2018 Atlantic Bluefin Regulations

May 16, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Tuna information

2018 Atlantic Bluefin Regulations

Things to remember:

These limits can change based on amount of fish caught during the season or other considerations. You are responsible for knowing the rules. The information is available at the NOAA website for Atlantic Migratory species. You can also sign up for email updates here at the bottom of the page

You must have a permit to fish for  tuna, billfish, swordfish and sharks. You can get a permit at The NMFS Permit Shop. The permit costs $20 and you can apply online.  The permit is not for an individual, it is for the boat. You can’t fish on a friend’s boat and use your permit.

You must report the landings of  of bluefin tuna, swordfish, and billfishes at the Permit Shop. You have 24 hours from the end of the trip to report the fish. Failure to do so will result in fines. You can report at The NMFS Permit Shop or you can call (888) 872-8862 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.).



 2018 Atlantic Bluefin Regulations for Recreational Anglers

This regulation is effective from April 26,2018 to December 31st , 2018. It can change due to conditions. You are responsible to keep yourself informed.

2 School bluefin from 27 inches to 47 inches and 1 Large school bluefin from 47 inches to 73 inches. No fish under 27″ or over 73″ can be retained. This is an increase in catch limits from the default regulation. The default regulation is one fish per boat from 27″ to 73″.



2018 Atlantic Bluefin Regulations for Charter Headboat Category

The daily “Angling Category” bag limit for Atlantic Bluefin tuna on a charterboat is 3 bluefin from 27” to 47” AND 1 bluefin from 47” to 73”.

Vessel owners are required to have a permit for the vessel and must report all catches or dead discards within 24 hours.

Charter boats can also fish the general category. Sometimes this seems unfair to me, when some boats take a charter and the first fish is over 73″. Then it becomes a commercial trip, they sell the fish and the charter still pays.

If you intend to seel, you must check that box on the permit when you apply.


General Category.

Some of the rules have changed and these will affect the Charter Headboat category.  You must have a life raft, an epirb and a survival suit for each person on board.

The bag limit is starting at 3 fish per day over 73″. If the rod and reel bite gets hot, then the limits will be reduced , so that the season is as long as possible. That is why reporting all catches is important.

Reporting can be done in any of 3 ways – via the web, by phone, or by app. The website is
https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/ . The phone number is 1-888-USA-TUNA. The app is the HMS Catch Reporting
app and is available for both IOS and Android OS. https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/mobileApp

Failure  to report can result in initial fines from $250 to $500 and may increase to as much as $4000.



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