NOAA/NMFS Amending Bluefin Tuna Allocations
The current proposed Amendment 13 to the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan may reallocate the U.S. Atlantic quota share of Bluefin Tuna among Fishing Categories (Angling, Longline, General, Purse Seine, Trap, Reserve). The Purse Seine category is being abolished and its tonnage reallocated since those vessels have landed any bluefin since 2015, due to regulatory size restraints, but their tonnage was leased to Longline Category vessels.
The redistribution will result in slight increases in the Angling Category now spread over 4 sub-allocation areas instead of 3 with the division of the Northern area into two areas. The areas will be identified as the Gulf of Maine and the Southern New England areas (north and south of 42 degrees N latitude, off Chatham, MA). The Gulf of Mexico and Southern Atlantic areas will remain. Each of the 4 areas will receive an equal percentage of the U.S. Angling Allocation. Implementation of the final rule will be for the 2022 fishing year.