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December 15, 2017 12:10 pm EST
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Measures Proposed to Revitalize U.S. Swordfish Fishery
Thursday, December 07, 2006 @ 06:36:58 EST

Measures Proposed to Revitalize U.S. Swordfish Fishery

U.S. North Atlantic swordfish catches have declined by approximately 40 percent since 1995, primarily as a result of management measures to reduce bycatch (e.g., time/area closures and gear modifications.) The objective of this proposed action is to provide a reasonable opportunity for U.S. vessels to fully harvest the United States ' quota allocation from the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). This rule would increase swordfish retention limits for Incidental swordfish permit holders, and modify recreational swordfish retention limits for HMS Charter/headboat and Angling category permit holders. The proposed rule would also modify HMS limited access vessel upgrading restrictions for pelagic longline vessels.

An October 2006 stock assessment estimated that the biomass of North Atlantic swordfish is approximately 99 percent of the biomass necessary to produce maximum sustainable yield. The preferred alternatives in this proposed rule

are intended to demonstrate that the United States is committed to revitalizing its historical swordfish fishery, recognizing that the North Atlantic swordfish is almost completely rebuilt. These actions would address persistent underharvests of the domestic swordfish quota, while continuing to minimize bycatch, so that swordfish are harvested in a sustainable, and economically viable manner.

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