NOAA Fisheries is adjusting Atlantic bluefin tuna daily retention limits for recreational fishermen. The adjusted limits go into effect on May 6, 2022, and extend through December 31, 2022, unless modified by later action.
|Vessel/Permit Type||Default Retention Limit per Vessel per Day/Trip||New Retention Limit per Vessel per Day/Trip|
|Private vessels with a Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling category permit||1 school, large school, or small-medium (27 to <73”)||
|Charter boats with an HMS Charter/Headboat permit fishing recreationally||1 school, large school, or small-medium (27 to <73”)||
|Headboats with an HMS Charter/Headboat permit fishing recreationally||1 school, large school, or small-medium||
BFT Size Classes
Size class Curved fork length–
School: 27 to less than 47 inches (68.5 to less than 119 cm).
Large school: 47 to less than 59 inches (119 to less than 150 cm).
Small-medium: 59 to less than 73 inches (150 to less than 185 cm).
Large-medium: 73 to less than 81 inches (185 to less than 206 cm).
Giant: 81 inches or greater (206 cm or greater).
Who is affected?
The changes apply to HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels when fishing recreationally. The daily retention limits are effective for all areas except for the Gulf of Mexico, where NOAA Fisheries does not allow targeted fishing for bluefin tuna.
HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessel owners are required to report the catch of all bluefin retained or discarded dead within 24 hours of landing or the end of each trip by:
- Visiting the HMS Permit Shop.
- Using the HMS Catch Reporting app.
- Calling 888-872-8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.).