Atlantic Swordfish Recreational Minimum Sizes and Bag Limits

Overview

Description
This summary is provided as a courtesy. Official announcement of regulations is made through the Federal Register.
Fishing Type
Recreational
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

Bag limits vary by permit and vessel type. Additional requirements may be applicable. View the HMS Recreational Compliance Guide for details. 

Permit Type

Vessel Type

Fishery Status

Minimum Size

Bag Limit*

HMS Angling

N/A

Open

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

1/person up to 4/vessel/trip

HMS Charter/Headboat when fishing recreationally

Charterboat

Open

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

1/paying passenger up to 6/vessel/trip

HMS Charter/Headboat when fishing recreationally

Headboat

Open

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

1/paying passenger up to 15/vessel/trip

*Swordfish cannot be retained if a hammerhead or oceanic whitetip shark is on board or has been offloaded from the vessel. 

Permits

Vessels must have a valid HMS Angling or HMS Charterboat/Headboat permit to fish for Atlantic swordfish. The permit covers everyone fishing on that vessel. Tournament vessels may instead fish for swordfish with an Atlantic Tunas General category or Swordfish General Commercial permit.

Buy or renew a permit 

Measurements

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