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Atlantic HMS Fishery Compliance Guides

Atlantic HMS Fishery Compliance Guides are designed to provide a plain language summary of HMS regulations; however, they are not a substitute for the regulations found in the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR 635). For a comprehensive list of Atlantic HMS regulations, please refer to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

To request hard copies of any of the compliance guides or the Careful Catch and Release brochure, please email or

Recreational Fishing Compliance Guide
(last updated January 2016)

Commercial Fishing
Compliance Guide

(last updated January 2016)

HMS Dealer
Compliance Guide

(last updated April 2017)

Intro / Table of Contents

  1. Permits
  2. Gear Types
  3. Closed Areas
  4. Billfish
  5. Swordfish
  6. Sharks
  7. Tunas
  8. Charter/Headboats
  9. Tournaments
  10. National Saltwater Angler Registry
  11. Contacts

Regulatory References

Intro / Table of Contents

  1. Shark Quick Reference
  2. Tunas Quick Reference
  3. Swordfish Quick Reference
  4. Gear Definitions
  5. Commercial Fishing Permits
  6. General Restrictions
  7. Pelagic Longline Restrictions
  8. Atlantic Tunas Purse Seine Restrictions
  9. Bottom Longline Restrictions
  10. Shark Gillnet Gear Restrictions
  11. Vessel Monitoring System Requirements
  12. Electronic Monitoring (Video Camera) System Requirements
  13. Protected Species Interactions
  14. Commercial Shark Fishing
  15. Commercial Tuna Fishing
  16. Commercial Swordfish Fishing
  17. Charter/Headboat Fishing
  18. Observer Coverage
  19. HMS Workshops
  20. Contact List

Regulatory References

Intro / Table of Contents

  1. Permits
  2. Reporting
  3. Reporting - Bluefin Tuna
  4. Restrictions
  5. Importing, Exporting, and Re-Exporting HMS
  6. Contact List

Regulatory References

Careful Catch and Release Brochure 

The Careful Catch and Release brochure is an excellent guide for the HMS recreational angler who would like to practice catch and release fishing. The brochure provides tips on planning, gear, handling, and release of HMS, and is small enough to take along on fishing trips.

HMS Identification Guide 

The Guide to Sharks, Tunas & Billfishes of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico is a joint publication of NOAA Fisheries and Rhode Island Sea Grant. Copies can be purchased through Rhode Island Sea Grant.