Atlantic Bluefin 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
Read Amendment

Summary

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

Permit Type

Fishery Status

Minimum Size

(curved fork length)

Retention Limit 

HMS Charter/Headboat with a commercial endorsement

Open

73" or greater

1/vessel/day or trip

Atlantic Tunas General category

Open

73" or greater

1/vessel/day or trip

Atlantic Tunas Harpoon category

Open

  • 73" to <81"
  • 81" or greater
  • 2/vessel/day or trip
  • No limit

Atlantic Tunas Trap category

Open

73” or greater

1/vessel/year

Atlantic Tunas Purse Seine category

Closed

--

--

Atlantic Tunas Longline category

Open

73” or greater

IBQ Program

 

Permit 

To commercially harvest bluefin 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 Carribean 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_bluefin tuna.png

Illustration by Diane Rome Peebles. 

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

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna