Atlantic Bluefin Tuna General Category Fishery: Commercial Daily Retention Limit Adjustment
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna General Category Fishery
Commercial Daily Retention Limit Adjustment
NOAA Fisheries is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna daily retention limit for the General category (commercial) fishery to one large medium or giant (measuring 73” or greater) bluefin tuna per vessel per day/trip. The daily retention limit, as adjusted through this inseason action, goes into effect on July 2, 2023 and extends through August 31, 2023, unless changed, and applies only on days when the commercial fishery is open.
Restricted-fishing days in the General category (commercial) fishery begin on July 1, 2023, and will occur on every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday through November 30, 2023. The retention limit is zero on those days.
Recreational fishermen are not affected by this retention limit adjustment or by restricted-fishing days, and operate under different catch limits.
What is changing?
The daily retention limit will decrease from three to one large medium or giant bluefin tuna per vessel per day/trip. Retention is allowed only on “open days” (Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday) for the General category (commercial) fishery.
Who is affected?
The retention limit change applies to General category permitted vessels and HMS
Charter/Headboat permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing
commercially for bluefin tuna. This commercial daily retention limit is effective for all areas except for the Gulf of Mexico, where NOAA Fisheries does not allow targeted fishing for bluefin tuna.
The change does not apply to fishermen fishing recreationally for bluefin tuna with an HMS Angling permit or an HMS Charter/Headboat permit fishing under the Angling category rules.
Dealers are required to submit landings reports within 24 hours of receiving bluefin tuna. Late dealer reporting compromises NOAA Fisheries’ ability to implement actions such as quota and retention limit adjustments or fishery closures and may result in enforcement actions.
Separate from the dealer reporting requirement, General category and HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessel owners are required to report the catch of all bluefin tuna retained or discarded dead within 24 hours of landing or the end of each trip by:
- Accessing the HMS Permit Shop.
- Using the HMS Catch Reporting app.
- Calling 888-872-8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.).
This notice is a courtesy to fishery participants to help keep you informed about the fishery. Official notice of Federal fishery actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of the Federal Register.