Based on the best available landings information, NOAA Fisheries has determined that the Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish 250-landings limit has been met and exceeded for 2020. Under applicable regulations, only catch-and-release fishing is permitted for these species for the rest of the year.

From September 30, 2020, through December 31, 2020, NOAA Fisheries is requiring catch-and-release fishing only for Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish in all areas of the Atlantic Ocean.

HMS Angling and HMS Charter/Headboat category permit holders and persons aboard vessels permitted in the Atlantic tunas General category or Swordfish General Commercial that fish in registered Atlantic HMS Tournaments, may catch-and-release (or tag and release) Atlantic blue marlin, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish of all sizes. Atlantic sailfish may continue to be landed (retained) consistent with applicable regulations.

Anglers are reminded that Atlantic billfish that are released must be handled in a manner that will maximize survival, and without removing the fish from the water. For additional information on safe handling, see the “Careful Catch-and-Release” brochure.

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