Swordfish and Tunas Landings Update

NOAA Fisheries announced landings updates for Northern Atlantic swordfish and tunas, including bluefin, yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, and northern albacore. This update includes all landings of these species from January 1 to January 31, 2020.

Swordfish:

Commercial swordfish intentional landings are generally on par with this time last year. However, commercial bycatch and recreational intentional landing of swordfish are up. However, these numbers are still very low. Northern Atlantic swordfish have two separate quotas. The commercial intentional fishery is allowed 1,318.8 mt dw of swordfish per year. The recreational fishery shares it’s quota with commercial bycatch and is limited to only 300 mt dw of swordfish per year. Both quotas have plenty of allowable catch left. Recreational landings include all landings by anglers under a HMS angling permit or HMS charter/headboat permit when on a for-hire trip.

Landings (mt dw) % of Quota 2019 Landings (mt dw)*
Commercial Fishery 106.7 8.1% of 1,318.8 110.8
Commercial Fishery Bycatch 2.4 0.8% of 300 0.0
Recreational Fishery 3.2 1.1% of 300 1.1
Total 112.2 113.2

*Landings from January 1 to January 31, 2019, the same time period as is reported for 2020

Bluefin Tuna:

Below includes all commercial landings of bluefin tuna from January 1 – January 31, 2020. 19.5 mt of the General category was unused in December of 2019 and thus transferred to 2020 General Category. The General Category includes handline, harpoon, and rod and reel, with rod and reel making up the vast majority of the use. Landings are roughly the same for 2020 as they were for 2019, with the general category online slightly higher and the commercial category slightly lower than in 2019.

Category Landings (mt) Quota (mt) 2019 Landings (mt)*
General 22.2 555.7 20.1
Harpoon 46
Longline 4.7 188.6 7.4
Trap 0 1.2
Purse Seine 219.5
Reserve 29.5
Total 26.9 2040.5 27.5

*Landings from January 1 to January 31, 2019, the same time period as is reported for 2020

Tunas:

Below includes all commercial landings of yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, and northern albacore tuna from January 1 – January 31, 2020. Large variations in landings between 2019 and 2020 can be seen for yellowfin, bigeye, and northern albacore. Yellowfin tuna have far lower landings during the first month of 2020 as compared to 2019. Conversely, bigeye and especially northern albacore have seen increases in landings for the first month of the year. Skipjack have exceptionally low landing numbers, on par with the time period in 2019.

Landings (mt ww) 2019 Landings (mt ww)*
Yellowfin 48.9 68.9
Bigeye 19.9 14.6
Skipjack <1 <1
Northern Albacore 22.6 10

*Landings from January 1 to January 31, 2019, the same time period as is reported for 2020

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