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NMFS Proposes 2009 Atlantic Bluefin Quotas And Effort Controls

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) proposes 2009 fishing year quotas for the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) fishery and effort controls based on the reduced 2009 western Atlantic BFT Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and resulting total U.S. quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).

The TAC is intended to rebuild the stock consistent with the BFT rebuilding program and end overfishing by 2010. NMFS also proposes General and Angling category daily retention limits in this action as follows:
Daily Retention Limit (per vessel)
General3 large medium/giant BFT (measuring 73’’ or greater)June 1, 2009 – August 31, 2009
Angling 1 school, large school, or small medium BFT (measuring 27< 73’’)January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2009 (default limit currently in effect)
Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip, the daily retention limit applies. For example, whether a vessel takes a two-day trip of makes two trips in one day, the limit of 3 fish overall (for the General category) applies and may not be exceeded.

The total quota proposed for 2009 fishing year for Atlantic Bluefin tuna is 1.437 tons.