At the same time, state fisheries departments are making good on the Trump administration’s promise to increase the number of shark fishing licenses in the U.S. According to a report from the Center for Biological Diversity, which advocates for ocean stewardship, the number is down from the first half of 2017 to the second half.
In the first four months of 2018, only about 6 percent of licenses issued were for shark fishing, but the number in 2019 is only about 2 percent.
The center said that the administration is “not meeting its commitment to protect sharks.”
In states that have increased shark licenses, the numbers of licenses in use have declined.
In North Dakota, the state saw the biggest drop, with fewer than 12 percent of shark licenses issued during the first three months of the year, according to data from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The report also said that shark fishing in Alaska has seen an uptick in the past few years, and that the state had more licenses issued in the first quarter of 2019 than it did in the second quarter of 2016.