NOAA Fisheries has closed the General category bluefin tuna (BFT) fishery until it reopens June 1, 2018.
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 BFT.
NOAA Fisheries will continue to monitor the BFT fisheries closely. Dealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer receiving BFT. General category and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing the HMS Permit Shop or by using the HMS Catch Reporting App. Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates, NOAA Fisheries may determine that additional action (i.e., quota and/or daily retention limit adjustment, or closure) is necessary to ensure available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas.
NOAA Fisheries requires that all BFT are handled in a manner that will maximize survivability, and without removing the fish from the water. For additional information on safe handling, see the Careful Catch and Release brochure.