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Atlantic Bluefish Specifications Announced

NOAA Fisheries is implementing the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s recommended catch specifications for the 2022 and 2023 bluefish fishery. The annual catch limits were developed using a 2021 assessment update and measures implemented by Amendment 7 to the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan. All catch limits are increasing in both 2022 and 2023, as shown below, in accordance with the rebuilding plan for the stock.

Comparison of 2021, 2022, and 2023 Bluefish Specifications (million lb)

 2021 (Current)2022 (Proposed)2023 (Projected)
Overfishing Limit32.9840.5645.17
Acceptable Biological Catch = Annual Catch Limit (ACL)16.2825.2630.62
Commercial ACL = Commercial Annual Catch Target (ACT)2.773.544.29
Recreational ACL = Recreational ACT13.5121.7326.34
Commercial Total Allowable Landings (TAL)2.773.544.29
Recreational TAL8.3413.8922.14
Sector Transfer000
Commercial Quota2.773.544.29
Recreational Harvest Limit8.3413.8922.14

The commercial fishery state allocations are based on the final coast-wide commercial quota and the phased-in changes to the allocated percentages to the states defined in the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan, specified in Amendment 7. No states exceeded their state allocated quota in 2020 or 2021, so no adjustments are necessary for the 2022 commercial fishery.

All other management measures and requirements, including the recreational daily bag limit of 3 fish per person for private anglers and 5 fish per person for for-hire (charter/party) vessels, remain unchanged.

For more details on this action, please read the rule as filed in the Federal Register and the bulletin posted on our website.

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