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2023 Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Specifications

December 20, 2022

NOAA Fisheries announces final revised 2023 specifications for the Atlantic bluefish fishery, effective January 1, 2023

NOAA Fisheries announces adjusted 2023 specifications for the Atlantic bluefish fishery (shown below), based on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s recommendations and a 2022 assessment update. These specifications are largely unchanged from what was previously projected for fishing year 2023, and increase both the commercial quota and recreational harvest limit, in accordance with the rebuilding plan for the stock. However, the recreational harvest limit has been adjusted to increase less than projected to account for a 2021 recreational sector overage, and higher than expected recreational discards.

Table 1. Final Adjusted 2023 Bluefish Specifications (million lb).*
Overfishing Limit 45.17
Acceptable Biological Catch 30.62
Commercial Annual Catch Limit (ACL) 4.29
Recreational ACL 26.34
Recreational Accountability Measures 5.59
Recreational Discards 6.64
Commercial Total Allowable Landings (TAL) 4.29
Recreational TAL 14.11
Sector Transfer 0
Commercial Quota 4.29
Recreational Harvest Limit 14.11

*Specifications are derived from the ABC in metric tons (mt). When values are converted to millions of pounds the numbers may slightly shift due to rounding. The conversion factor used is 1 mt = 2204.6226 lb.

 

The final commercial fishery state allocations are based on the final coast-wide commercial quota and the phased-in changes to the allocated percentages to the states defined in the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan specified in Amendment 7. The 2023 state quota allocations are unchanged from what was previously projected (Table 2). No states exceeded their state-allocated quota in 2021 or 2022, so no adjustments are necessary for the 2023 commercial fishery.

 

Table 2. 2023 Bluefish State Commercial Quota Allocations
State Percent Share Quota (pounds)
Maine 0.51 21,807
New Hampshire 0.36 15,331
Massachusetts 7.69 329,578
Rhode Island 7.61 326,165
Connecticut 1.22 52,094
New York 13.06 560,031
New Jersey 14.54 623,295
Delaware 1.48 63,572
Maryland 2.69 115,409
Virginia 10.16 435,625
North Carolina 32.05 1,374,077
South Carolina 0.05 2,344
Georgia 0.04 1,544
Florida 8.55 366,585
Total 100.01 4,287,109

 

All other management measures and requirements remain unchanged, including the recreational daily bag limit of three fish per person for private anglers and five fish per person for for-hire (charter/party) vessels.

 

Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on December 20, 2022