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Atlantic Highly Migratory Species News

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces a final rule regarding Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) quotas and Atlantic tuna fisheries management measures.

The final rule:
(1) Implements and allocates the U.S. BFT quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) for 2011 and 2012;
(2) Adjusts the 2011 U.S. BFT quota and subquotas to account for unharvested 2010 quota, and to account for a portion of the estimated 2011 dead discards up front;
(3) Reinstates pelagic longline target catch requirements for retaining BFT in the Northeast Distant Gear Restricted Area (NED);
(4) Amends the Atlantic tunas possession-at-sea and landing regulations to allow removal of tail lobes; and
(5) Clarifies the transfer-at-sea regulations for Atlantic tunas.

The BFT quotas (items 1 and 2 above) will be effective July 5, 2011.  The other measures (items 3, 4, and 5) will be effective August 4, 2011.

Please see the attached announcement for further information.

The Federal Register notice (as filed) can be viewed at: http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2011-16769_PI.pdf

NMFS will post the published Federal Register notice on the Highly Migratory Species Management Division website (www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/breaking_news.htm) on Tuesday, July 5.