Quota Transfer and Closure: Atlantic Bluefin Tuna General Category (Commercial) Fishery
NOAA Fisheries has transferred 21.7 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna quota from the Reserve category to the General category September time period. The resulting adjusted quotas are:
- September time period subquota = 210 mt; and
- Reserve category = 5.7 mt.
These quotas will remain in effect for the remainder of the 2023 fishing year or until otherwise adjusted.
CLOSED: September 17, 2023, 11:30 pm – September 30, 2023
REASON FOR CLOSURE:
Based on the best available landings information, the adjusted 210 mt subquota is projected to be reached and exceeded shortly.
WHO IS AFFECTED:
Atlantic Tunas General category permitted vessels and highly migratory species (HMS)
Charter/Headboat permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing
commercially for bluefin tuna.
Commercial fishermen aboard vessels with an Atlantic Tunas General category or HMS
Charter/Headboat permit may not retain, possess, or land large medium or giant Atlantic bluefin tuna from 11:30 p.m., September 17, 2023 through September 30, 2023. Previously-designated restricted-fishing days (RFDs) for the rest of the September time period will be waived when this closure takes effect.
RECREATIONAL: Not affected by this closure.
When is the fishery reopening?
The General category bluefin tuna fishery will reopen on October 1, 2023, with the default daily/trip retention limit of one fish per vessel. Commercial fishermen will not be able to land bluefin tuna on RFDs (every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday) beginning on October 1, 2023.
Dealers are required to submit landing 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, Atlantic Tunas General, Harpoon, and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessel owners are required to report all bluefin tuna retained or discarded dead within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip by: