Reference Library

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2016 Recreational BFT Daily Retention Limits

Effective April 23 through December 31, 2016, 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.

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.

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.

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

Atlantic HMS and Atlantic Tunas Permit Category Description

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

Atlantic Tunas Regulations Brochure

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

Atlantic bluefin tuna size classes

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

Closure of Bluefin Tuna Angling Category Southern Trophy Fishery, April 10, 2016

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, April 10, 2016, through December 31, 2016. The southern area is the area south of 39°18’N (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ), outside the Gulf of Mexico.

General category: 125-mt transfer and 4-fish limit starts Oct. 9, 2016

NMFS has transferred 125 mt of bluefin tuna (BFT) quota from the Reserve to the General category. Effective Oct. 9, NMFS is reducing the General category BFT daily retention limit for the remainder of 2016 from 5 to 4 large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73” or greater) per vessel per day/trip.

General category: 85-mt transfer and 2-fish limit effective Oct. 17, 2016

NMFS has transferred 85 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) quota to the General category (18 mt from the Harpoon category and 67 mt from the Reserve category). Effective Monday, October 17, NMFS is adjusting the General category BFT daily retention limit for the remainder of 2016 from four to two large medium or giant BFT (measuring 73” or greater) per vessel per day/trip.

Green-stick Gear Fact Sheet

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

Guide to the Tunas of the Western Atlantic Ocean

Field guide to help identify the various species of Atlantic tunas

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.

Large Pelagics Survey Bluefin Tuna Length Validation Assessment

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

Paperwork Reduction Act Statements

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

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).

Reporting Instructions

Reporting Instructions

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: