Temporary Reopening of the General Category Bluefin Fishery for Two Days

Overview

Fishing Type
Commercial
Action Status
Final Rule
Effective
11/07/2020

Summary

This action is intended to provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the full annual U.S. bluefin
tuna quota without exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing
opportunities across time periods.

How long is the reopening in effect?

The General category bluefin tuna fishery will reopen effective 12:30 a.m., local time,
November 7, 2020, through 11:30 p.m., local time, November 8, 2020. The daily retention limit
during this reopening is one large medium or giant bluefin tuna per vessel per day/trip.

Why is this change being made?

Preliminary landings data as of November 4, 2020, indicate that the General category landed
103.5 mt of the 127.7 mt available for the October through November period. Based on late
October landings rates, NOAA Fisheries has determined that reopening the General category
fishery for two days is appropriate given the amount of quota (24.2 mt) that remains available for
October through November 2020.

NOAA Fisheries anticipates that General category participants in all areas and time periods will
have opportunities to harvest the General category quota in 2020, including the December time
period. Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates, NOAA Fisheries may determine
that additional adjustments are necessary to ensure available subquotas are not exceeded or to
enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. The
General category will reopen automatically on December 1, 2020, at the default one-fish level.
Based on quota availability in the Reserve, NOAA Fisheries may consider transferring additional
quota to the December subquota period.

Who is affected?

This action applies to all vessels permitted in the Atlantic Tunas General category and Atlantic
HMS Charter/Headboat category (with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing
commercially for bluefin tuna).

Reporting

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:

Federal Register

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on 11/04/2020