To help the wider public understand and contribute, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has outlined six steps it takes to manage shark fisheries.
Currently, NOAA manages 43 shark species in the Atlantic Ocean of a total of 479 fish stocks it oversees. NOAA has broken down the complex management process into six different steps:
- Research: NOAA works hand in hand with scientists and academic institutions to gain the best possible understanding of the sharks it managers.
- Assessment: NOAA conducts an analysis and determines the impact fishing will have on the various stocks of sharks. This allows the agency to set sustainable catch targets and prevent overfishing.
- Management: Once new stock data is established, the fishery management plans are updated to take these new numbers into account.
- Monitoring: Both recreational and commercial shark fishing operations are monitored to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations.
- Enforcement: Special agents conduct operations to ensure compliance and take action against those breaking the rules.
- You: the agency encourages the public to engage with efforts, including citizen scientists programs, and to share their findings and opinions with NOAA.