Proposed Restricted-Fishing Days in the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fishery for Parts of 2023 and 2024

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.

What will it do?

Under the proposed rule:

  • NOAA Fisheries would 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.
  • 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.
  • Throughout the season, NOAA Fisheries may waive certain RFDs by increasing the bluefin tuna retention limit for those days; however, NOAA Fisheries would not modify RFDs in other ways (e.g., switching days, adding RFDs).

Who is affected?

  • Any Atlantic Tunas General category or HMS Charter/Headboat permit holder fishing commercially for bluefin tuna.
  • Any dealers who buy or sell Atlantic bluefin tuna.
  • Some Atlantic bluefin tuna tournaments that are open to participation by Atlantic Tunas General category permit holders.

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