Swordfish Trip Limits in the American Samoa Pelagic Longline Fishery
NOAA Fisheries proposes to remove the swordfish retention limit in the American Samoa deep-set longline fishery. NOAA Fisheries originally implemented the limit as part of a suite of gear and operational requirements intended to discourage shallow-set fishing, thus reducing interactions with green sea turtles. The gear requirements have reduced green sea turtle interactions, and the swordfish retention limit is not needed. The proposed rule would remove the unnecessary restriction that results in the discard of small amounts of marketable swordfish that could otherwise be supplied as seafood. The proposed rule is intended to promote efficiency in the fishery. NOAA Fisheries must receive comments by July 14, 2020.