For the first time, Total Allowable Catch (TAC) limits for eastern and western Atlantic sailfish were agreed upon at the November 2016 negotiations of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT).
The western Atlantic sailfish TAC is an overall limit of 1,700 metric for all nations fishing in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent waters that land sailfish. Nations are encouraged to implement measures to reduce sailfish mortality in all fisheries, including in recreational fisheries with the use of non-offset circle hooks, bag limits, size limits, etc. The U.S. helped advance the initiative, which could result in future restraints on U.S. anglers, even though the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) had not raised the issue in its domestic management arena first. The reported benefit is to encourage other nations to start considering conservation measures for sailfish so current mortality levels are not increased and to get other nations to acknowledge their recreational fisheries for sailfish and other highly migratory species.