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Saltwater Recreational 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.

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.

New Reporting Requirements for the Charter and Party Fleet Fishing for Species Managed by Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council

Starting March 12, 2018, vessels issued a charter/party permit for a Mid-Atlantic managed fishery will be required to submit electronic vessel trip reports within 48 hours for all trips carrying passengers for hire. These new requirements stem from the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Omnibus Electronic Vessel Trip Reporting (eVTR) Framework. All other current reporting requirements remain in effect.

NEW! Listen to Regional Administrator Mike Pentony explain recent decision on Exempted Fishing Permits approved on May 3, 2018 in a Town Hall-style call. Please contact Moira Kelly at 978-281-2018 if you have any questions.

2018-2019 Recent Recreational Bulletins

Northeast Multispecies (Groundfish); Fishing Year 2018 Recreational Regulations
Northeast Multispecies (Groundfish); Fishing Year 2018 Regulations
The Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment; Changes to Year-Round and Seasonal Closure Areas
Northeast Multispecies Permit Holders; Establishment of a Control Date for the Charter/Party Fishery
2018 February Federal Black Sea Bass Recreational Fishing Season
Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass; 2018 Commercial Quotas and Recreational Harvest Limits

2018-2019 Recent Recreational Federal Register Notices

Final rule; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Fishing Year 2018 Recreational Management Measures
Proposed rule; request for comments; Recreational Management Measures for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fisheries; Fishing Year 2018
Final Rule; Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2; Map
Proposed Rule; Request for Comments; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Fishing Year 2018 Recreational Management Measures
Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comments; Control Date for Northeast Multispecies Charter/Party Fishery
Proposed Rule; Request for Comments; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Special Management Zones for 13 New Jersey Artificial Reefs
Final Rule; Black Sea Bass Fishery; 2018 February Recreational Season Modification
Final Rule; Correction; Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass Fisheries; 2018 and Projected 2019 Scup Specifications and Announcement of Final 2018 Summer Flounder and Black Sea Bass Specifications
Proposed Rule; request for comments; Black Sea Bass Fishery; 2018 February Recreational Management Measures