This document is a formal review of the Individual Bluefin Quota (IBQ) Program, which is the catch share program for bluefin tuna in the pelagic longline fishery in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.The intent of the Three-Year Review of the IBQ Program is to evaluate the IBQ Program’s effectiveness in meeting its goals and objectives.
- Atlantic bluefin tuna (bluefin) are highly migratory pelagic fish that range across most of the North Atlantic and its adjacent seas, including the Gulf of Mexico and Mediterranean Sea. The bluefin fishery is a quota-managed fishery, and the annual U.S. bluefin quota is established by binding recommendations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).
- The IBQ Program and Electronic Monitoring (EM) Program were implemented in the pelagic longline fishery in the Atlantic Ocean (Atlantic) and Gulf of Mexico in 2015 through Amendment 7 (of the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan). The EM Program was implemented to support the IBQ Program by providing a means of verifying vessel-reported data on bluefin catch.
- Section 6.9 contains a wide variety of reference data on the EM Program, including information on the audit periods; number of sets and vessels audited; the success rate in completing of audits (“audit exceptions”); comparison of EM and VMS data; analysis of EM methods; and data regarding maintenance and troubleshooting of the EM systems.
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