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Reminder to Atlantic Tunas Longline Permit Holders

December 27, 2022

Individual Bluefin Quota Program and transition to 2023.

NOAA Fisheries reminds Atlantic Tunas Longline permit holders to resolve all quota debt by December 31, 2022, and to renew permits for the 2023 fishing year.

What happens to 2022 quota debt in 2023?

Any outstanding quota debt from 2022 will carry over to 2023. As of January 1, 2023, a vessel with an outstanding quota debt associated with the permit will not be allowed to commence fishing with pelagic longline gear until the debt is resolved.

If, by December 31, 2022, a permit holder does not have adequate quota available (obtained through direct allocation or leasing) to settle their vessel’s quota debt, the vessel’s 2023 allocation will automatically be reduced in the amount equal to the 2022 quota debt until the quota debt is fully settled.

Does unused IBQ allocation carry over to next year?

No. Any 2022 IBQ allocation remaining in an account at the end of the year does not carry over to 2023.

How do I resolve my quota debt prior to the end of 2022?

If a vessel account has quota debt (and insufficient IBQ allocation in their shareholder and/or vessel account to cover it), the permit holder must complete both of the following steps:

1. Lease a sufficient amount of IBQ allocation from an Atlantic Tunas Longline permit holder, or from an Atlantic Tunas Purse Seine category participant, and transfer it into your vessel account

2. Resolve the quota debt transaction(s) in the IBQ system online by transferring the correct type of IBQ allocation into the vessel account  

Specifically, Atlantic pelagic longline quota debt for 2022 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.

Please contact IBQ Customer Service by phone at (301) 427-8591 or by email NMFS.HMS.IBQ@noaa.gov if you have questions.

To which year will catch be attributed for fishing trips that begin in 2022 and end in 2023?

If a pelagic longline fishing trip begins in 2022 and ends in 2023, the catch (landings and discards) will count against the vessel’s 2023 quota.

How much IBQ allocation will I have in 2023?

As a result of the implementation of Amendment 13 to the Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan, IBQ allocation will now be determined annually during the last quarter of each year, based on the number of pelagic longline sets that a vessel deployed during the prior 36 months. Prior to January 1, eligible Atlantic Tunas Longline category permit holders will be notified of their IBQ share percentages and IBQ allocations (pounds of bluefin) for the upcoming year.

The annual quota allocation for 2023 will be dispersed to IBQ shareholders on January 1, 2023, if their Atlantic Tunas Longline permit is associated with a vessel. To determine the amount of IBQ allocation available to you, log into your vessel account online. Remember to renew your permit if it is going to expire soon.

What if I don't receive an annual IBQ allocation?

An Atlantic Tunas Longline permit holder who does not receive an annual IBQ allocation (does not have IBQ share) may lease IBQ allocation from another permit holder.

For a vessel’s first pelagic longline trip of 2023, a vessel must have a required minimum amount of IBQ allocation, which is 276 pounds in the Atlantic and 551 pounds in the Gulf of Mexico.

Are there restrictions on IBQ transactions at the end of 2022?

IBQ transactions may not occur from 6 p.m. on December 31, 2022, to 2 p.m. on January 1, 2023 (Eastern Time). This includes leases or transfers among vessel and shareholder accounts. NOAA Fisheries uses this time period for system maintenance, end-of-year accounting, and quota disbursement.

Can I still land bluefin and account for dead discards during the maintenance window?

Yes, during the annual maintenance window, IBQ participants may still land bluefin and account for bluefin caught (including those discarded dead) at the conclusion of that trip with the dealer in the IBQ system, but the catch will count against the 2023 IBQ allocation.

What else do I need to know for 2023?

Changes made to the PLL Fishery as a result of Amendment 13 implementation 

Topics include:

  • IBQ shares and allocations
  • Cap on IBQ shares
  • Electronic monitoring requirements
  • Cost recovery program
  • Retention of bluefin caught on green-stick gear

The following improvements to the Catch Shares Online System (CSOS) are fully implemented and ready for use:

  • A bulletin board function is in the CSOS where shareholders can now post a request to purchase or a desire to sell IBQ
  • The CSOS landing page has a published list of shareholders who have received IBQ allocation on an annual basis
  • A user guide for the bulletin board function has been posted in CSOS under the additional information section

The IBQ CSOS will transition to a new web address in January 2023. The IBQ CSOS functions will migrate to the new stand-alone system and will be distinct from the Southeast Regional Office Catch Shares Program.


Online IBQ System

Electronic Monitoring

  • Technical questions about camera systems: Saltwater, Inc.: (800) 770-3241
  • Hard drive mailing procedures: Earth Resources Technology, Inc.: (240) 393-4213

Pelagic observer program: (800) 858-0624

Vessel monitoring systems: (888) 219-9228

Southeast Region permits office: (877) 376-4877

General information about pelagic longline fishery regulations:

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on June 05, 2023