Commercial fisheries meet quota for Pacific bluefin tuna

STATEWIDE — Commercial fisheries won’t be dropping lines for Pacific bluefin tuna for the remainder of 2017, it was confirmed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

A formal notice to the fishery was issued via U.S. Coast Guard radio; notices were also given to businesses in the market for bluefin tuna, according to John Ugoretz, an environmental program manager with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The fishery reportedly met its 2017 quota, meaning commercial boats will have to immediately cease fishing for Pacific bluefin tuna and find other fish to reel in during the final four months of the year.

U.S. commercial fisheries are limited to 425 metric tons of Pacific bluefin tuna catches annually, according to international restrictions. The quota had not been exceeded in the previous four years.

The West Coast Fisheries division of NOAA, or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, recently posted the domestic commercial fishery caught 470.9 metric tons of Pacific bluefin tuna, more than 45 metric tons above the quota.

The fishery is expected to resume again in 2018.

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