JUNE 29, 2020

NOAA Fisheries Announces Bluefish Measures

NOAA Fisheries is implementing the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s recommended revised bluefish specifications and recreational management measures for 2020 and 2021. These catch limits are reduced to account for the results of the recent operational assessment and prevent overfishing on the now overfished bluefish stock.

The commercial total allowable landings are reduced by 25 percent, from 3.71 to 2.77 million pounds, and the recreational total allowable landings are reduced by 39 percent, from 15.62 to 9.48 million pounds. There is no sector transfer this year because the recreational fishery is expected to fully attain its harvest limit.

Table 1 (below) provides the commercial fishery state allocations for 2020 based on the final coast-wide commercial quota, and the allocated percentages defined in the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan. No states exceeded their state allocated quota in 2019; therefore, no accountability measures are necessary for the 2020 commercial fishery.

Table 1. 2020 Bluefish State Commercial Quota Allocations.

State

Percent Share

Quota Allocation (lb)

Maine

0.67

18,496

New Hampshire

0.41

11,468

Massachusetts

6.72

185,838

Rhode Island

6.81

188,366

Connecticut

1.27

35,036

New York

10.39

287,335

New Jersey

14.82

409,934

Delaware

1.88

51,966

Maryland

3.00

83,054

Virginia

11.88

328,682

North Carolina

32.06

887,058

South Carolina

0.04

974

Georgia

0.01

263

Florida

10.06

278,332

Total

100.00

2,766,801

This action also permanently implements the reduced federal bluefish recreational fishery daily bag limit from 15 to 3 fish per person for private anglers and to 5 fish per person for for-hire (charter/party) vessels as established through recent interim measures. All other recreational management measures and commercial management measures remain unchanged.

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

Questions?

Fishermen: Contact Cynthia Ferrio,Sustainable Fisheries Division, 978-281-9180

Media: Contact Allison Ferreira, Regional Office, 978-281-9103