Jones Calls for Action to Extend Bluefin Tuna Season | Eastern North Carolina Now

News Release:

    WASHINGTON, DC     Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) is urging NOAA Fisheries to extend bluefin tuna season for Eastern North Carolina fishermen. The winter bluefin tuna season for General Category permit holders runs from January 1 to March 31st. The 39 metric ton quota for that period has nearly been caught (31.3 tons as of February 26th). Unless NOAA Fisheries transfers quota currently left in reserve for circumstances like this, the fishery will be closed in a matter of days.

    In a letter sent today, Congressman Jones urged NOAA Fisheries Administrator Chris Oliver to grant North Carolina bluefin tuna fishermen's request for more quota to extend the season as far into March as possible. Jones noted that the administration secured a 17 percent increase in the United States' overall 2018 bluefin quota allocation from ICCAT, the international organization which manages bluefin tuna harvest globally. Jones suggested this increase in the overall quota should allow more flexibility to execute the in-season quota transfer requested by North Carolina fishermen.

    "This is a reasonable request," said Congressman Jones. "All we're asking for is to let Eastern North Carolina fishermen harvest what has already been determined to be acceptable to harvest sustainably. We don't want to get to the end of the year and find out that quota has been left on the table. We need the economic benefit flowing through our coastal communities now, not lost forever."

    For additional information, please contact Allison Tucker in Congressman Jones' office at (202) 225-3415 or allison.tucker@mail.house.gov.
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