Bluefin Tuna Closure for Angling Category

Based on the best available landings information from NOAA Fisheries, the 2.3-mt sub-quota of the Southern Area Trophy Fishery has been reached and exceeded. Effective as of February 9th, 2024, the closure will remain throughout the rest of the year, officially ending on December 31st, 2024. The area in question is defined as south of Great Egg Inlet, New Jersey (39°18’N. lat) and outside the Gulf of Mexico.

All those with a Highly Migratory Species Angling category permit and a Highly Migratory Species Charter/Headboat permit who fish recreationally in the defined southern area will be affected. This closure does not apply to commercial fisheries. Any recreational fishermen aboard vessels with the permits mentioned above may not retain, possess, or land large medium, or giant Atlantic bluefin tuna (73 inches curved fork length or greater) in the southern area while fishing recreationally. All said vessel owners are required to report the catch of all retained or discarded dead bluefin within 24 hours of the landing(s) or the end of each trip.

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 a spawning ground for bluefin tuna and thus prohibited by NOAA Fisheries. The Angling category for bluefin tuna trophy fisheries for the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of Maine, and Southern New England areas remains open.