure in getting a "true actual length" then go about safely releasing it. I know that is a textbook answer, but as anyone who has dealt with sharks brought alongside the vessel they are on, the worse thing can be someone getting injured.
Some background information on this HMS regulated fishery:
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Angling Permit with shark endorsement
Shortfin mako sharks have sex-specific minimum sizes: 71" FL for males; 83" FL for females.
are required to use
Non-offset, non stainless steel circle hooks in federal waters when fishing with baited hooks.
- Intact with the head, tail, and all fins naturally attached.
- The shark may be gutted and bled at sea (e.g., by making an incision at the base of the tail).
Sharks harvested but not retained must be released in a manner that will ensure maximum probability of survival. Do NOT remove the fish from the water. (No kidding)
Remember: If you don't know, let it go. For help with shark identification, download the:
Or the Prohibited Sharks & Differences ID Cards Placard:
All highly migratory species require an HMS Angling Permit from NOAA Fisheries. Permits are available by calling:
For complete HMS regulations contact NOAA Fisheries HMS Management Division at 1-301-427-8503 or visit:
Finally a big reminder: