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Atlantic HMS Tournament Outreach

NOAA Fisheries provides educational outreach materials to registered Atlantic HMS tournaments upon request. Outreach may be requested during registration or by contacting the HMS Management Division.

All tournaments that request outreach materials will receive:

HMS Recreational Compliance Guide

This guide is a plain-language summary of the recreational fishing regulations for sharks, tunas, billfish, and swordfish. In it, you will find HMS permit requirements, minimum sizes, bag limits, seasons, and more.


Careful Catch and Release Brochure

This brochure provides tips on handling and releasing large saltwater pelagic fish in a way that minimizes injury and maximizes their chances of recovery.


In addition, shark tournaments will receive:

Shark Identification Placard

This identification guide is intended for recreational fishing, is printed on waterproof paper, and includes shortfin mako, porbeagle, blue, oceanic whitetip, tiger, thresher, nurse, lemon, blacktip, spinner, bull, finetooth, blacknose, sharpnose, smooth dogfish, spiny dogfish, bonnethead, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead, and smooth hammerhead sharks. The guide includes diagrams for identification as well as an illustration of where the interdorsal ridge is located to identify “ridgeback” and “non-ridgeback” sharks.

Shortfin Mako App and Identification Card

Because shortfin mako sharks are experiencing overfishing, NOAA Fisheries encourages fishermen to release them alive and has developed a free App that fishermen can use on their iPhones and Android phones to report live releases of shortfin makos. The app includes an interactive map that lets you view all of the reported releases in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico. Fishermen can also report mako shark releases on the mako shark website.  This postcard gives recommendations and tips for the live release of shortfin makos, as well as a description of how to identify them


These materials are available online or through Sea Grant (click the images or links for details):

Swordfish and Billfish Identification Guide

This one-page guide shows the differences between swordfish, sailfish, blue marlin, longbill spearfish, white marlin, and roundscale spearfish. NOAA Fisheries encourages tournament operators and anglers to know the differences between white marlin and roundscale spearfish; two species that are very similar in appearance.

Atlantic Tunas Identification Guide

This one-page guide shows the differences between albacore, blackfin tuna, Atlantic bonito, skipjack, little tunny, yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna, and bluefin tuna.

Circle Hook Offshore DVD

Instructional DVD created by the North Carolina Sea Grant, and free by order from or by request from the HMS Management Division. Excerpts from the video: About the Circle Hook | Rigging a Ballyhoo

Sharks of the U.S. Atlantic Identification Series

Identification guides created by the Rhode Island Sea Grant, including a guide for Pelagic and Ridgeback Sharks, and a guide for Non-Ridgeback Sharks and Hammerheads.