Pelagics

Mackerel

A person may engage in recreational fishing for mackerel with a handline or by angling without a licence.

Mackerel
Photo Credit: Gilbert van Ryckevorsel

Season Dates

Open year-round in tidal waters

Gear Restrictions

Handline and angling are permitted.

Limits

  • There is no daily mackerel bag and possession limit.
  • The minimum mackerel size that may be retained is 26.8 cm.

Areas

All tidal waters

Licensing

No licence required

Shark

Recreational shark fishing is conducted through various at-sea charter services, several shark derbies and by individuals. All persons fishing for shark recreationally require a licence (see below). Although Blue shark is the most common shark in Atlantic Canada, porbeagle are common in the Bay of Fundy. Landings are limited to participants in organized derbies and are restricted by the size and total number allowed. White shark is protected under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and if hooked must be released immediately.

Shark

Season Dates

  • NAFO area 4Wd: April 1 – Mid September
  • All other areas: April 1 – December 31; mainly summer activity

Limits

  • Catch and release only for non-derby participants
  • Limited landings during derbies

Areas

NAFO areas 4VWX and 5Z

Licensing

  • All derby participants are covered by a DFO licence provided to derby organizers
  • Derby organizers should contact DFO.MAR-FM-GP.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca to make licensing arrangements
  • A DFO licence is required for non-derby participants and available in the National Online Licensing System. The licence cost is $10 (plus HST).

Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin Tuna
Photo Credit: Greg Croft, DFO

Season Dates

July 15 – December 31; mainly summer activity. Catch and release only.

Limits

  • Individuals are not eligible for a recreational Bluefin tuna licence.
  • Only commercial Bluefin tuna licenced fishermen may conduct charters since post-release mortality is estimated for all trips and deducted from the Canadian Bluefin tuna quota.
    • Each charter is licenced under a DFO licence issued to the charter fisherman and covers all individuals on board the vessel.
    • Catch and release only for charter participants
  • Tournaments are also licenced under a DFO licence, issued in the name of the tournament and covering all participants in the tournament.
    • Tournaments have been provided with a portion of the Canadian quota and therefore may land some Bluefin tuna
    • Limited landing at tournaments

Areas

NAFO areas 4VsWX and 5Z

Licensing

  • Tournament licences are available and organizers should contact DFO.MAR-FM-GP.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca to make licensing arrangements.
  • All participants in the tournaments are covered by a licence provided to the tournament organizers.
  • A DFO licence is required for charters and is available to commercial Bluefin tuna licenced fishermen through the National Online Licensing System.
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