Swordfish management expands fishing opportunities Feb. 13

Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 04:17 PM.

•Allowing the sale of commercially caught swordfish under these permits.

•Closing state waters to commercial harvest if adjacent federal waters are closed.

•Requiring wholesale dealers purchasing swordfish to possess a valid federal Atlantic Swordfish Dealer permit. This change affects wholesale dealers in both the Atlantic and Gulf.

•Allowing transit of swordfish through state waters when harvested in federal waters with gear that is legal to use in federal waters.

Changes that affect commercial and recreational harvest:

•Modifying the minimum cleithrum-to-keel (CK) limit from 29 to 25 inches for all harvesters. The cleithrum is the bony area right behind the gill slit, and the keel is the horizontal ridge right before the tail fin (see photo). There is no change to the lower jaw fork length measurement also used when measuring swordfish.

 •Restricting gear to hook and line in state waters.

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