Follow the federal rules on Bluefin to ensure future fishing opportunities!
Over the past several years, the bluefin tuna (BFT) incidental bite in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) has picked up. Through the efforts of TBF, GOM anglers have an allocation of 1.5 metric tons or 3,306.93 pounds of Atlantic bluefin tunas, which permits the landing of a few good-size fish. (Only 1 per boat per year.) This year’s incidental bluefin tuna allocation for anglers in the Gulf of Mexico was met when a bluefin tuna was brought to the docks in Panama City, FL. Just a few days earlier two other big bluefin were landed off Venice, LA. The incidental season then closed May 13, 2018, with the 1.5 metric ton allocation topped off at 1.55 metric tons. Strictly adhering to the federal rules for this relatively new fishing allocation is crucial for retaining the opportunity in the future.
Anglers 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.
Remember, if you fish outside of the USA, but your boat is either flagged in the USA or has an HMS permit, the rules of the USA still apply – so do not land a bluefin if you are in an area that is closed.
Stay informed and abide by the rules or we can lose it. The short, but, hot incidental season with bluefin tuna in the Gulf generated a lot of excitement!