Atlantic Bigeye, Albacore, Yellowfin and Skipjack Tuna Commercial Minimum Sizes and Retention Limits

Overview

Description
This summary is provided as a courtesy. Regulations are officially announced through the Federal Register.
Fishing Type
Commercial
Action Status
Final Rule
Published
Page updated July 1, 2020
Point of Contact
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Management Division, 978-281-9260

Summary

Minimum sizes and retention limits vary by permit type and species. Additional requirements may be applicable. View the HMS Commercial Compliance Guide for details. 

HMS Charter/Headboat Permit With a Commercial Sale Endorsement

Species

Fishery Status

Minimum Size

(curved fork length)

Retention Limit

Bigeye tuna

Open

27”

No limit

Albacore tuna

Open

None

No limit

Yellowfin tuna

Open

27”

No limit

Skipjack tuna

Open

None

No limit

Atlantic Tunas General Category Permit

Species

Fishery Status

Minimum Size

(curved fork length)

Retention Limit

Bigeye tuna

Open

27”

No limit

Albacore tuna

Open

None

No limit

Yellowfin tuna

Open

27”

No limit

Skipjack tuna

Open

None

No limit

Atlantic Tunas Harpoon Category Permit

Species

Fishery Status

Minimum Size

(curved fork length)

Retention Limit

Bigeye tuna

Open

27”

No limit

Albacore tuna

Open

None

No limit

Yellowfin tuna

Open

27”

No limit

Skipjack tuna

Open

None

No limit

Atlantic Tunas Purse Seine Category Permit

Species

Fishery Status

Minimum Size

(curved fork length)

Retention Limit

Bigeye tuna

Open

27”

No limit

Albacore tuna

Open

None

No limit

Yellowfin tuna

Open

27”

No limit

Skipjack tuna

Open

None

No limit

Atlantic Tunas Longline Category Permit

Species

Fishery Status

Minimum Size

(curved fork length)

Retention Limit

Bigeye tuna

Open

27”

No limit

Albacore tuna

Open

None

No limit

Yellowfin tuna

Open

27”

No limit

Skipjack tuna

Open

None

No limit

Trap Category Permit

This fishery is closed. 

Commercial Caribbean Small Boat Permit

Species

Fishery Status

Minimum Size

(curved fork length)

Retention Limit

Bigeye tuna

Open

27”

10/vessel/trip

Albacore tuna

Open

None

10/vessel/trip

Yellowfin tuna

Open

27”

10/vessel/trip

Skipjack tuna

Open

None

10/vessel/trip

 

Permit

To commercially harvest bigeye, albacore, yellowfin, or skipjack tuna in federal waters—as well as the state waters of all states except Maine, Connecticut, and Mississippi—vessel owners must obtain one of the following permits: 

  • Atlantic Tunas permit, which has General, Harpoon, Trap, Longline, and Purse Seine categories. Vessels with a Longline category permit must also have a Swordfish Directed or Swordfish Incidental permit. 

  • Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat permit with a commercial endorsement. 

  • HMS Commerical Caribbean Small Boat permit, which is valid only in the U.S. Caribbean region. 

Only one permit type will be issued to a vessel per year. 

Buy or renew a permit 

Measurement

Measure curved fork length by following the curve of the fish's body from the tip of the jaw to fork of the tail.

Curved fork length.png

Illustration by Diane Rome Peebles. 

 

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on 07/01/2020