Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences


Coastal sharks are challenging to manage in the United States due to their slow life history, limited data availability, history of overexploitation, and competing stakeholder interests. Furthermore, species like the sandbar shark are subjected to international exploitation unmanaged by the U.S. We conducted a management strategy evaluation using Stock Synthesis on the sandbar shark to test the performance of various configurations of a threshold harvest control rule. In addition to uncertainties addressed in the operating model, we built multiple implementation models to address uncertainties related to future levels of a partially unmanaged source of removals, the combined Mexican and U.S. recreational (MexRec) fleet. We found that the presence of unregulated removals had the potential to significantly influence the success of the various management procedures tested. Notably, if MexRec catches continue to increase with total stock abundance following historical trends, the rate of MexRec removals will be too large to allow the sandbar shark to recover across operating models. We present trade-offs between performance metrics across a range of 24 management procedures and three implementation models.


doi: 10.1139/cjfas-2021-0345

Publication Statement

Accepted manuscript version.

Peterson et al cjfas-2021-0345sup.pdf (13310 kB)
Supplementary Material