In order to provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the full annual U.S. bluefin tuna quota without exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing opportunities across time periods, NOAA Fisheries is reopening the General Category Bluefin Tuna Fishery for two days.
How long is the reopening in effect?
The General category bluefin tuna fishery will reopen effective 12:30 a.m., local time, November 7, 2020, through 11:30 p.m., local time, November 8, 2020. The daily retention limit during this reopening is one large medium or giant bluefin tuna per vessel per day/trip.
Why is this change being made?
Preliminary landings data as of November 4, 2020, indicate that the General category landed 103.5 mt of the 127.7 mt available for the October through November period. Based on late October landings rates, NOAA Fisheries has determined that reopening the General category fishery for two days is appropriate given the amount of quota (24.2 mt) that remains available for October through November 2020.
NOAA Fisheries anticipates that General category participants in all areas and time periods will have opportunities to harvest the General category quota in 2020, including the December time period. Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates, NOAA Fisheries may determine that additional adjustments are necessary to ensure available subquotas are not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. The General category will reopen automatically on December 1, 2020, at the default one-fish level. Based on quota availability in the Reserve, NOAA Fisheries may consider transferring additional quota to the December subquota period.
Who is affected?
This action applies to all vessels permitted in the Atlantic Tunas General category and Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat category (with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for bluefin tuna).
Atlantic tunas General, Harpoon, and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessel owners are required to report 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.
- Calling 888-872-8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.)