Unsupported Browser Detected

Internet Explorer lacks support for the features of this website. For the best experience, please use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

2018 Vessel Permits for Atlantic Tunas, Swordfish General Commercial and Atlantic Highly Migratory Species

December 08, 2017

NOAA Fisheries announces the availability of 2018 vessel permits for Atlantic tunas, swordfish general commercial and Atlantic highly migratory species.


This notice outlines the procedure for obtaining the following 2018 open access permits:

Permit Type Authorized Activity
Atlantic Tunas Commercial fishing for and/or retention of Atlantic tunas (bluefin, yellowfin, skipjack, albacore, and bigeye)
Atlantic HMS Angling Recreational fishing for and/or retention of Atlantic HMS (tunas, sharks*, swordfish, and billfish)
HMS Charter/Headboat* Trips for hire to fish for and/or retain Atlantic HMS
Swordfish General Commercial Commercial fishing for and retention of swordfish

*New for 2018

Shark Endorsement

HMS Angling or Charter/Headboat permit holders that wish to recreationally fish for and/or retain sharks are required to add a Shark Endorsement to their permit. 

To obtain a shark endorsement, applicants must watch a short (3 minute) online educational video on shark identification and handling and complete a quiz (7 questions).

Charter/Headboat Commercial Endorsement

Charter/Headboat permit holders that wish to fish commercially for HMS must add the Charter/Headboat Commercial Endorsement to their permit. Adding the charter/headboat commercial endorsement will subject your vessel to US Coast Guard commercial fishing vessel safety requirements.

Permit Renewal

The permits issued for the 2018 season will be valid from the date of issuance through December 31, 2018. The permit fee will vary between $20.00 and $40.00 depending on the permits being applied for, and are payable by credit card (Visa, Master Card, Discover, or American Express) or check/money order.

Renew By How Receive Permit By
Internet Go to HMS Permits Shop Print your permit off the website, email, fax, Priority Mail, or regular mail
Telephone Dial (888) 872‑8862 (toll‑free) Fax, email, Priority Mail, or regular mail*
Mail Request renewal package by calling (888) 872‑8862 or print the forms available on the HMS Permits Shop Fax, email, Priority Mail, or regular mail*

*As an alternative, you may print your permit off the website once it has been processed (about 3 business days after your phone renewal or your complete application, including payment, has been received).

You will need your Atlantic tunas or your Atlantic HMS permit number to renew your permit. If your permit number from last year is not available, you may look it up on the HMS Permits Shop using your last name, phone number, and zip code, or a Customer Service representative may assist at the number below. Please check your current permit information carefully prior to renewing your permit.

Please note: Changes to your permit category may be made under the following circumstances:

  1. When you renew the permit for the upcoming 2017 season.

  2. Within 45-calendar days from the permits’ date of issuance, to correct any errors in permit category provided the vessel has not landed bluefin. After 45-calendar days permit categories are locked-in.

If you have questions regarding the permit process, our Customer Service representatives are available at (888) 872‑8862, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on December 14, 2017