National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) logo

Proposed Restricted-Fishing Days in the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fishery

NOAA Fisheries announces a proposed rule regarding the use of restricted-fishing days (RFDs) in the Atlantic Tunas General category and HMS Charter/Headboat fisheries for parts of the 2023 and 2024 fishing years.

Under the proposed rule, NOAA Fisheries will establish RFDs every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday from July 1 through November 30, 2023, and every Tuesday and Friday from December 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024, while the fishery is open.  This means that  Atlantic Tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels may not fish for (including catch-and-release and tag-and-release), possess, retain, land, or sell a bluefin tuna of any size class on an RFD.  HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels may fish for, possess, retain, or land bluefin tuna recreationally under applicable HMS Angling category rules, but may not commercially fish for or land a bluefin tuna on an RFD. NOAA did state that they may waive certain RFDs during the season by increasing the bluefin tuna retention limit for those days but would not modify RFDs in other ways (e.g., switching days, adding RFDs).

Tournaments that are open to Atlantic Tunas General category permit holders need to be aware of this as well as it would affect possible fishing dates.

TBF will submit comments by the April 5, 2023 Deadline. 

Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal. All comments received are a part of the public record and are posted without change.

TBF will monitor this issue and to stay up to date with all things billfish, become a membersubscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on social media, @TheBillfishFoundation.