New Daily Limit to Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Angling Category

New Daily Limits – Except for the Gulf of Mexico

Bluefin tuna

NOAA Fisheries is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) daily retention limits that apply to vessels permitted in the Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category (when fishing recreationally for BFT). The adjustments below are effective May 11, 2019, through December 31, 2019.

BFT adjustments.

Who is affected?

These daily retention limits apply to vessels permitted in the recreational HMS Angling category and the HMS Charter/Headboat category while fishing recreationally. The daily retention limits are effective for all areas EXCEPT FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO, which is designated as BFT spawning grounds and where NOAA Fisheries does not allow targeted fishing for BFT.

Catch and Release

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 BFT that are released must be handled in a manner that will maximize survivability and without removing the fish from the water.


HMS Charter/Headboat and Angling category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip by accessing the HMS Permit Shop, using the HMS Catch Reporting app, or calling (888) 872-8862 on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

For additional information, please go to the HMS Permit Shop or call (978) 281-9260.