The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is proposing new measures to manage the Atlantic bluefin tuna stock. NMFS proposed new regs to implement Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan.
NMFS proposed the rules on Wednesday, Aug. 21. You can find them at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-21/html/2013-19991.htm.
NMFS is taking written comments until Oct. 23.
The rules would increase reporting requirements in various ways. They would expand the automated landing system that requires reporting of size and dead discards to harpoon and general categories
NMFS does not expect significant economic impact from the new rules. It hopes to reduce discards and account for bluefin bycatch better.
The proposals would also set two new gear restricted areas and change the start date of the Purse Seine category to June 1.
In addition to bluefin, NMFS also proposes to establish a North Atlantic albacore tuna quota.
NMFS also proposes some technical changes.