Reference Library

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2016 Recreational BFT Daily Retention Limits

Effective April 23 through December 31, 2016, NMFS is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) daily retention limits that apply to HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat-permitted vessels (when fishing recreationally), as shown in the attachment.

Amendment 7 Final Rule

NMFS announces the final rule to implement Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP to address bluefin tuna management. Please see the attached announcement for further information.

Approved Sea Turtle Release Equipment List

NMFS Announces the Availability of a Revised List of Approved Equipment Models for the Careful Release of Sea Turtles Caught in Hook and Line Fisheries

Atlantic HMS and Atlantic Tunas Permit Category Description

Provides a brief explanation of each Atlantic HMS and Atlantic tunas permit category, including authorized gears.

Atlantic Tunas Regulations Brochure

Summary of fishery information and regulations for the managed Atlantic tuna fisheries.

Atlantic bluefin tuna size classes

A table of the bluefin size classes and associated lengths and approximate weights.

Closure of Bluefin Tuna Angling Category Southern Trophy Fishery, April 10, 2016

NMFS closes the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) Angling category fishery for large medium and giant “trophy” BFT (measuring 73” or greater) in the southern area effective 11:30 p.m. local time, April 10, 2016, through December 31, 2016. The southern area is the area south of 39°18’N (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ), outside the Gulf of Mexico.

Final Rule for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Quotas

NMFS is modifying the baseline annual U.S. quota and subquotas for Atlantic bluefin tuna. The final rule increases the baseline annual U.S. Atlantic bluefin tuna quota from the 923.7-mt level established via a 2011 quota rule to 1,058.79 mt, as recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) for 2015 and 2016. NMFS is adjusting and codifying the baseline annual subquotas for the domestic fishing categories consistent with the process established in Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan. Specifically for 2015, NMFS augments the Reserve category quota with available underharvest of the 2014 adjusted U.S. BFT quota and also recalculates the Purse Seine and Reserve category quotas that were announced earlier this year.

Green-stick Gear Fact Sheet

This notice describes the authorized use of green-stick gear in Atlantic HMS fisheries.

Guide to the Tunas of the Western Atlantic Ocean

Field guide to help identify the various species of Atlantic tunas

HMS Tournament Registration Form

A tournament operator must notify NMFS of the purpose, dates, and location of the tournament conducted from a port in an Atlantic coastal state, including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, at least 4 weeks prior to commencement of the tournament.

Instructions for reporting bluefin tuna

This document provides step-by-step instructions on how to report bluefin tuna using the on-line reporting system (for General category, HMS Charter/Headboat, Harpoon, and Angling category vessel owner/operators).

January 2016 General Category: 24.3-mt Transfer and 3-fish Limit

NMFS transfers 24.3 mt of Atlantic bluefin tuna quota from the General category (commercial handgear) December 2016 subquota period to the January 2016 subquota period, and adjusts the Atlantic bluefin tuna General category daily retention limit for the January 2016 subquota period to 3 large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73” or greater) per vessel per day/trip.

Large Pelagics Survey Bluefin Tuna Length Validation Assessment

Large Pelagics Survey Bluefin Tuna Length Validation Assessment Paper Submitted to ICCAT

NMFS Transfers 40 mt to the Harpoon Category for 2015

NMFS adjusts the Harpoon category Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) quota by transferring 40 mt from the Reserve category. With this transfer, the adjusted Harpoon category quota is 73.4 mt for the 2015 fishing season (i.e., through November 15, 2015, or until the Harpoon category quota is reached, whichever comes first).

NMFS Transfers 80 mt of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna to General Category; 3-fish Limit

NMFS Transfers 80 mt from the Reserve Category and Adjusts the Daily Retention Limit to Three Fish for the Remainder of 2015

Paperwork Reduction Act Statements

Paperwork Reduction Act Statements for Annual Atlantic Tunas Permitting and Mandatory Catch Reporting of Bluefin Tuna

Reminder about Charterboat, Headboat, and Commercial Permits

NOAA?s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries Service) wants to remind fishermen there are several federal regulations regarding fishing for dolphin and wahoo in federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean (Maine through the east coast of Florida).

Tuna Trolling and Whales

Recent evidence show that tuna fishing lines, trolled through areas where both tuna and whales are feeding, have hooked the wrong species. The strong lines and sharp hooks, necessary for catching large tuna, can dig into blubber of these unintended targets, possibly causing harm to the whale and is a violation of federal law. All whales, dolphins and porpoises in the northeast region are federally protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and most large whales in the area are further protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Under these Acts, it is illegal to "harass, hunt, capture or kill" any marine mammal. Prohibited conduct includes any "negligent or intentional act which results in the disturbing or molesting of marine mammals." The operational procedures are located in full at: