NOAA announced the closure of the Angling Category Southern Area Trophy Bluefin Tuna (the Southern Area is defined as the area south of 39°18’N lat. (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ), outside the Gulf of Mexico) as of 11:30 pm on February 22, 2023, until December 31, 2023. The closure is due to the 2.3 metric ton quota being reached and exceeded.
This means that recreational fishermen aboard vessels with an Atlantic HMS Angling category or HMS Charter/Headboat permit (while 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) after February 22.
Please 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.