Atlantic Billfish, Swordfish, and Tunas Landings Update

NOAA Fisheries announced landings updates for Atlantic swordfish, billfish, and tunas, which includes recreational billfish and bluefin tuna landings from January 1st through June 30, 2020. But swordfish and non-bluefin tuna landings are for the period of January 1 through July 31, 2020.

In general, reported landings are down compared to the same time in 2019, except for Northern Albacore, whose landings are skyrocketing compared to 2019. Swordfish landings are almost exactly the same as last year, with an uptick in commercial bycatch offset by decreases in commercial and recreational targeted landings. Billfish are currently on par to stay well under the 250-fish quota, with an increase in Atlantic blue marlin landings.

Billfish:

The 250-fish U.S. recreational Atlantic billfish landing limit includes landings of Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and round-scale spearfish. As of June 30th, 2020, only 38 landed Atlantic marlin were reported within the quota and 21 Western Atlantic sailfish were landed.  With several large tournaments taking place in August, the yearly landing figure is likely to increase.

Species 2020 Landings to 6/30 2019 Total Landings
Atlantic Blue Marlin 34 79
Atlantic White Marlin 4 75
Roundscale Spearfish 0 35
Total 38 189
Remaining (of 250) 212 61

 

Swordfish:

U.S. commercial bycatch (incidental landing) of swordfish has significantly increased in 2020, compared to the same time in 2019. However, intentional (directed) commercial landings of swordfish are way down. Recreational swordfish landings are on par with last year’s. The U.S. recreational and commercials fisheries’ allocation is combined.

2020 Landings (mt dw)

% of Quota Landed

2019 Landings* (mt dw)

Commercial Landing

499.8

18.9% (quota 2,637.6 mt dw)

507

Commercial Bycatch

13.2

11%

(quota 300 mt dw)

4.4

Recreational Landing

19.8

20.1

Total

532.8

531.5

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

Bluefin Tuna:

Bluefin tuna landings are slightly down in 2020. The General Category, which includes handline and rod and reel, is down by just 5 mt. Longline landings are down by 17.9 mt.

2020 Landings (mt)

Quota 2019 Landings* (mt)
General

133.6

606.7

136.5

Harpoon

25.1

46.0

16.9

Longline

35.8

188.6

53.7

Trap

1.2
Purse Seine

55

Reserve

143

Total

194.7 1,040.5

207.2

*Only includes landings during the same time period, January 1st through June 30th, 2019

Other Tunas:

Northern Albacore landings have almost doubled in 2020 compared to 2019, with all other tuna landings being lower than numbers that in 2019.

2020 Landings (mt ww)

2019 Landings* (mt ww)

Bigeye

103.8

117.6

Northern Albacore

131.4

79.4

Yellowfin

340.2

387.1

Skipjack

1.8

6.0

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

 

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