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Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Quota Transfer for the Remainder of 2018

November 29, 2018

NOAA Fisheries is transferring 129.2 metric tons of Atlantic bluefin tuna quota from the Reserve category to the General category, and 9.9 metric tons from the Harpoon category to the General category.

Sarah McLaughlin
Fishery Management Specialist
Bluefin Tuna Strike.jpg

This action accounts for accrued overharvests of previous time period subquotas and provides opportunity for General category fishermen to participate in the December General category fishery, which reopens on December 1, 2018. This action makes 50 metric tons (mt) available to the General category for the December subquota period and leaves 13.7 mt in the Reserve category.

NOAA Fisheries reminds General category participants that when the fishery reopens December 1, 2018, the daily retention limit will be one large-medium or giant bluefin tuna (measuring 73” or greater) per vessel per day/trip.

Who is affected?

This action applies to General category (commercial) permitted vessels and to HMS Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for bluefin tunaDealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer receiving bluefin tuna. Late dealer reporting compromises NOAA Fisheries’ ability to implement actions such as quota and retention limit adjustments or fishery closures and may result in enforcement actions. 

Additionally, and separate from the dealer reporting requirement, 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 Permit Shop, using the HMS Catch Reporting app, or calling (888) 872-8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.).

All bluefin tuna that are released must be handled in a manner that will maximize survivability and without removing the fish from the water. Download the Careful Catch and Release brochure for more safe handling tips.


Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on November 30, 2018