Pacific Bluefin Tuna Commercial Harvest Status
Final rule on domestic implementation of Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) Resolutions
On May 1, 2019, NMFS published a final rule (84 FR 18409) regarding domestic implementation of Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) Resolutions C-18-01 (Measures for the Conservation and Management of Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, 2019-2020) and C-18-02 (Amendment to Resolution C-16-08 on a Long-term Management Framework for the Conservation and Management of Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean). The final rule includes catch limits that would apply to U.S. commercial vessels that fish for Pacific bluefin tuna in the eastern Pacific Ocean during 2019 and 2020. This rule implements a 630 metric ton (mt) catch limit for both years combined, not to exceed 425 mt in a single year. In each year, there would be a trip limit of 15 mt until catch is within 50 mt of the catch limit, and a 2 mt trip limit when catch is within 50 mt of the catch limit.
This final rule also implements reporting requirements. During the period in which the trip limit is 15 mt, purse seine vessel owners or operators must submit a pre-trip notification to NOAA Fisheries 24 hours in advance of departing from a port, dock, anchorage, or mooring on a trip that will result in landing greater than 2 mt of Pacific bluefin tuna (i.e., greater than 2 mt of Pacific bluefin tuna may not be landed unless NMFS received a pre-trip notification). Any harvest of Pacific bluefin tuna landed between port visits (i.e., fishing trips) will be considered to result from a single fishing trip (i.e., the 15 mt trip limit will apply). The pre-trip notification shall be made to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the vessel owner or operator name, contact information, and place of departure (name of port, anchorage, dock or mooring), and the intended date and time of departure. Effective July 1, 2019, fish buyers are required to submit, within 24 hours of landing, electronic landings receipts with Pacific bluefin tuna landings in California ports using the E-tix system.
This website represents legal notice of inseason actions. Anyone impacted by this rule should check this webpage for updates on inseason actions.
Effective at 12:00 am PDT on August 11, 2019, the trip limit applicable to U.S. commercial fishing vessels fishing in the eastern Pacific Ocean is 15 metric tons.
The Commercial harvest of Pacific bluefin tuna in the IATTC Convention Area is in metric tons (mt).
|Year||Regulations||Commission-wide commercial limit||Commission-wide commercial catch in the IATTC Convention Area to date||U.S. commercial catch limit||U.S. commercial catch to date**|
|2019||84 FR 18409||6,147 mt for 2019 and 2020, combined*||2,487 mt||425 mt||239 mt|
|2018||83 FR 13203||6,600 mt for 2017 and 2018, combined||2,851 mt||114 mt||55.9 mt|
|2017||82 FR 18704
82 FR 40720
|6,600 mt for 2017 and 2018, combined||4,113.9 mt||425 mt||486 mt
Limit determined to be exceeded
|2016||81 FR 2110||6,600 mt for 2015 and 2016, combined||3,251 mt||425 mt||350.2 mt|
|2015||80 FR 38986||3,178 mt||425 mt||96.1 mt|
|2014||79 FR 28448
79 FR 53631
79 FR 68133
|5,000 mt||4,865 mt caught as of July 9; limit determined to be reached||500 mt***||404 mt caught as of November 13, 2014|
|2013||78 FR 33240||3,295 mt****||Limit determined to be reached in July||500 mt**||6 mt caught|
* Accounts for over-harvest by Mexico (483 mt) or under-harvest by the United States (30 mt) from 2017-2018 catch limit. Resolution C-18-02 specifies that under-harvest up to 5% of the previous biennial, or two-year, limit may added to the current biennial limit.
** Catch data is presented in a manner consistent with data confidentiality standards under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
*** The U.S. catch limit is notwithstanding the Commission-wide limit.
**** IATTC Resolution C-12-09 established a Commission-wide limit of 10,000 mt for 2012 and 2013. NMFS implemented the resolution in 2013 when 3,295 mt of the Commission-wide limit remained after the IATTC Director determined that 6,705 mt had been caught by IATTC Members and Cooperating non-members in 2012.
NOTE: Catch data is preliminary and provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Pacific Fisheries Information Network. Monthly catch reports for IATTC CPCs are available on the IATTC website..
The above information is current as of August 14, 2019.
For more information, contact Celia Barroso at Celia.Barroso@noaa.gov or (562) 432-1850.