Dolphin (Mahi Mahi, Dolphinfish, Dorado)
Commercial fishermen harvest mahimahi with hook-and-line gear, including handlines and
longlines. Some longline fisheries targeting swordfish and tuna incidentally catch and harvest
Hook-and-line gear has minimal impact on habitat because it doesn’t contact the ocean floor, but
longlines can incidentally catch sea turtles, marine mammals, and other species. Longline
fishermen follow numerous measures to prevent bycatch and protect other species. For example,
longline fishermen must use specific gear and safe handling techniques to reduce impacts on
sea turtles and are prohibited from fishing in certain areas to protect species such as billfish.
Recreational fishermen love to fish for mahimahi. In fact, the fishery for mahimahi in the Atlantic
and Gulf has historically been recreational. Recreational fishermen can only keep mahimahi larger
than 20 inches when fishing off Georgia and Florida. Managers have proposed the same size limit
for mahimahi off the coast of South Carolina; this measure should be implemented in 2012.
Recreational fishermen can keep up to 10 mahimahi per day, with a limit of 60 per boat per day
(headboats are excluded from the boat limit). Regulations prohibit the sale of recreational catch
(except for-hire vessels with necessary state and federal commercial permits to sell the
recreational bag limit).
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