NOAA Fisheries is reopening the Atlantic bluefin tuna General category December fishery for four days. This action is intended to provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the annual U.S. bluefin tuna quota without exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing opportunities across time periods.
How long is the reopening be in effect?
The General category bluefin tuna fishery will reopen effective 12:30 a.m., local time, Monday, December 20, 2021, through 11:30 p.m., local time, Thursday, December 23, 2021. The default daily retention limit during this reopening is one fish per vessel.
Why is this change being made?
Preliminary landings data indicate that the General category December fishery landed 48.8 mt of the adjusted 54.6 mt subquota before closing, resulting in 5.8 mt of quota unused. Based on these landings data, as well as average catch rates and anticipated fishing conditions, NOAA Fisheries has determined that reopening the General category fishery for four days is appropriate given the amount of unused December subquota.
Who is affected?
This action applies to all vessels permitted in the Atlantic Tunas General category and Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels (with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for bluefin tuna).
Atlantic Tunas General 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.).
This notice is a courtesy to fishery permit holders to help keep you informed about the fishery. Official notice of Federal fishery actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of the Federal Register.
More information can be found in the Federal Register Notice.