Reference Library

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2017 Recreational BFT Daily Retention Limits

Effective April 30 through December 31, 2017, NMFS is adjusting the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) daily retention limits that apply to HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat-permitted vessels (when fishing recreationally), as shown in the attachment.

Closure of the Bluefin Tuna General Category Fishery (January subquota), March 29, 2017

NMFS closes the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) General category fishery for large medium and giant BFT (measuring 73 inches curved fork length or greater) effective 11:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, until it reopens on June 1, 2017, for the June through August period.

Closure of Bluefin Tuna Angling Category Southern Trophy Fishery, March 20, 2017

NMFS closes the Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) Angling category fishery for large medium and giant “trophy” BFT (measuring 73” or greater) in the southern area effective 11:30 p.m. local time, March 20, 2017, through December 31, 2017. The southern area is the area south of 39°18’N (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ), outside the Gulf of Mexico.

General category Retention limit change and quota transfer

NMFS transfers 40 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) quota from the Reserve category to the General category January 2017 subquota and adjusts the Atlantic tunas General category BFT daily retention limit from the current level of three to one large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73” or greater) per vessel per day/trip for the remainder of the January 2017 subquota period. Although it is called the “January” subquota, the regulations allow the General category fishery under this quota to continue until the subquota is reached or March 31, whichever comes first. Per the regulations regarding adjustment of General category BFT daily retention limit, the adjustment from three to one large medium or giant BFT per vessel per day/trip will be effective Sunday, March 5, 2017.

Reminder: Mandatory USCG Commercial Vessel Safety Examination Requirements

NOAA Fisheries Reminds Commercial HMS Permit Holders of USCG Fishing Vessel Dockside Safety Examination Requirements

Adjusted 2016 Northern Albacore Quota and Bluefin Tuna Reserve Category Quota

NMFS adjusts the northern albacore (NALB) annual baseline quota for 2016 with available underharvest of the 2015 adjusted U.S. NALB quota, and augments the 2016 Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) Reserve category quota with available underharvest of the 2015 adjusted U.S. BFT quota, consistent with the annual quota adjustment processes established in Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan.

Atlantic bluefin tuna size classes

A table of the bluefin size classes and associated lengths and approximate weights.

Green-stick Gear Fact Sheet

This notice describes the authorized use of green-stick gear in Atlantic HMS fisheries.

Atlantic Tunas Regulations Brochure

Summary of fishery information and regulations for the managed Atlantic tuna fisheries.

Tuna Trolling and Whales

Recent evidence show that tuna fishing lines, trolled through areas where both tuna and whales are feeding, have hooked the wrong species. The strong lines and sharp hooks, necessary for catching large tuna, can dig into blubber of these unintended targets, possibly causing harm to the whale and is a violation of federal law. All whales, dolphins and porpoises in the northeast region are federally protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and most large whales in the area are further protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Under these Acts, it is illegal to "harass, hunt, capture or kill" any marine mammal. Prohibited conduct includes any "negligent or intentional act which results in the disturbing or molesting of marine mammals." The operational procedures are located in full at:

Amendment 7 Final Rule

NMFS announces the final rule to implement Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP to address bluefin tuna management. Please see the attached announcement for further information.

Guide to the Tunas of the Western Atlantic Ocean

Field guide to help identify the various species of Atlantic tunas

Paperwork Reduction Act Statements

Paperwork Reduction Act Statements for Annual Atlantic Tunas Permitting and Mandatory Catch Reporting of Bluefin Tuna

HMS Tournament Registration Form

A tournament operator must notify NMFS of the purpose, dates, and location of the tournament conducted from a port in an Atlantic coastal state, including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, at least 4 weeks prior to commencement of the tournament.

Atlantic HMS and Atlantic Tunas Permit Category Description

Provides a brief explanation of each Atlantic HMS and Atlantic tunas permit category, including authorized gears.

Reminder about Charterboat, Headboat, and Commercial Permits

NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries Service) wants to remind fishermen there are several federal regulations regarding fishing for dolphin and wahoo in federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean (Maine through the east coast of Florida).

Approved Sea Turtle Release Equipment List

NMFS Announces the Availability of a Revised List of Approved Equipment Models for the Careful Release of Sea Turtles Caught in Hook and Line Fisheries

Reporting Instructions

Reporting Instructions

Large Pelagics Survey Bluefin Tuna Length Validation Assessment

Large Pelagics Survey Bluefin Tuna Length Validation Assessment Paper Submitted to ICCAT

Privacy Act Statement for HMS Permits Online Application

Authority: The collection of this information is authorized under the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act (MSA), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. and the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), 971 et seq.