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NOAA FISHERIES UPS THE BAG ON 2020 BLUEFIN

NOAA Fisheries has officially adjusted the 2020 Atlantic bluefin tuna daily retention limits for recreational fishermen as of Saturday, May 2
By Jim Hutchinson, Jr.  |  May 1, 2020
NOAA FISHERIES UPS THE BAG ON 2020 BLUEFIN
Let the jigging, tracking and popping begin for the 2020 "BFT" season.

The start to our Atlantic bluefin tuna season typically requires two key components – the physical arrival of bluefin and the annual adjustment of daily retention limits. With an increase in bag in place for 2020, we’re halfway there; now, bring on the tuna!

NOAA Fisheries has officially adjusted the Atlantic bluefin tuna daily retention limits for recreational fishermen as of Saturday, May 2. Barring any later action, the new retention limits will extend through December 31.

A reminder that those wishing to target tuna, billfish, sharks and other highly migratory species (HMS) must first have the appropriate HMS Permit for their boat.

The changes apply to vessels with an HMS Angling permit or an HMS Charter/Headboat permit when fishing recreationally. The daily retention limits are effective for all areas except for the Gulf of Mexico, where NOAA Fisheries does not allow targeted fishing for bluefin tuna. Anglers may still catch and release or tag and release bluefin tuna of all sizes, subject to the requirements of HMS catch-and-release and tag-and-release programs. All released bluefin tuna must be handled in a manner that will maximize survivability and without removing the fish from the water.

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

Minimum Sizes and Bag Limits - Stay up to date on recreational and commercial minimum sizes and bag limits for all Atlantic HMS fisheries.

To reach the HMS Permit Shop by phone call 978-281-9260.