Do I need a recreational permit to fish for or land tunas, sharks, swordfish, and/or billfish?

Yes, vessel owners/operators who recreationally fish for or retain regulated Atlantic tunas (bluefin, yellowfin, bigeye, albacore, and skipjack), sharks, swordfish, and billfish in Atlantic Federal waters, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, must obtain an HMS Angling category permit or a HMS Charter/Headboat permit. However, General category vessels may fish recreationally for HMS so long as they are participating in a registered recreational HMS tournament and fishing under tournament rules. Vessels fishing exclusively in state waters are required to obtain the HMS Angling permit if they wish to keep their regulated tunas (bluefin, yellowfin, bigeye, skipjack, and albacore). Vessel owners/operators should check their state regulations regarding the retention of sharks, swordfish, and/or billfish in state waters. Permit holders who recreationally fish for or retain sharks must also obtain a Shark Endorsement on their HMS permit.