NJ Saltwater Registry

NJ Saltwater Fishing Registry
Offshore Fishing Regulations
Written by Rod Houck   
Thursday, 01 October 2009 03:42

OffShore Federal Fishing Regulations

For the Atlantic Ocean for  Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Bigeeye Tuna, Blue Marlin and White Marlin


For Questions , Comments and more information please see

Atlantic Offshore Fishing Regulations



Blue Fin Tuna Regulations


The daily retention limit that applies to Charter/Headboat vessels (when fishing recreationally) will be three school BFT (measuring 27 to less than 47 inches) AND one large school/small medium BFT (measuring 47 to less than 73 inches) per vessel per day/trip.

For Angling category (private) vessels, the limit is maintained at the default level of two school, large school, or small medium BFT per vessel per day/trip, (i.e., one fish measuring 27 to less than 73 inches). In addition to the daily retention limit, vessels fishing North of Great Egg Inlet NJ are also allowed one ‘trophy’ BFT, measuring 73" or greater/vessel/year.

The Trophy South quota (South of Great Egg Inlet NJ including the Gulf of Mexico) has been filled and is CLOSED. These BFT retention limits are effective for all areas, except for the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico is designated as a spawning ground for BFT and therefore NMFS does not allow recreational caught BFT to be retained while fishing in this area.

Yellow Fin Tuna Regulations



The recreational yellowfin tuna daily retention limit is 3 yellowfin/person/day/trip.

Min : 27" curved fork length

Big Eye Tuna Regulations


There are no recreational limits for bigeye Tuna

Min : 27" curved fork length



Skip Jack and Albacore Tuna



There are no recreational limits for skipjack or albacore tunas

The recreational Daily Swordfish Retention limit

1 fish per person, with a maximum of 4 fish per private vessel, 6 for a charter vessel, and 15 for a headboat vessel. The minimum size for swordfish within the recreational fishery is 47 inches, lower jaw-fork length. You may not keep longbill spearfish. There are no retention limits for Atlantic sailfish, blue marlin and white marlin, but the NOAA Fisheries encourages recreational anglers to release all billfish alive. The minimum sizes for billfish are as follows:

Lower jaw fork length is a straight line measurement from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of the caudal fin.

Blue Marlin Regulations


99 inches lower jaw fork length

White Marlin Regulations



66 inches lower jaw fork length


SailFish Regulations


63 inches lower jaw fork length


Spearfish: Retention prohibited.




The recreational limit on sharks is 1 shark per vessel per trip with a minimum size of 54 inches fork length;

plus on Atlantic sharpnose shark per person per trip (no minimum size);

plus 1 bonnethead shark per person per trip (no minimum size). None of these fish may be sold.

Swordfish and billfish landed must be reported. For swordfish and billfish reporting, call 800-894-5528. For NC and MD landings call 410-213-1531 or 800-338-7804 respectively.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 April 2016 05:54