NOAA Fisheries Service has proposed modified quotas for North and South Atlantic swordfish for the current fishing year (through May 31, 2006) to account for updated landings information from previous fishing years. The proposed action would also extend the current North Atlantic swordfish management measures until the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) provides a recommendation for a new U.S. allocation of the North Atlantic swordfish total allowable catch.
ICCAT's Standing Committee for Research and Statistics (SCRS) plans to conduct a stock assessment for North Atlantic swordfish in 2006. The last assessment conducted by the SCRS found that the North Atlantic swordfish stock was almost completely rebuilt, with biomass levels at 94% of the level necessary to support the maximum sustainable yield.
There will be two public hearings to receive comments on the proposed swordfish regulations; details are provided in the proposed rule. Written comments on the proposed rule must be received by 5pm on March 30. Comments may be sent to: SF1.100405C@noaa.gov.