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Recreational Saltwater Fishing
in the 
Greater Atlantic Region

NOAA Fisheries manages all fisheries in waters from three to two hundred miles from shore, including saltwater recreational fisheries. We work in cooperation with two Regional Fishery Management Councils, 12 states, and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to develop and implement consistent or complimentary regulations in both state and federal waters. We promote sustainable recreational fisheries by promoting ethical angling monitoring catch and implementing conservation regulations from Maine to North Carolina.  

The recreational fisheries that we manage include cod, haddock, many flounders, Atlantic bluefish, black sea bass, scup, striped bass, tautog, and weakfish. We are also responsible for the management of other recreationally caught and/or forage species such as Atlantic herring, Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish. These species provide an important food source for recreationally sought-after fishes such as striped bass, tuna, and sharks.

On a national level, NOAA’s Fisheries has been increasing efforts to better support saltwater recreational fishing and recreational fisheries issues.  In 2015, NOAA Fisheries published our National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy and our National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Implementation Plan.  The policy highlights six key principles intended to guide us in considering the development and promotion of sustainable high quality saltwater recreational fisheries and the plan is our first step under the new policy and contains specific national level actions.  Each region now has an implementation plan (see right).

We encourage recreational fishermen to share their experiences to help us develop and implement successful programs and measures. For more information, contact Moira Kelly, Greater Atlantic Regional Coordinator for recreational fisheries, at 978-281-9218 or email her at  You may also contact your local port agent for up-to-date rules and to discuss our programs.

Recent Recreational Bulletins

Northeast Multispeces (Groundfish) - Recreational Fishing Transiting Regulations Reminder
Northeast Multispecies Fishing Year 2016 Regulations

Recent Recreational Federal Register Notices

Final Rule; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Fishing Year 2016; Recreational Management Measures
Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rule Making; Extension of Comment Period; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Recreational Management Measures
Proposed Rule; Request For Comments; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Recreational Management Measures
Notice; National Saltwater Angler Registry Program; Annual fee of twenty-nine dollars ($29.00) for registration of anglers, spear fishers and for-hire fishing vessels