Longline Bigeye Tuna Catch Limits in the Pacific

An overview of bigeye tuna catch limits in the eastern Pacific Ocean and western and central Pacific Ocean.

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Workers offloading Pacific bigeye tuna at Pier 38 in Honolulu.

Western and Central Pacific Ocean

NOAA Fisheries set limits on the amount of bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) that U.S. longline vessels may catch and keep in the western and central Pacific Ocean. The limits apply to the area of application of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the western and central Pacific Ocean (Convention Area).

Background

NOAA Fisheries establishes annual catch limits of bigeye tuna that may be caught in the western and central Pacific Ocean and retained by U.S. longline vessels. The limits are established in accordance with decisions of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

If NOAA Fisheries determines that the fishery will reach the limit during a calendar year, owners and operators of certain longline fishing vessels must comply with specific prohibitions. NOAA Fisheries will publish a notice announcing the effective date of the prohibitions at least a week before the prohibitions take effect. Prohibitions are effective until the end of the calendar year.

See 50.CFR.300.224 for a complete description of the regulations

Convention Area

The Convention Area comprises the majority of the western and central Pacific Ocean. In the North Pacific, the eastern boundary is at 150° West longitude. For a complete description, see the definition of "Convention Area" at 50 CFR 300.211.

Eastern Pacific Ocean

NOAA Fisheries set limits on the amount of bigeye tuna that U.S. longline vessels may catch and keep in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO). The catch limit satisfies United States obligations as a Contracting Party to the 1949 Convention for the Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical Tuna (Convention) and as a Member of the IATTC. Information about the catch limit and the IATTC is available from the IATTC.

Background

NOAA Fisheries established a limit of 750 metric tons of bigeye tuna that may be caught in the eastern Pacific and retained by U.S. longline vessels greater than 24 meters (78.7 feet) in length. 

If NOAA Fisheries determines that the fishery will reach the limit during a calendar year, owners and operators of certain longline fishing vessels must comply with specific prohibitions. NOAA Fisheries will publish a notice announcing the effective date of the prohibitions at least a week before the prohibitions take effect. Prohibitions are effective until the end of the calendar year.

IATCC Convention Area

The IATTC Convention Area includes waters bounded by the coast of the Americas, the 40° North and 40° South parallels, and the 150° West meridian. For a complete description, see the definition of "Convention Area" at 50 CFR 300.25.

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