Pacific Bluefin Tuna Commercial Harvest Status

On March 9, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule (80 FR 12375) regarding domestic implementation of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) Resolution C-14-06 (Measures for the Conservation and Management of Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, 2015-2016). The proposed rule, in accordance with the advice from the Pacific Fishery Management Council, includes catch and trip limits that apply to U.S. commercial vessels that fish for Pacific bluefin tuna in the eastern Pacific Ocean during 2015 and 2016. The rule proposes a 600 mt catch limit for both years combined, but not to exceed 425 mt in a single year. Further, the rule specifies that if U.S. catch exceeds 300 mt in 2015, then U.S. catch may not exceed 200 mt in 2016. In each year, NMFS is proposing a trip limit of 20 mt until catch is within 50 mt of the catch limit and a 2 mt trip limit when catch is within 50 mt of the catch limit.

The public comment period on the proposed rule ended April 8, 2015. Please click here to view the proposed rule, supporting documents, and public comments received.

The Commercial harvest of Pacific bluefin tuna in the IATTC Convention Area is in metric tons (mt).

Year Regulations Commission-wide  commercial limit Commission-wide commercial catch in the IATTC Convention Area to date U.S. commercial catch limit U.S. commercial catch to date
2015   6,600 mt for 2015 and 2016, combined 2,988 mt 425 mt 48.8 mt
2014 79 FR 28448
79 FR 53631
79 FR 68133
5,000 mt 4,865 mt caught as of July 9; limit determined to be reached 500 mt* 404 mt caught as of November 13, 2014
2013 78 FR 33240 3,295 mt* Limit determined to be reached in July 500 mt* 6 mt caught

* The U.S. catch limit is notwithstanding the Commission-wide limit.

** IATTC Resolution C-12-09 established a Commission-wide limit of 10,000 mt for 2012 and 2013. NMFS implemented the resolution in 2013 when 3,295 mt of the Commission-wide limit remained after the IATTC Director determined that 6,705 mt had been caught by IATTC Members and Cooperating non-members in 2012.

NOTE: Catch data is preliminary and provided by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife and Pacific Fisheries Information Network. Monthly reports of catch for IATTC CPCs are available on the IATTC website.

The above information is current as of June 22, 2015.

For more information, contact Amber Rhodes at amber.rhodes@noaa.gov or (562) 980-3231