MANASQUAN, NJ – Bluefin tuna fishermen from Maine to North Carolina dropped everything and bolted for New Jersey and Long Island ports in early December as word spread that the big fish were biting in Hudson Canyon.
In a stroke of good timing, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced the week before that it was increasing the daily retention limit from three bluefin to five effective Nov. 27 through Dec. 31.
The bigger bag limit made the economics of the fishery work for the estimated 100-plus boats that participated in the late-fall fishery, as the additional fish helped pay for fuel and other expenses.
“The American Bluefin Tuna Association (ABTA) asked the agency to go up to five a day,” said Ralph Pratt, an ABTA board member who steamed 178 miles from Green Harbor, MA down to Manasquan for a few good days of offshore fishing. “It was a great move, and we really appreciated it.”
Read the rest and much, much more in the January issue of Commercial Fisheries News.
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