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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure how many know it but if you intend to release a Marlin it is illegal to pull them into the boat for a picture (or to measure during a tournament). It is also not very good for the fish. I am guilty as well but it's time to take the pictures on the side of the boat and follow the rules. Please see my communictaion with NOAA.

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>>> Mr. Regan, you are correct. The regulations require dehooking of
>>> billfish that are being released without removing the fish from the
>>> water. The regulations that pertain to Atlantic HMS are promulgated
>>> under the joint authority of the Magnsuon-Stevens Act and the Atlantic
>>> Tunas Convention Act -- the maximum civil monetary penalty that may be
>>> assessed for any violation of the Magnuson Act is $120,000 per count.
>>> There are penalty schedules that provide guidance to law enforcement
>>> attorneys in assessing penalties -- they are region-specific and may be
>>> found at: Enforcement and Litigation, NOAA General Counsel
>>>
>>> Please note that prosecutors are not bound by the penalty schedules --
>>> the amount assessed in any particular case is dependent on a range of
>>> aggravating and mitigating circumstances.>>>

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>>>>> Bill Regan wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In reading the HMS Act it appears that it is illegal to
>>>>>> remove a billfish from the water if the intent is to release
>>>>>> the fish. Is this in fact true and what is the penalty.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Thank you
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
>>>>>> PART 635-ATLANTIC HIGHLY MIGRATORY SPECIES
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> § 635.21 Gear operation and deployment restrictions.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> (a) /All Atlantic HMS fishing gears. /(1) An Atlantic HMS harvested
>>>>>> from its management unit that is not retained must be released in a
>>>>>> manner that will ensure maximum probability of survival, but without
>>>>>> removing the fish from the water.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> (2) If a billfish is caught by a hook and not retained, the fish must
>>>>>> be released by cutting the line near the hook or by using a dehooking
>>>>>> device, in either case without removing the fish from the water.

xxx
 

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i guess i am going to have to write in your name on election day. its fun to see those fish but lets do our part to make sure our kids get the same fix. thanks Bill
 

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So... you can't remove a billfish from the water (which I agree with whole heartedly) but you can still kill one??? WTF is that????
 

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I think the point is not so much the law but what is better for the fish. People can get great pictures of fish while they are still in the water so why not do the right thing and keep the fish in the water. Also understanding the law may help in a tournament situation.


Something that others may not know is that if the gaff clears the gunnel and the fish is lost it should not be counted as a release but rather a lost fish. The intent was to kill the fish but was lost in the battle.
 
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