Protected Resources

Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

Scientific name: Sphyrna lewini
Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Photo: NOAA
Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Photo: NOAA

Current Management Issues

On August 14, 2011, a petition to list the scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) under the ESA was received from WildEarth Guardians. The petitioners requested that we list either the entire global species or any distinct population segments (DPSs).

On November 28, 2011, NOAA Fisheries made a positive 90-day finding (76 FR 72891), determining that the petitioned action may be warranted. A comprehensive status review was conducted to inform the 12-month finding and underwent peer review.

On April 5, 2013, NOAA Fisheries announced a proposed rule (78 FR 20718) to list four of six identified DPSs of scalloped hammerhead sharks.

On July 3, 2014, we announced a final rule (79 FR 38214) to list four of six identified DPSs of scalloped hammerhead sharks:

Population and Final Status

Population Status

Eastern Atlantic DPS

Endangered

Eastern Pacific DPS

Endangered

Central and Southwest Atlantic DPS

Threatened

Indo-West Pacific DPS (which includes the U.S. Pacific territories and the Pacific Remote Island Areas [excluding Johnston Atoll])

Threatened

Central Pacific DPS (which includes the Hawaiian archipelago and Johnston Atoll)

Not Warranted

Northwest Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico DPS

Not Warranted

On November 17, 2015, NOAA Fisheries published a notice (80 FR 71774) announcing that no areas meet the definition of critical habitat for the scalloped hammerhead shark. This follows the July 3, 2014, final rule listing four distinct population segments (DPSs) of scalloped hammerhead sharks under the Endangered Species Act. Three of these DPSs have ranges within waters under U.S. jurisdiction: Central and Southwest Atlantic DPS (listed as threatened; includes territorial waters in the Caribbean), Indo-West Pacific DPS (listed as threatened; includes territorial waters in the western Pacific), and the Eastern Pacific DPS (listed as endangered; includes waters off California). NOAA Fisheries has conducted a comprehensive review of the best available scientific and commercial data for use in the identification of critical habitat, which cannot be designated within foreign countries or in other areas outside of U.S. jurisdiction. Based on that review, NOAA Fisheries found that there are no identifiable occupied areas under the jurisdiction of the U.S. with physical or biological features that are essential to the conservation of the species or unoccupied areas that are essential to the conservation of the species. Therefore, there are no specific areas that meet the definition of critical habitat, and, as such, there is no critical habitat to designate for any DPS.

For more information on the Endangered Species Act Section 4, please visit the Protected Resources Division's page here.


Range

Range of Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks


Range of Scalloped Hammerhead Shark Distinct Population Segments in the Pacific Islands Region