Atlantic Swordfish 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
Affected Species
Action Status
Final Rule
Published
Page updated July 1, 2020
Point of Contact
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Management Division, 301-427-8503
Read Amendment

Summary

Retention limits vary by permit type. Some permits also have different retention limits across regions. Additional requirements may be applicable. View the HMS Commercial Compliance Guide for details. 

Permits without Regionally Determined Limits

Permit Type

Fishery Status

Minimum Size

Retention Limit

Swordfish Directed

Open

47” lower-jaw fork length or 25” cleithrum to caudal keel 

No limit

Swordfish Incidental

Open

47” lower-jaw fork length or 25” cleithrum to caudal keel 

30/vessel/trip

Swordfish Handgear

Open

47” lower-jaw fork length or 25” cleithrum to caudal keel 

No limit

HMS Commercial Caribbean Small Boat

Open

47” lower-jaw fork length or 25” cleithrum to caudal keel 

2/vessel/trip

Incidental HMS Squid Trawl 

Open

47” lower-jaw fork length or 25” cleithrum to caudal keel 

15/vessel/trip

Swordfish General Commercial Permit or HMS Charter/Headboat Permit with a Commercial Sale Endorsement

Region

Fishery Status

Minimum Size

Retention Limit

Northwest Atlantic

Open

47” lower-jaw fork length or 25” cleithrum to caudal keel 

6/vessel/trip

U.S. Caribbean

Open

47” lower-jaw fork length or 25” cleithrum to caudal keel 

6/vessel/trip

Gulf of Mexico

Open

47” lower-jaw fork length or 25” cleithrum to caudal keel 

6/vessel/trip

Florida Swordfish Management Area

Closed

0

0

 

Permit

To commercially harvest swordfish, vessel owners must obtain one of the following permits: 

  • Swordfish Directed permit. Vessels with this permit must also have an Atlantic Tunas Longline Category and a shark limited access permits. 

  • Swordfish Incidental permit. Vessels with this permit must also have an Atlantic Tunas Longline Category and a shark limited access permits. 

  • Swordfish Handgear permit.  

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

  • Swordfish General Commercial permit. 

  • HMS Charter/Headboat permit with a commercial sale endorsement on non-for-hire trips only. 

An Incidental HMS Squid Trawl permit may be obtained by valid Illex squid moratorium permit holders. 

Buy or renew a permit 

Measurement

Measure lower-jaw fork length in a straight line from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of the tail. 

Lower-jaw fork length_swordfish.png

Illustration by Diane Rome Peebles. 

 

 

Measure cleithrum to caudal keel length by following the curve of the fish's body from the cleithrum to the caudal keel. 

Cleithrum to caudal keel length.png

Illustration by Diane Rome Peebles. 

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

Swordfish