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Exempted Fishing Permits

Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs), Display Permits, Letters of Acknowledgement (LOAs) Chartering Permits, and Scientific Research Permits (SRPs)

Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) EFPs, display permits, LOAs and SRPs are issued under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) and/or Atlantic Tunas convention Act (ATCA). Issuance of EFPs, display permits, and SRPs may be necessary in situations where necessary research activities would normally be prohibited by the regulations. This could include, possession of certain prohibited shark and billfish species, possession of billfishes onboard commercial fishing vessels, fishing during closures in the for bluefin tuna, swordfish and large coastal sharks commercial fisheries, or for other reasons. EFPs, SRPs, and display permits can authorize collections of tunas, swordfish, billfishes, and sharks from Federal waters in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico for the purposes of scientific data collection and public display. Issuance of HMS EFPs, SRPs LOAs, and display permits are defined below.

Useful Links

2014 Exempted Fishing Permit Application Form

HMS Exempted Fishing Permit, Scientific Research Permit, and Display Permit Interim Report (Microsoft Excel version)

HMS Exempted Fishing Permit, Scientific Research Permit, and Display Permit Annual Report

EFP: Issued to individuals for the purpose of conducting research or other fishing activities using private (non-research) vessels.

SRP: Issued to agency scientists who are using NOAA vessels as their research platform. Also issued to non-agency scientists using research vessels and conducting research on species regulated by ATCA.

LOA: Issued to individuals conducting research from “bona fide” research vessels on species that are only regulated by MSA and not ATCA. NMFS does request research plans for these activities and indicates concurrence by issuing an LOA.

Display: Issued to individuals who are fishing for, catching, and then transporting HMS to aquariums for public display.

In order to apply for an EFP, SRP, LOA, or display permit, please download the application by following the link below. For more information, please contact the HMS management Division at
301-713-2347.

Recent News

10/27/2014 NMFS Requests Comments on the Issuance of Exempted Fishing Permits, Scientific Research Permits, Display Permits, Letters of Acknowledgment, and Chartering Permits for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species During 2015
Federal Register Notice | Listserv Notice
08/01/2014 NMFS Issues Exempt Fishing Permit to Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Purse Seine Vessel
Listserv Notice
06/27/2014 Notice of Reciept of an Exempt Fishing Permit Application
Federal Register Notice | Listserv Notice | 2014 PS EFP Application

Past EFP news is available in the EFP News Archive.