The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recently announced a closure of the General category fishery, coastwide, for large medium and giant Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) effective 11:30 p.m. local time, Friday, November 4, 2016, through December 31, 2016.
Based on the best available BFT landings information for the General category BFT fishery, NMFS has determined that the adjusted General category quota of 676.7 mt has been reached, (i.e., as of October 31, reported landings total approximately 677.4 mt).
Retaining, possessing, or landing large medium or giant BFT by persons aboard vessels permitted in the Atlantic tunas General and HMS Charter/Headboat categories (while fishing commercially) ceased at 11:30 p.m. local time on November 4, 2016.
The General category will reopen automatically on January 1, 2017, for the January through March 2017 subperiod, according to NMFS.
The action applies to Atlantic tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels when fishing commercially for BFT.
For more information on BFT fishing regulations, including recreational size and retention limits, please go to hmspermits.noaa.gov.
source: NOAA Fisheries – Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Management Division