NOAA Reminder On Careful Catch And “HMS” Release - The Fisherman

NOAA Reminder On Careful Catch And “HMS” Release

According to NOAA Fisheries, leaving your Atlantic highly migratory species catch in the water prior to release will substantially increase its chances of survival!

In an email blast on June 30, 2023, the federal fisheries agency reminds Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS) recreational anglers of the importance of following careful catch and release practices:

Using circle hooks

Using dehooking devices to release fish while keeping the fish in the water

Minimizing fight times by using appropriate weight tackle

If you intend to release your catch, leave it in the water. For Atlantic HMS, this is required by regulations, and also has great conservation benefits. Studies have shown that releasing HMS in the water, especially billfish, can significantly improve their chances of survival. The same is true with the use of circle hooks over J-hooks. One study by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science found that one in every three white marlin removed from the water were likely to die after release, but if left in the water and combined with other best practices that number could drop to as low as 1 in 50.

With thousands of billfish and tuna being released by recreational anglers every year, adopting these simple best practices can help ensure a thriving HMS recreational fishery for generations to come.  Don’t forget your HMS Permit!

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