New Quota Adjustments for Swordfish, Albacore Tuna, and Bluefin Tuna

NOAA Fisheries announced new 2019 baseline quotas for North Atlantic albacore tuna, North and South Atlantic swordfish, and Atlantic bluefin tuna (reserve category). These updates come as a result of underharvest of these species in 2018, moving the underutilized quota for 2018 to be available for 2019 use. The new quotas are as follows:

New Quota Old Quota Amount Carried Over
North Atlantic Albacore Tuna 790.5 mt ww 632.4 mt ww 158.1 mt
North Atlantic Swordfish 3,378.2 mt dw 2,937.6 mt ww 440.6 mt
South Atlantic Swordfish 75.1 mt dw 75.2 mt dw 75.1 mt
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Reserve 225.3 mt ww 29.5 mt ww 127.3 mt from 2018, 68.5 mt from purse seine

Key: mt = metric tons, ww = whole weight, dw = dressed weight

Note: The South Atlantic swordfish transfer is handled differently from the rest. No U.S. fishermen caught any South Atlantic swordfish in 2018, so the entire 75.1 mt dw was transferred to the 2019 quota, effectively doubling it. However, the entire 75.2 mt dw quota for U.S. landed South Atlantic swordfish for 2019 was already transferred to other countries, namely Namibia, Cote d’Ivoire, and Belize, as is recommended by ICCAT. In short, the 2019 quota for U.S. landed South Atlantic Swordfish was transferred to other countries, but, because the U.S. caught none in 2018, the quota was refilled for use in 2019.

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