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Atlantic Bluefish Adjusted 2017 Sector Quota Transfer and Final Recreational Harvest Limit and Commercial Quotas

Contact:
Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281 –9315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 10, 2017

Effective Date: March 10, 2017

NOAA Fisheries announces that we are increasing the 2017 commercial bluefish quota.  This increase is based on a revised transfer from the recreational to the commercial sector of the bluefish fishery.  Using the most recent estimate of 2016 recreational bluefish landings, we are increasing the transfer amount consistent with the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery Management Plan (FMP).

When we implemented the initial 2017 bluefish specifications in 2016, we included an estimated transfer amount based on recreational catch data projected from available 2015 recreational landings.  The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council recommended that we re-evaluate the suggested sector quota transfer each year, consistent with the FMP requirements, as additional, up-to-date recreational fishery data become available.  Now that preliminary 2016 recreational bluefish catch data is available for the entire year, we have adjusted the transfer and resulting quotas accordingly.

Sector Transfer and Specification Adjustments

Using the updated recreational data to project 2017 catch, we are implementing an adjusted bluefish quota transfer of 5,033,101 lb from the recreational to commercial sector; resulting in a revised recreational harvest limit of 9,653,715 lb, and a revised commercial quota of 8,542,221 lb.

Recreational Fishing Measures

The daily recreational possession limit for 2017 remains up to 15 fish per person with a year-round open recreational season.

Re-Allocated 2017 Bluefish State Commercial Allocations

We have re-allocated this revised commercial quota to the coastal states based on percentages specified in the FMP, so that the individual state quota allocations also reflect the sector transfer.  These final, adjusted state commercial allocations for 2017 are shown in Table 1.  No states exceeded their quota in 2016, so no accountability measures are needed.

Table 1.  Final 2017 Bluefish Commercial State-by-State Allocations

State

FMP Percent Share

2017 Quota

 
 

kg

lb

 

ME

0.6685

25,902

57,105

 

NH

0.4145

16,061

35,408

 

MA

6.7167

260,251

573,755

 

RI

6.8081

263,793

581,563

 

CT

1.2663

49,065

108,170

 

NY

10.3851

402,390

887,118

 

NJ

14.8162

574,081

1,265,633

 

DE

1.8782

72,774

160,440

 

MD

3.0018

116,310

256,420

 

VA

11.8795

460,293

1,014,773

 

NC

32.0608

1,242,255

2,738,704

 

SC

0.0352

1,364

3,007

 

GA

0.0095

368

812

 

FL

10.0597

389,782

859,322

 

Total

100.0001

3,874,690

8,542,230

 

 

For small entity compliance guides, this bulletin complies with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996.  This notice is authorized by the Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, Greater Atlantic Region.