Swordfish General Commercial Permit Retention Limit Adjustment

Swordfish General Commercial Permit Retention Limit In Season Adjustment

July 1–December 31, 2019


NOAA Fisheries just announced an inseason change to the Swordfish General Commercial permit retention limits in the Northwest Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and U.S. Caribbean regionsas shown in the table below. The default Swordfish General Commercial permit retention limit of zero (0) swordfish in the Florida Swordfish Management Area remains the same. See below for a map of the regions.

This action is effective July 1 through December 31, 2019, unless changed via subsequent action.

Who is affected?

These retention limits apply to vessels issued a Swordfish General Commercial permit or a Highly Migratory Species Charter/Headboat permit with a commercial endorsement when on a non for-hire trip. All swordfish sold under these permits and retention limits must be to a federally permitted swordfish dealer.

How retention limits were decided

In deciding these retention limits, NOAA Fisheries considered the inseason retention limit adjustment criteria, which include:

  • The usefulness of information obtained from biological sampling and monitoring of the North Atlantic swordfish stock.
  • The estimated ability of vessels participating in the fishery to land the amount of swordfish quota available before the end of the fishing year.
  • The estimated amounts by which quotas for other categories of the fishery might be exceeded.
  • The effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of the fishery management plan and its amendments.
  • Variations in seasonal distribution, abundance, or migration patterns of swordfish.
  • The effects of catch rates in one region precluding vessels in another region from having a reasonable opportunity to harvest a portion of the overall swordfish quota.
  • A review of dealer reports, landing trends, and the availability of swordfish on the fishing grounds.

These limits should provide additional opportunities to harvest the available U.S. North Atlantic swordfish quota without exceeding it and to collect data for stock monitoring purposes.

NOAA Fisheries will continue to monitor the North Atlantic swordfish fishery during 2019. Dealers are required to submit weekly landing reports. Depending on fishing effort and catch rates, additional retention limit adjustments or fishery closures may be necessary to ensure that available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas.