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NOAA Fisheries Closes the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Angling Category Gulf of Mexico Incidental Trophy Fishery

April 28, 2021

The Angling category fishery for trophy bluefin tuna will close effective 11:30 p.m., May 4,
2021, through December 31, 2021.

Fishermen aboard Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling category and Atlantic
HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels (when fishing recreationally) may not retain, possess, or land large medium or giant Atlantic bluefin tuna (i.e., measuring 73 inches curved fork length or greater) in the Gulf of Mexico after 11:30 p.m., May 4, 2021.

How long is the closure in effect?

The Angling category fishery for trophy bluefin tuna will close effective 11:30 p.m., May 4, 2021, through December 31, 2021.

Why is the fishery closing?

Based on the best available landings information, the 1.8-mt Angling category Gulf of Mexico incidental “trophy” bluefin tuna (measuring 73 inches or greater) subquota has been reached and exceeded.

Who is affected?

This action applies to HMS Angling category and HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels
fishing recreationally in the Gulf of Mexico.

Note that the Angling category fishery for school, large school, or small medium bluefin tuna (27 to <73”) remains open in all areas except for the Gulf of Mexico, which is designated as bluefin tuna spawning grounds and where NOAA Fisheries does not allow targeted fishing for bluefin tuna.

Reporting

HMS Angling category and HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessel owners are required to report the catch of all bluefin 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.
  •  Calling 888-872-8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.)


This notice is a courtesy to fishery permit holders to help keep you informed about the fishery. Official notice of Federal fishery actions is made through filing such notice with the Office of the Federal Register.

More information can be found in the Federal Register notice.

Last updated by Office of Sustainable Fisheries on May 03, 2021