NOAA Fisheries Adjusts the 2018 North and South Atlantic Swordfish Quotas

July 30, 2018

The adjustment is effective August 31, 2018, through December 31, 2018.

Swordfish being hauled onto a boat.

NOAA Fisheries announces the adjusted North and South Atlantic swordfish quotas for 2018. This action is necessary to implement binding recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, as required by the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act, and to achieve domestic management objectives under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. NOAA Fisheries makes such adjustments annually, when complete catch information for the prior year is available and finalized.

The adjusted quota includes the U.S. baseline quota (2,937.6 metric tons dressed weight) and the maximum available carryover (440.6 metric tons dressed weight) based on 2017 underharvests. From this adjusted quota, 50 metric tons dressed weight will be allocated to the reserve category for in-season adjustments and research, 300 metric tons dressed weight will be allocated to the incidental category (which includes recreational landings and landings by incidental swordfish permit holders), and the remainder, 3,028.2 metric tons dressed weight, is allocated to the directed category.

The 2018 South Atlantic swordfish adjusted quota is 75.1 metric tons dressed weight. The adjusted quota includes the U.S. baseline quota of 75.2 metric tons dressed weight, the 2017 underharvest of 75.1 metric tons dressed weight, and the required annual international quota transfers of 37.6 metric tons dressed weight to Namibia, 18.8 metric tons dressed weight to Côte d’Ivoire, and 18.8 metric tons dressed weight to Belize. The South Atlantic adjusted swordfish quota is available only to pelagic longline fishermen with a directed swordfish limited access permit fishing in the Atlantic Ocean south of 5° North latitude.