Effective as of April 10, 2016, the Angling category for large medium and giant “trophy” bluefin tuna (73 inches or greater) in the southern area has been closed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for the remainder of 2016. The southern area is the area south of 39°18’N (off Great Egg Inlet, New Jersey), not including the Gulf of Mexico. Any bluefin tuna caught by recreational anglers in the southern area must be released. This applies to all HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels in the southern area.
Northern and Gulf of Mexico areas remain open until the Trophy Angling Category for the respective region is filled and notice is made by NMFS. Only trophy-sized bluefin may be landed by anglers in the Gulf of Mexico region. The Angling category for large and medium bluefin (greater than 27 inches and less than 73 inches) in the northern area remains open until further notice. The annual Angling category trophy limit of one trophy bluefin per vessel remains in effect for the north and Gulf of Mexico area until reached. Bluefin of all size classes landed by HMS Angling or HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels must be reported to NMFS within 24 hours by calling or via the Automated Catch Reporting System or calling 1-888-872-8862. For complete details on HMS recreational fishing regulations, visit the NMFS Permit Shop website and keep updated on any further Angling category closures.