Amendment 13 to the HMS Fishery Management Plan – Bluefin Tuna
Earlier in May 2022, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued its Final Environmental Impact Review (FEIR) of the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Individual Bluefin Quota (IBQ) program that began in 2015, and other changes in the bluefin fisheries.
The purse seine fishery has been essentially inactive since 2015 due to size limits that generated a lot of regulatory discards. The FEIR includes options for the Pelagic Longline Fishery, the Purse Seine, Harpoon, and Angling Category, which includes a division of the North Trophy area into two separate designated areas – Gulf of Maine (42 degrees’ latitude off Chatham, MA) and a Southern New England designated area, (off Chatham, at 42 degrees to 30 degrees, 18 inches’ north latitude), Trophy South and the Gulf of Mexico designated areas to remain the same. The FEIR is open to public comments with the agency striving to implement changes in the summer of 2022.