Angling Category Trophy Bluefin Tuna Fishery for Southern Area Closed

Bluefin Tuna Fishery closed in the Southern Area

NOAA Fisheries determined that the Angling category southern area “trophy” bluefin tuna (measuring 73 inches or greater) subquota of 1.8 mt had 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.
This closure was in effect as of 11:30 p.m., March 14, 2019, through December 31, 2019.

Who is Affected?

Persons aboard vessels permitted in the Atlantic HMS Angling and Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat categories fishing recreationally in the southern area (defined above) 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 BFT 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. HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessel owners are required to report their own 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.

Southern Area Closure

Important dates regarding Bluefin Tuna for anglers

General Category (rod & reel) – closed February 28, 2019
Angling Category Southern Trophy – closed March 14, 2019
Angling Category Gulf of Mexico – remains open (as of April 5th)

For additional information go to the HMS Permit Shop