2017 Atlantic Billfish Landings Remain Far Below Allocation

On Tuesday NOAA released preliminary numbers for Atlantic billfish landings in 2017. The estimates show individuals caught (and reported) thus far in 2017, from January 1st through June 30th, for blue and white marlin, roundscale spearfish, and western Atlantic sailfish.

As can be seen in the table below, much of the year’s allocated landings remain available. The Billfish Foundation applauds anglers for supporting the philosophy of catch and release fishing.

Atlantic billfish recreational landings through Quarter 2, 2017 (credit: NOAA)

The landings are compiled from self-reporting from anglers, tournament landings from the Recreational Billfish Survey (RBS), catch card reports from North Carolina and Maryland, and individual billfish intercepted by the Large Pelagic Survey (LPS) and Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP). These estimates are subject to change due to late reporting and depend on the accuracy of the reporting entities.

The recreational billfish fishery is limited to 250 landings of Atlantic blue and white marlin and roundscale spearfish combined per year. Western Atlantic sailfish are not included in this limit.