Based on the best available landings information, NOAA Fisheries has determined that the Angling category southern area “trophy” bluefin tuna (measuring 73 inches or greater) subquota of 1.8 mt has been reached and exceeded, and therefore closure of the southern area trophy bluefin tuna is warranted. The southern area is the area south of 39°18’N lat. (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ), outside the Gulf of Mexico.
The Angling category fishery for trophy bluefin tuna will close effective 11:30 p.m., March 14, 2019 through December 31, 2019.
More information can be found in the Federal Register notice.
Who is affected?
Persons aboard vessels permitted in the Atlantic HMS Angling and Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat categories fishing recreationally in the southern area may not retain, possess, or land large medium or giant Atlantic bluefin tuna after 11:30 p.m. on March 14, 2019 through December 31, 2019.
Fishermen may 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. Download the Careful Catch and Release brochure for more safe handling tips.
HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all bluefin tuna retained or discarded dead within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip by accessing the HMS Permit Shop, using the HMS Catch Reporting app, or calling (888) 872-8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.).
This notice is a courtesy to bluefin tuna fishery permit holders to help keep you informed about the fishery. For additional information, call 978-281-9260 or go to the HMS Permit Shop. Official notice of federal fishery actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of the Federal Register.