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Atlantic Bluefin Tuna General Category Fishery Changes

December 20, 2017

A transfer is made of 14.3 metric tons from December 2018 to January 2018. The daily retention limit for January 2018 is one fish.

School of bluefin tuna swimming in dark ocean waters with some light coming in from above.

NOAA Fisheries transferred 14.3 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna quota from the General category December 2018 period to the January 2018 period. The default Atlantic tunas General category daily retention limit of one large-medium or giant tuna (measuring 73” or more) per vessel per day/trip for the January 2018 period will be maintained. Although it is called the “January” period, the regulations allow the General category fishery under this quota to continue until the subquota is reached or until March 31, whichever comes first.

Quota Transfer: The transfer of 14.3 mt of General category quota allocated for the December 2018 period to the January 2018 period results in a subquota of 39 mt for the January 2018 period and 10 mt for December 2018. NOAA Fisheries will close the General category fishery when 39 mt has been reached or on March 31, 2018, whichever comes first. It will remain closed until June 1, 2018.

NOAA Fisheries also may choose to transfer unused quota from the Reserve or other categories.

Who is affected?

This action applies to General category permitted vessels and to HMS Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for bluefin tuna. 

NOAA Fisheries will continue to monitor the fisheries closely. Dealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer receiving bluefin tuna.

General category and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all bluefin tuna retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing the HMS Permits Shop or by using the HMS Catch Reporting App.