Individual Bluefin Quota Program Reminder: Quarterly Accountability

June 26, 2018

REMINDER: as of July 1 (beginning of Quarter 3), vessels must resolve any quota debt and have the minimum amount of individual bluefin quota to depart on the first pelagic longline trip of the quarter.

bluefin tuna

An Atlantic bluefin tuna strikes. Credit:Gilbert Van Ryckevorsel/TAG A Giant

  • For a vessel’s first pelagic longline trip in the third quarter (July through September), a vessel may not fish if it has quota debt and must have the minimum amount of individual bluefin quota to fish.  
  • A vessel fishing in the Atlantic must have a minimum balance of 276 lb of individual bluefin quota.  A vessel fishing in the Gulf of Mexico must have a minimum balance of 551 lb of individual bluefin quota.  
  • If a vessel accrued quota debt prior to July 1, the vessel must first resolve (account for) the quota debt and have the minimum amount of individual bluefin quota in order to fish.

Resolving Quota Debt

If a vessel account has quota debt (and insufficient individual bluefin quota allocation in their shareholder and/or vessel account to cover it), the permit holder must:

(1) lease a sufficient amount of allocation from a permitted longline vessel or a purse seine fishery participant, and transfer it into their vessel account; and then

(2) resolve the quota debt transaction(s) in the individual bluefin quota system online.  

Specifically, Atlantic pelagic longline quota debt can be resolved using Atlantic allocation, Gulf of Mexico pelagic longline allocation, or purse seine allocation. Gulf of Mexico quota debt can only be resolved using Gulf of Mexico allocation.  An individual bluefin quota shareholder can log into their shareholder account to resolve quota debt in their vessel account(s).  From the main menu, go to Catches then Resolve Quota Debt Mid Year.  Please consult page 31 of the “Individual Bluefin Quota Troubleshooting Guide” available through the online individual bluefin quota system (see ”Contact Information” at the bottom of this letter).  For additional assistance you may call individual bluefin quota Customer Service at 301-427-8591 (8:00am to 5:00pm, Mon - Fri, excluding federal holidays).

Vessel Monitoring System Reporting Requirements:  You are reminded that vessels must submit through a Vessel Monitoring System a “Highly Migratory Species Bluefin Tuna Catch Report,” for each set.  Specifically, such vessels must report the number of all bluefin discarded dead or retained (by standardized size ranges) within 12 hours of completion of each set (including reporting of zero bluefin on a set).

For More Information Contact

Individual Bluefin Quota Program

Electronic Monitoring

  • Technical Questions about Camera System:  Saltwater, Inc. 800-770-3241
  • Hard Drive Mailing Procedures:  Earth Resources Technology, Inc. :240-393-4213

Pelagic Observer Program:  800-858-0624

General Information about Pelagic Longline Regulations

Atlantic Highly Migratory Management Division:  978-281-9260 (Brad McHale or Thomas Warren) or 301-427-8503 (Craig Cockrell or Carrie Soltanoff) or 727-824-5399 (Jennifer Cudney)

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on June 26, 2018