Final Rule to Implement 2020-2021 Specifications and Recreational Management Measures for the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery
NOAA Fisheries implements revised specifications for the 2020 Atlantic bluefish fishery and projected specifications for fishing year 2021, as recommended by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. These catch limits have been reduced to account for the results of the recent operational assessment and prevent overfishing on the now overfished bluefish stock.
The commercial total allowable landings are reduced by 25 percent, from 3.71 to 2.77 million pounds. The recreational total allowable landings are reduced by 39 percent, from 15.62 to 9.48 million pounds. The federal bluefish recreational fishery daily bag limit remains reduced from 15 to 3 fish per person for private anglers and to 5 fish per person for for-hire (charter/party) vessels as set forth in interim measures. All other recreational management measures and commercial management measures would remain unchanged from 2019.
This action is necessary to establish allowable harvest levels and other management measures to prevent overfishing, consistent with the most recent scientific information.