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NOAA Determines Porbeagle Sharks Not Threatened or Endangered

Porbeagle shark; NOAA

Earlier this year, we published a positive 90-day finding in response to petitions to list porbeagle sharks (Lamna nasus).  A comprehensive status review, including an Extinction Risk Analysis, was completed by a group of NOAA Fisheries biologists with expertise related to porbeagle sharks. In the status review, two Distinct Population Segments of porbeagle sharks were identified - North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere (southern Atlantic, southern Indian, southern Pacific, and Antarctic Oceans).  The status review was peer reviewed by external (non-NOAA) experts. 

Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, including the status review report, and taking into account ongoing efforts to protect these species, we have determined that porbeagle sharks do not warrant listing at this time. This review identified two Distinct Population Segments (DPS) – North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere - of porbeagle sharks. We conclude that neither is currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range or likely to become so in the foreseeable future. We also conclude that the species itself is not currently in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range or likely to become so in the foreseeable future.

In the North Atlantic, population declines appear to be halted because the primary threat from fishing has been addressed, and the abundance and biomass of the DPS are increasing. Estimates of the population size are in the hundreds of thousands of individuals for just the Northwest Atlantic portion of the DPS. The population abundance and trends of porbeagle sharks throughout the southern hemisphere are stable or increasing. Declines in the Southern Hemisphere DPS also appear to be halted as threats have been addressed and, in some regions, the abundance has increased in recent years.

For more information, read our 12-month finding on the petition to list porbeagle sharks as filed in the Federal Register today.