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Atlantic Swordfish

Swordfish are one of the largest and fastest predators in the Atlantic Ocean and can reach a maximum size of nearly 1,200 pounds. They are distinguished by a large, flat, smooth bill that grows from the upper jaw. A federal fishing permit is required to fish for swordfish (recreationally or commercially) in federal waters of the U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea, and landed (retained) swordfish must be reported recreationally within 24 hours of landing, or reported commercially by a federally-permitted swordfish dealer.

Species Information

Article: North Atlantic Swordfish – A Sustainable Choice

  Fishwatch Profile for North Atlantic Swordfish

Buy or Renew an HMS Fishing Permit

Open Access Federal Swordfish Permits: 
HMS Angling (recreational) permit   HMS Charter/Headboat permit   Swordfish General Commercial permit
Limited Access Permits (Commercial Swordfish): 
Contact the Southeast Regional Permits Office
for information on renewing, selling, or buying an existing permit.
No new limited access permits are being issued.

Report an Atlantic Swordfish Recreational Landing


Recreational Reporting Reminder - Spanish Version

Recreational Fishing

Dealer and Import/Exporter

HMS Fishery Management Information and Regulations