NMFS Determines Three Angelshark Species Warrant Protection Under the Endangered Species Act
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
50 CFR Part 224
[Docket No. 150506424-5424-01]
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants;
12-Month Finding and Proposed Rule to List Three Angelshark Species as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
ACTION: Proposed rule; 12-month petition finding; request for comments.
We, NMFS, have completed a comprehensive status review under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for three foreign marine angelshark species in response to a petition to list those species. These three species are the sawback angelshark (Squatina aculeata), smoothback angelshark (Squatina oculata), and common angelshark (Squatina squatina). Based on the best scientific and commercial information available, including the status review report (Miller 2015), and after taking into account efforts being made to protect these species, we have determined that these three angelshark species warrant listing as endangered under the ESA. We are not proposing to designate critical habitat because the geographical areas occupied by these species are entirely outside U.S. jurisdiction, and we have not identified any unoccupied areas that are currently essential to the conservation of any of these species. We are soliciting comments on our proposal to list these three angelshark species.