11 Jun 2007

Atlantic Circle Hook Rule Postponed

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced the final rule suspending the mandatory circle hook requirements for participants fishing in Atlantic billfish tournaments effective May 11, 2007 through December 31, 2007.

THE CIRCLE HOOK REQUIREMENTS WILL BE REINSTATED, UNCHANGED ON JANUARY 1, 2008. These regulations require anglers fishing from HMS permitted vessels and participating in Atlantic billfish tournaments to use only non-offset circle hooks when deploying natural baits or natural bait/artificial lure combinations. (The use of J-hooks is allowed with artificial lures.) TBF encourages all anglers to practice using circle hooks in preparation for the reinstatement of the rule.

Please note: If your US state regulations are more restrictive than federal regulations, you must abide by the more restrictive regulations. At this time, TBF is only aware of such regulations being in place in North Carolina.

The final rule can be viewed by visiting http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/fishery_rules/2007/5-08-07%20BLF%20C-Hook%20FR%20Notice%20microcomp.pdf

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