NOAA Fisheries Announces 2015 Annual Catch Limits for Atlantic Bluefish

NOAA Fisheries has announced the following annual catch limits for the 2015 bluefish fishery: 

  • 2015 commercial quota: 5.241 million lb. This is a 35 percent decrease from 2014 (7.46 million lb).
  • 2015 recreational harvest limit: 12.951 million lb. This is a 4.3 percent decrease from the 2014 recreational harvest limit (13.52 million lb). 

Together, the total allowable landings for 2015 is 18.19 million lb. This is a 13.7 percent decrease from the 2014 total allowable landings (21.08 million lb). 

Although the bluefish stock is not overfished, and overfishing is not occurring, the most recent stock assessment update indicates the size of the stock has declined, which is why we reduced the limits. In recent years, states' landings of bluefish have been below their allocated quota, and the quota reductions may be partially mitigated by the states' ability to transfer quota.

Read the final rule as filed in the Federal Register, and get more information from the permit holder bulletin.