Closure of Bluefin Tuna Angling Category Northern Area Trophy Fishery for 2020
The Angling category northern area trophy bluefin tuna fishery will close effective 11:30 p.m. on May 21, 2020. The fishery will remain closed through December 31, 2020. The northern area is the area north of 39°18’ N. lat. Trophy bluefin tuna are those measure 73 inches or greater.
Individuals aboard vessels with an Atlantic HMS Angling permit or an Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat permit fishing recreationally in the northern area (defined above) may not retain, possess, or land large medium or giant Atlantic bluefin tuna after 11:30 p.m. on May 21, 2020.
Note that the Angling category fishery for school, large school, or small medium bluefin tuna (27 to <73 inches) remains open in all areas except for the Gulf of Mexico, where NOAA Fisheries does not allow targeted fishing for bluefin tuna because it has been designated as a spawning ground.
Fishermen may also catch and release or tag and release bluefin tuna of all sizes, subject to the requirements of HMS catch-and-release and tag-and-release programs. All bluefin tuna that are released must be handled in a manner that will maximize survivability and without removing the fish from the water.