Closure of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna General Category Fishery for the January Subquota Time Period
The General category bluefin tuna fishery will close effective 11:30 p.m., February 28, 2019, until it reopens on June 1, 2019.
Although it is called the “January” subquota, the regulations allow the General category bluefin tuna fishery to continue until the subquota is reached or March 31, whichever comes first. Based on the best available landings information, NOAA Fisheries has determined that the adjusted General category January 2019 subquota of 100 mt has been reached (i.e., as of February 27, reported landings total approximately 97 mt) and therefore the General category fishery for large medium and giant Atlantic bluefin tuna will close.
Persons aboard vessels permitted in the Atlantic tunas General and Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat categories may not retain, possess, or land large medium or giant Atlantic bluefin tuna after 11:30 p.m. on February 28, 2019, through May 31, 2019.
This action applies to General category (commercial) permitted vessels and to HMS Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for bluefin tuna.
Dealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer 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.
Additionally, and separate from the dealer reporting requirement, General category and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessel owners are required to report their own catch of all bluefin tuna retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing the HMS Permit Shop, using the HMS Catch Reporting app, or calling (888) 872-8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.).