Final Rule: Changes to Atlantic Bluefin Tuna and North Atlantic Albacore Quotas
NOAA Fisheries announces modifications to the baseline annual U.S. Atlantic bluefin tuna and North Atlantic albacore quotas.
What will it do?
The final rule:
1. Increases the baseline annual U.S. bluefin tuna quota from 1,247.86 metric tons (mt) to 1,316.14 mt.
2. Adjusts all the bluefin tuna domestic fishing category subquotas per the existing quota distribution formulas.
3. Increases the baseline annual U.S. northern albacore quota from 632.4 mt to 711.5 mt.
4. Further adjusts the bluefin tuna Reserve category and northern albacore quotas based on the underharvest of the 2021 quotas, which result in the following quotas:
- Atlantic bluefin tuna Reserve category: 306.69 mt
- Northern albacore: 889.4 mt
These changes are consistent with the 2021 recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and should achieve the domestic management objectives under the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. A full description of the final U.S. bluefin tuna quotas and resulting subquotas and U.S. northern albacore quota can be found in the final rule and supporting Environmental Assessment, both of which are on the NOAA Fisheries website.
Who is affected?
This action could affect any U.S. fisherman who targets or incidentally catches Atlantic bluefin tuna and/or northern albacore.
What do fishermen need to do to comply with new requirements?
This rule increases the annual U.S. bluefin tuna and northern albacore quotas, and does not change any other regulations or requirements for fishermen who target or incidentally catch these species. To comply with this rule, fishermen must continue to follow the relevant fishery regulations, which can be found in the Atlantic highly migratory species compliance guides. Fishermen may continue to track quota usage via landings updates for bluefin tuna and northern albacore.
This rule will be effective on July 1, 2022.
This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.