Although it is called the “January” subquota, the regulations allow the General category bluefin tuna fishery to continue until the subquota is reached or March 31, whichever comes first. Based on the best available landings information, NOAA Fisheries has determined that the adjusted General category January 2019 subquota of 100 mt has been reached (i.e., as of February 27, reported landings total approximately 97 mt), and therefore the General category fishery for large medium and giant Atlantic bluefin tuna will close.
The General category bluefin tuna fishery will close effective 11:30 p.m., February 28, 2019, until it reopens on June 1, 2019.
More information can be found in the Federal Register notice—see the Atlantic HMS Management Division’s website.
Who is affected?
Persons aboard vessels permitted in the Atlantic tunas General and Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat categories may not retain, possess, or land large medium or giant Atlantic bluefin tuna after 11:30 p.m. on February 28, 2019 and through May 31, 2019.
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 tuna.
Dealers 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.
This notice is a courtesy to bluefin tuna fishery permit holders to help keep you informed about the fishery. For additional information, call (978) 281-9260, or go to the HMS Permit Shop. Official notice of federal fishery actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of the Federal Register.