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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BJ57 Publication ID: Spring 2020 
Title: ●Interim Measures for the 2020 Atlantic Bluefish Fishery 

The Atlantic bluefish stock was declared overfished in the most recent, August 2019, operational assessment.  The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council took final action on December 10, 2019 to set recreational management measures that would constrain bluefish catch to the reduced 2020 annual catch limit and prevent overfishing from occurring.  However, under the normal rulemaking process, these measures are not able to be implemented until well into the fishing year, which began on January 1, 2020, greatly increasing the risk of overfishing on the overfished stock under the unconstrained, status quo regulations. This temporary rule implements recreational management measures for the bluefish fishery under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to ensure the 2020 annual catch limit is not exceeded and overfishing does not occur.  The new measures consist of a reduction in the recreational bag limit from 15 fish to 3 fish for private anglers, and 5 fish for for-hire vessels.  These temporary measures are being put in place to constrain harvest rates early in the year until the Council-recommended final 2020 bluefish specifications and recreational measures can be implemented to replace them.  This action would minimize the risk of overfishing during the early months of the year when effort would otherwise be unconstrained prior to the anticipated implementation of new management measures.


Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Not subject to, not significant 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 648   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
Temporary Rule  02/28/2020  85 FR 11863   
Temporary Rule Effective  02/28/2020 
Comment Period End  03/30/2020 
Final Action  08/00/2020 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Michael Pentony
Regional Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
55 Great Republic Drive,
Gloucester, MA 01930
Phone:978 281-9283
Fax:978 281-9207