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Proposed Rule to Set General Category Effort Controls and Clarify Related Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Regulations


Action Status
Proposed Rule


NOAA Fisheries announces a proposed rule that considers changes to restricted-fishing days and the default daily retention limit. The proposed rule also would clarify the applicable regulations for General category and Highly Migratory Species Charter/Headboat permit holders as well as permitted dealers and dealer’s agents.

What will it do?

Under the proposed rule, NOAA Fisheries considers a range of alternatives and specifically proposes to:

  • Discontinue annual rulemakings to set the restricted-fishing days schedule.
  • Codify a restricted-fishing days schedule for every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday from July 1 through November 30.
  • Establish two General category default daily retention limits:
    • 3 Large medium or giant bluefin tuna in June.
    • 1 Large medium or giant bluefin tuna for all other months in time periods when the fishery is open (January through March and July through December).
  • Clarify the applicable dealer and General category participant regulations regarding dealer tags and possession and sale of bluefin tuna on a restricted-fishing days.

Who is affected?

This action could affect:

  • Any Atlantic Tunas General category permit holder or Highly Migratory Species
    Charter/Headboat permit holder fishing commercially for bluefin tuna.
  • Any dealer who buys or sells Atlantic bluefin tuna.
  • Operators of, and participants in, Atlantic bluefin tuna tournaments that are open to participation by Atlantic Tunas General category permit holders and Highly Migratory Species Charter/Headboat permit holders with a commercial sale endorsement.

Public Hearing

A webinar for this rulemaking will take place on March 19, 2024 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET.

Join Webex:
Webinar number: 2818 288 6658;
Webinar password: HMSRFD (467733 from phones and video systems)
Join by phone:+1-415-527-5035 US Toll; Access code: 281 828 86658

Request for Comments

NOAA Fisheries is requesting comments on setting General category effort controls (i.e., restricted-fishing days and retention limits) and the clarification of related Atlantic bluefin tuna regulations.

Submit Comments by March 25, 2024:

Written comments may be submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal. All comments received are a part of the public record and are posted without change. We accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous).

For further information, contact Larry Redd, (301) 427-8503.

Federal Register

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on 03/13/2024

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna