50 CFR 635.20 - Size limits.

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§ 635.20 Size limits.
(a) General. The CFL will be the sole criterion for determining the size and/or size class of whole (head on) Atlantic tunas for a vessel that has been issued a limited access North Atlantic swordfish permit under § 635.4.
(b) BFT size classes. The size class of a BFT found with the head removed shall be determined using pectoral fin curved fork length (PFCFL) multiplied by a conversion factor of 1.35. The CFL, as determined by conversion of the PFCFL, will be the sole criterion for determining the size class of a beheaded BFT. The conversion factor may be adjusted after consideration of additional scientific information and fish measurement data, and will be made effective by filing with the Office of the Federal Register for publication notification of the adjustment.
(c) BFT, bigeye tuna, and yellowfin tuna.
(1) No person shall take, retain, or possess a BFT, bigeye tuna, or yellowfin tuna in the Atlantic Ocean that is less than 27 inches (69 cm) CFL;
(2) Applying the conversion factor from PFCFL to CFL for a beheaded BFT in § 635.20(b) means that no person shall retain or possess a BFT, with the head removed, that is less than 20 inches (51 cm) PFCFL.
(3) No person shall remove the head of a bigeye tuna or yellowfin tuna if the remaining portion would be less than 27 inches (69 cm) from the fork of the tail to the forward edge of the cut.
(d) Billfish.
(1) No person shall take, retain or possess a blue marlin taken from its management unit that is less than 99 inches (251 cm), LJFL.
(2) No person shall take, retain or possess a white marlin taken from its management unit that is less than 66 inches (168 cm), LJFL.
(3) No person shall take, retain or possess shoreward of the outer boundary of the EEZ a sailfish taken from its management unit that is less than 63 inches (160 cm), LJFL.
(4) No person shall take, retain or possess a roundscale spearfish taken from its management unit that is less than 66 inches (168 cm), LJFL.
(5) The Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish minimum size limits, specified in paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section, may be adjusted to sizes between 117 and 138 inches (297.2 and 350.5 cm) for blue marlin and 70 and 79 inches (177.8 and 200.7 cm) for white marlin and roundscale spearfish, to achieve, but not exceed, the annual Atlantic marlin landing limit specified in § 635.27(d). Minimum size limit increases will be based upon a review of landings, the period of time remaining in the current fishing year, current and historical landing trends, and any other relevant factors. NMFS will adjust the minimum size limits specified in this section by filing an adjustment with the Office of the Federal Register for publication. In no case shall the adjustments be effective less than 14 calendar days after the date of publication. The adjusted minimum size limits will remain in effect through the end of the applicable fishing year or until otherwise adjusted.
(e) Sharks. The following size limits change depending on the species being caught and the retention limit under which they are being caught as specified under § 635.22(c).
(1) All sharks landed under the recreational retention limits specified at § 635.22(c) must have the head, tail, and fins naturally attached.
(2) All sharks landed under the recreational retention limits specified at § 635.22(c)(2) must be at least 54 inches (137 cm) FL.
(3) There is no size limit for Atlantic sharpnose or bonnethead sharks taken under the recreational retention limits specified at § 635.22(c)(3).
(4) [Reserved]
(f) Swordfish.
(1) For a swordfish that has its head naturally attached, the LJFL is the sole criterion for determining the size of a swordfish. No person shall take, retain, possess, or land a whole (head on) North or South Atlantic swordfish taken from its management unit that is not equal to or greater than 47 inches (119 cm) LJFL. A swordfish with the head naturally attached that is damaged by shark bites may be retained only if the length of the remainder of the fish is equal to or greater than 47 inches (119 cm) LJFL.
(2) If the head of a swordfish is no longer naturally attached, the CK measurement is the sole criterion for determining the size of a swordfish. No person shall take, retain, possess, or land a dressed North or South Atlantic swordfish taken from its management unit that is not equal to or greater than 25 inches (63 cm) CK length. A swordfish that is damaged by shark bites may be retained only if the length of the remainder of the carcass is equal to or greater than 25 inches (63 cm) CK length.
(3) No person shall import into the United States an Atlantic swordfish weighing less than 33 lb (15 kg) dressed weight, or a part derived from a swordfish that weighs less than 33 lb (15 kg) dressed weight.
(4) Except for a swordfish landed in a Pacific state and remaining in that Pacific state of landing, a swordfish, or part thereof, not meeting the minimum size measurements specified in § 635.20(f)(1) or (2) will be deemed to be an Atlantic swordfish harvested by a vessel of the United States and to be in violation of the minimum size requirement of this section unless such swordfish, or part thereof, is accompanied by a swordfish statistical document attesting that the swordfish was lawfully imported. Refer to § 300.186 of this title for the requirements related to the swordfish statistical document.
(5) A swordfish, or part thereof, will be monitored for compliance with the minimum size requirement of this section from the time it is landed in, or imported into, the United States up to, and including, the point of first transaction in the United States.
[64 FR 29135, May 28, 1999, as amended at 64 FR 37704, July 13, 1999; 66 FR 42804, Aug. 15, 2001; 68 FR 714, Jan. 7, 2003; 68 FR 74785, Dec. 24, 2003; 69 FR 67284, Nov. 17, 2004; 71 FR 58167, Oct. 2. 2006; 74 FR 66587, Dec. 19, 2009; 75 FR 30525, June 1, 2010; 75 FR 57701, Sept. 22, 2010; 76 FR 70066, Nov. 10, 2011; 77 FR 45280, July 31, 2012]

Title 50 published on 2013-10-01

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 50.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2014-08-26; vol. 79 # 165 - Tuesday, August 26, 2014
    1. 79 FR 50854 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries
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      DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
      Temporary rule; inseason General category retention limit adjustment.
      Effective September 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.
      50 CFR Part 635

Title 50 published on 2013-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 50 CFR 635 after this date.

  • 2014-09-18; vol. 79 # 181 - Thursday, September 18, 2014
    1. 79 FR 56047 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan; Amendment 9
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      DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
      Notice of public hearings.
      Written comments will be accepted until November 14, 2014. The public hearings and webinars will occur between September 24, 2014, and November 4, 2014. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for dates, times, and locations.
      50 CFR Part 635