marlin jumping out of water

Atlantic Billfish, Swordfish, and Tunas Landings Update

marlin jumping out of water

Photo Credit – King Sailfish Mounts

NOAA Fisheries announced landings updates for Atlantic swordfish, billfish, and tunas, including bluefin, yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, and albacore. This update include all landings between January 1st and March 31st of 2020.

Billfish:

The 250-fish recreational Atlantic billfish quota includes landings of blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish. As of March 31, 2020, no Atlantic billfish had been landed that are counted in the quota. However, five Atlantic sailfish have been landed, but these fish will not be counted in the 250-fish quota.

Swordfish:

Swordfish landing is up in in 2020 as compared to 2019. Between January 1st and March 31st, 2020, over 270 mt of swordfish have been landed by commercial fisheries, totaling over 80 mt more than this time last year. Commercial bycatch is also three times higher than it was last year. Conversely, recreational landing of swordfish, which shares its quota with commercial bycatch, is on par with last year.

2020 Landings (mt dw)

% of Quota Landed

2019 Landings* (mt dw)

Commercial Landing

270.4

20.5%

(1,318.8 mt dw 2x/year)

190.9

Commercial Bycatch

6.6

4.5%

(300 mt dw)

2.0

Recreational Landing

7.0

7.2

Total

284.0

9.7% (2,937.6 mt dw)

200.1

*Only includes landings during the same time period, January 1st through March 31st, 2019

Bluefin Tuna:

Bluefin tuna landings are also up in 2020. The General Category, which includes handline and rod and reel, is up by just over 15 mt as compared to this time last year. Longline landings are up by only 5 mt, with all other categories reporting no landings, on par with 2019.

2020 Landings (mt)

Quota 2019 Landings* (mt)
General

124.1

606.7

108.9

Harpoon

0

46.0

0

Longline

27.6

188.6

22.3

Trap

0

1.2

0

Purse Seine

0

55.0

0

Reserve

0

143.0

0

Total

151.6 1,040.5

131.2

*Only includes landings during the same time period, January 1st through March 31st, 2019

Other Tunas:

Bigeye and Northern Albacore are experiencing fairly high upticks in landing in 2020 as compared to 2019. In contrast, both yellowfin and bigeye have lower landings so far in 2020 than this time last year.

2020 Landings (mt ww)

2019 Landings* (mt ww)

Bigeye

41.3

33.1

Northern Albacore

98.3

37.0

Yellowfin

100.3

132.0

Skipjack

0.6

2.3

*Only includes landings during the same time period, January 1st through March 31st, 2019

 

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