July 13, 2012
Government of Canada Gouvernenient du Canada
Fisheries and Oceans Pgches et Oceans
ATLANTIC BLUEFIN TUNA
CATCH AND RELEASE FISHERY GUIDELINES
Participation in the Bluefin Catch and Release Fishery will be guided by:
1 .I Each fleet must work with their respective Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)
regionallarea offices to develop a governance structure that would ensure
proper representation of all stakeholders that will lead to a single representative
and a single Conservation Harvesting Plan (CHP). Each region must develop a
governance structure that would ensure proper representation of all
stakeholders that will lead to a single representative and a single CHP.
1.2 All licence holders wishing to participate in the Catch and Release Fishery must
be part of the identified group.
1.3 All participating vessels are required to register with Transport Canada as a
vessel carrying passengers. A certified registration of each vessel and captain
certification must be submitted before approval for access.
1.4 All participants must be Bluefin tuna commercial licence holders or commercial
communal license holders and have the support of the identified group.
1.5 Additional restrictions on participation may be imposed by fleets within their
1.6 CHPs submitted to Regional staff to access catch and release fisheries must
clearly demonstrate a separation of the intended recreational activity from all
other commercial tuna access the proponent may possess.
1.7 Fleets must identify their intent to undertake a charter boat fishery to their local
Area office or Regional headquarters of DFO on or before June 1'' of each year.
1.8 License holders are not perrnitted to participate in the recreational shark fishery
while carrying out tuna charters.
1.9 Charter activities are only permitted out of a homeport that is located in your
1. I0 Licence holders are required to fish their licences personally.
2. CHARTER FLEETS CAPACITY
2.1 Fleet Sectors should regulate the charter fleet capacity based on stability of
access to quota as well as marketing capacity. Participation levels will be
determined by each individual fleet and should be consistent with the quota
available for the catch and release fishery.
2.2 The Catch and release allocation is 10tonnes for the 2012 season.
2.3 Once the catch and release quota is used, fleets can use of portions of the
sectors commercial quota.
3. GEAR AND FISHING PROTOCOLS
3.1 Biodegradable barbless circle hooks with no offset are the only permitted hooks.
3.2 The minimum line strength permitted isl80lb.
3.3 Maximuni of 4 fishing rod lines (and maximum 1 hook per line) can be used per
vessel until a tuna is hooked; when a tuna is hooked other lines must be
removed from the water.
3.4 Any tuna or bycatch species brought to the boat must be released forthwith in a
means that causes the least amount of harm to the fish.
3.5 Tuna are not perrr~ittedto be removed from the water.
3.6 For access to the catch and release quota, a maximum of one hook-up per trip
is permitted. A hook-up is defined as either a fish that is brought to the boat or a
minimum fight time of 45 minutes.
3.7 For access to the catch and release quota, the maximum permissible fight time
is 60 minutes and all tuna must be cut free once 60 minutes is reached. The
CaptainIMate is responsible for ensuring the tuna is brought as close as
possible to the boat within the 60 minute maxinium.
3.8 A maximum of 4 strikes per day - a strike is defined as any hooking of a Tuna
with a minimum of 5 minutes of fight time or identification of the species hooked.
3.9 The tuna should not be held stationary beside the vessel (i.e. no holding
motionless at side of vessel, the vessel must be in motion at all times when the
tuna is beside the vessel) and the gills and mouth must remain underwater at all
3.10 A requirement within the CHP to limit the number of fishing hours per day.
3.1 1 A requirement within the CHP to limit the fishing season.
4. MONITORING and REPORTING
4.1 Mandatory hail out (CHP must define hail out) and hail in.
4.2 At-sea observer coverage should be established at a minimum of 5% for each
4.3 Other fleet-appropriate monitoring (ie. Vessel Monitoring System) may be
4.4 Mandatory log book of charter activities submitted weekly.
4.5 Mandatory reporting of all species capturedlhooked.
5. FISHING MORTATLIN
5.1 Fishing Mortality will be based on DFO approved scientific research.
5.2 Five point six (5.6) percent will be the assumed percentage of mortality for all
5.3 'The percent mortality will be calculated based on the average weight of fish
captured by each fleet for the entire season.