Atlantic Bluefin Quota Transfer and Seasonal Closure
Atlantic Bluefin General Category Fishery Closed Until September
As of 11:30pm on August 4th, 2021, fishing via the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna General Category is closed. NOAA Fisheries announced the closure because the 277.9 mt subquota for June through August has been reached. The fishery will reopen on September 1st, 2021. Once reopened, fishermen with the correct permits may retain one fish per vessel per day.
The closure affects:
- All vessels fishing with Atlantic Tunas General Category permits and Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat category permits (with a commercial sale endorsement when fishing commercially for bluefin tuna).
- Bluefin tuna measuring 73 in (185 cm) curved fork length or greater.
- All US Atlantic waters, not including the Gulf of Mexico. Targeting bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Mexico is never permitted. However, fishermen may tag/catch and release bluefin as long as they maximize survivability and keep the fish in the water.
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Quota Transfer to Harpoon Category
NOAA Fisheries is transferring 30mt of bluefin tuna from the Reserve Category to the Harpoon Category. The transfer increases the Harpoon quota to 78mt and leaves 138mt in Reserve. The transfer is in effect through November 15th, 2021 (or until the Harpoon quota is met) and applies to commercial vessels fishing under the Harpoon Category permit.
To stay up to date on all things billfish and highly migratory species, become a member, subscribe to our monthly newsletter, visit our online shop, and follow us on social media, @TheBillfishFoundation.