Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Angling Category Southern Area Trophy Fishery
The Angling category fishery for trophy bluefin tuna in the southern area will close effective 11:30 p.m., February 20, 2020. The fishery will remain closed through December 31, 2020.
The southern area is the area south of 39°18’N lat. (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ), outside the Gulf of Mexico. Trophy bluefin tuna are those measure 73 inches or greater.
Why is this change being made?
Based on the best available landings information, NOAA Fisheries has determined that the Angling category southern area trophy bluefin tuna subquota of 1.8 mt has been reached and exceeded and, therefore, closure of the fishery is warranted.
Who is affected?
Individuals aboard vessels permitted in the Atlantic HMS Angling and Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat permits fishing recreationally in the southern area (defined above) may not retain, possess, or land large medium or giant Atlantic bluefin tuna after 11:30 p.m. on February 20, 2020.
Note that the Angling category fishery for school, large school, or small medium bluefin tuna (27 to <73 inches) remains open in all areas except for the Gulf of Mexico, where NOAA Fisheries does not allow targeted fishing for bluefin tuna because it has been designated as a spawning ground.
Fishermen may also catch and release or tag and release bluefin tuna of all sizes, subject to the requirements of HMS catch-and-release and tag-and-release programs. All bluefin tuna that are released must be handled in a manner that will maximize survivability and without removing the fish from the water.
Angling category and HMS Charter/Headboat category permitted vessel owners are required to report the catch of all bluefin retained or discarded dead within 24 hours of landing or the end of each trip by:
- Accessing the HMS Permit Shop.
- Using the HMS Catch Reporting app.
- Calling 888-872-8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.).
Thomas J. Hilton– Last fall, the NASA server went down for a couple of weeks which left us without any chlorophyll shots during that time. After listening to feedback from our customers, I directed our techs to expand our chlorophyll images to ensure this doesn’t happen again!
When you click on the chlorophyll button, you will see 4 options – simply click on the best/latest shot and it will pull up with full functionality. The upper left image is our original chlorophyll (NASA Modis Aqua), the upper right is the same image from but from the NOAA server (in case the NASA server goes down again). The lower left is NASA Modis Terra and the lower right is NASA VIIRS. So, now we have 2 different servers, and 3 separate satellites shooting at different times of the day to provide the most coverage possible!
Learn more at www.Realtime-Navigator.com
Comment Period Ends November 16, 2015
NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on Amendment 7 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Dolphin Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic and Amendment 33 to the FMP for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 7 and Snapper-Grouper Amendment 33). The Notice of Availability for public comment on this amendment published in the Federal Register on September 17, 2015 (80 FR 55819). Comments are due by November 16, 2015.
The management measures in Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 7 and Snapper-Grouper Amendment 33 address dolphin, wahoo, and snapper-grouper species lawfully harvested by recreational fishers in The Bahamas and brought to the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Proposed management measures
If approved by NOAA Fisheries, Dolphin Wahoo Amendment 7 and Snapper-Grouper Amendment 33 would:
Allow recreational fishermen to bring fillets of dolphin and wahoo from The Bahamas into the U.S. EEZ and update regulations that currently allow recreational fishermen to bring snapper-grouper fillets from The Bahamas into the U.S. EEZ.
Specify two fillets are equivalent to one fish for dolphin, wahoo, and snapper-grouper species brought into the U.S. EEZ from The Bahamas.
Require fishers to retain skin on the entire fillet of dolphin, wahoo, and snapper-grouper species.
Require fishing gear to be stowed while transiting through the U.S. EEZ from The Bahamas. A vessel carrying fillets of dolphin, wahoo, or snapper-grouper species lawfully harvested in Bahamian waters would not be allowed to stop in the U.S. EEZ during the transit.
Require stamped and dated passports, as well as valid current Bahamian cruising and fishing permits to prove that the recreational fishers were indeed in The Bahamas.
Not allow recreationally caught dolphin, wahoo, or snapper-grouper from The Bahamas to be sold or purchased in the U.S.
Not exempt recreational fishermen from any other Federal fishing regulations such as fishing seasons, recreational bag limits, size limits, and prohibited species.
Request for Comments
Comments on the proposed rule must be received no later than November 16, 2015, to be considered by NOAA Fisheries. See the Addresses section for information on where and how to submit comments.
Electronic or hard copies of the proposed rule may be obtained from:
The NOAA Fisheries Web site
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Web site at http://www.safmc.net.
You may submit comments by the following methods:
Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0047, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NOAA Fisheries will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).