International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Revised 2017 Fishing Restrictions for Tropical Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean
NMFS is issuing regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act to implement amendments to Resolution C-17-01 (Conservation of Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean During 2017) per Resolution C-17-02 (Conservation Measures for Tropical Tunas in the Eastern Pacific Ocean During 2018- 2020 and Amendment to Resolution C-17-01) which was adopted by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC or Commission) in July 2017. Applicable to the purse seine fleet fishing for tropical tunas (bigeye, yellowfin, and skipjack tuna) in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO) and only for the remainder of the 2017 calendar year, the amendments to Resolution C-17-01 remove the total allowable catches (TACs) for bigeye tuna (BET) and yellowfin tuna (YFT), and replace them with an extension in the purse seine closure period from 62 days to 72 days. Additionally, to ensure that the time/area closure, known as the corralito, does not overlap with the extended closure periods, the amendments also shift the dates for the corralito closure. This rule is necessary for the conservation of tropical tuna stocks in the EPO and for the United States to satisfy its obligations as a member of the IATTC.