Folks this question is coming up at this time due to the abundance of smaller "football" classified BFT being caught and limits being made. Be advised of the regulatory provision on retention depending upon the category you are in (and thanks to the captain who sent this in):
2019 Recreational Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Retention Limits
Effective May 11 through December 31, 2019, the BFT daily retention limits are the following.
For HMS Angling-permitted vessels:
2 school BFT (27 to <47") + 1 large school/small medium BFT (47 to <73");
For charter boats with HMS Charter/Headboat category permits, when fishing recreationally:
3 school BFT + 1 large school/small medium BFT;
For head boats with HMS Charter/Headboat category permits, when fishing recreationally:
6 school BFT + 2 large school/small medium BFT.
These limits (which are per vessel per day/trip) are effective for all areas except the Gulf of Mexico. Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip (e.g., whether a vessel takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day), no more than a single day’s retention limit may be possessed, retained, or landed.
Angling and Charter/Headboat vessels may also land one bluefin tuna measuring 73" or greater per vessel per year north of 39°18’N (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ).
The trophy bluefin fishery is closed in the southern area and the Gulf of Mexico.
The recreational yellowfin tuna retention limit is 3/person/day or trip. The minimum size for yellowfin and bigeye tuna is 27" curved fork length. There are no recreational limits for bigeye, skipjack, or albacore tunas.
SCHOOL BFT: 27 to <47 (less than) inches
LARGE SCHOOL/SMALL MED: 47 to <73 (less than)