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‘Trophy’ Blue Fin Season Over for South Atlantic

WASHINGTON (CN) - The National Marine Fisheries Service has closed the "trophy" blue fin tuna fishery for individual anglers south of 39° latitude for the rest of 2012.

According to the NMFS, recreational anglers have landed the 2.8 metric tons of the tuna over 73" in length apportioned to the trophy sport fishery in the South Atlantic for the year.

The NMFS also raised the daily retention limit for recreational charter boats to allow one blue fin tuna between 27" and 47" and one between 47" and 73" per day.

The change increases the number of fish from one of any size between 27" and 73" to two fish per boat, one in each size range, other than trophy size. Charter boat operators said the ability to land more than one fish per trip was vital to attracting charter groups.

Charter boats are allowed one giant or trophy blue fin tuna per year.

Global fishing of the increasingly rare blue fin tuna is managed by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, which sets quotas for member nations each year.

Member states then apportion their quota to the different subcategories of fishing interests based on the estimated population of fish and landings each year.

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