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Golden Tilefish MD State Record
(Credit: Steve Doctor, MD, DNR)

NOAA Fisheries Service's Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office is responsible for conducting catch monitoring programs and implementing management measures to promote sustainable recreational fisheries in Federal waters (3 to 200 nautical miles offshore) from Maine to Virginia. We encourage all recreational fishermen to share their information and experience and help us develop and implement these programs and measures.  For information on regulations and the species under Federal management, please click on the Rules/Regulations tab above.

Greater Atlantic Region Recreational Fisheries

In Greater Atlantic federal waters cod, haddock, flounders, bluefish, black sea bass, tuna, and scup are the primary species sought by recreational fishermen. Other species such as Atlantic sea herring, Atlantic mackerel, squid, black sea bass and butterfish are also caught by anglers. While not directly targeted, recreational fishermen also frequently encounter spiny dogfish and northeast skates while fishing for other species.

NOAA Fisheries Role in Managing Marine Resouces

To promote healthy marine fisheries and local economies, NOAA Fisheries works with Federal Fishery Management Councils, created under the Magnuson Stevens Act, to manage fish, marine mammals, and sea turtles and protect their habitat. In the Greater Atlantic Region, NOAA Fisheries works with two councils, the New England and Mid-Atlantic councils. NOAA Fisheries also provides funding to and coordinates with the coastal states through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to develop and implement consistent or complimentary regulations in both state and federal waters.

Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Credit: NOAA)

Specifically, NOAA Fisheries develops and implements regulations, administers grants, analyzes trade and economic conditions and related opportunities and impacts associated with fishery management activities, coordinates state/Federal cooperative activities, provides advice and recommendations to other Federal permitting agencies on marine conservation and management issues; and conducts outreach efforts to commercial and recreational fisheries community and other members of the public to explain proposed measures, and gather information and feedback about the direction of its programs.

NOAA encourages ethical angling, and is in the process of implementing a Regional Fisheries Action Plan as part of the NOAA Fisheries Action Agenda. In an effort to improve data collection on recreational fisheries, NOAA established the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP), which includes a national registry for saltwater anglers. Saltwater anglers in the Greater Atlantic (Maine through Virginia) should not register through the Federal MRIP registry website. These states have new state fishing license and/or registration requirements that automatically register their license/registry holders with NOAA's national registry. The Greater Atlantic Region Coordinator for recreational fisheries issues is Paul Perra (

Recreational Fisheries Facts

Bluefish (Credit: MDMF)


View recent report on the Economics of Greater Atlantic Region Charter/Party Vessels

Fisheries Economic of the United States 2011.  Economics and Sociocultural Status and Trends

Beyond the Economics: