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2019 Atlantic Bluefish Specifications

March 08, 2019

Final 2019 quotas and harvest limits for bluefish.

NOAA Fisheries announces final 2019 specifications for the Atlantic bluefish fishery (Table 1). These specifications are very similar to 2018, with only minor adjustments to the final commercial quota and recreational harvest limit to account for most recent full year of recreational catch data (2017), and an adjusted sector quota transfer.

Table 1. Summary of 2019 Bluefish Specifications.

Overfishing Limit 27.97 million lb
Acceptable Biological Catch = Annual Catch Limit 21.81 million lb
Commercial Annual Catch Target (ACT) 3.71 million lb
Recreational ACT 18.11 million lb
Commercial Total Allowable Landings (TAL) 3.71 million lb
Recreational TAL 15.62 million lb
Sector Quota Transfer 4.00 million lb
Commercial Quota 7.71 million lb
Recreational Harvest Limit 11.62 million lb


All other management measures, including the recreational possession limit of 15 fish per person, remain unchanged. The commercial state allocations for 2019 are shown on the next page in Table 2. No states exceeded their allocated quota in 2018; therefore, no accountability measures need to be implemented for the 2019 fishing year.

The bluefish stock will undergo an operational assessment in 2019 that is designed to incorporate updated Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) information. The 2020 specifications will be developed using this assessment.

Table 2. 2019 Bluefish State Commercial Quota Allocations (lb).

State Percent Share Quota Allocation
Maine 0.67 51,538
New Hampshire 0.41 31,956
Massachusetts 6.72 517,828
Rhode Island 6.81 524,874
Connecticut 1.27 97,626
New York 10.39 800,645
New Jersey 14.82 1,142,264
Delaware 1.88 144,801
Maryland 3.00 231,426
Virginia 11.88 >915,857
North Carolina 32.06 2,471,746
South Carolina 0.04 2,714
Georgia 0.01 732
Florida 10.06 775,558
Total 100.00 7,709,565

Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on March 11, 2019