Extended Fishing Trips: How Many Tuna Can You Keep?

fish
Tuna and other sport-caught fish at Fisherman’s Landing, San Diego
CDFW photo by M. Horeczko

Did you know that if you plan an offshore fishing trip lasting more than one consecutive calendar day, and intend to keep bag limits for multiple days, you must file a Declaration for Multi-Day Fishing Trip with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) before your trip?

As specified in California Code of Regulations (CCR) Title 14, Section 27.15 , a Declaration for Multi-Day Fishing Trip form may only be filed for a trip if the trip is continuous and extends for a period of 12 hours or more on the first and last days of the trip. Also, no berthing or docking is permitted within five miles of the mainland shore during the trip. This is applicable to both private vessels and commercial passenger fishing vessels.

The form must be submitted to CDFW in order for any person aboard the boat to possess more than one bag limit of saltwater fin fish, abalone, lobster and rock scallops. The form must be completed by the vessel’s owner or operator and submitted with a small fee (the current fee is on the form itself). Mail the form or fax it so that it arrives at least 48 hours before the date of the vessel’s departure. There is even a credit card authorization form you can use to pay the fee when mailing or faxing your declaration form. Fax your forms to (562) 596-0342, or mail them to the CDFW Marine Region at 4665 Lampson Ave # C, Los Alamitos, CA 90720.

CCR Title 14, Section 27.15 (a)(2) states that the provisions of the declaration do not apply to salmon, steelhead, striped bass and sturgeon. However, they are applicable to all other saltwater finfish – including Pacific bluefin tuna – lobster, rock scallops, and abalone.

How do multi-day fishing trip regulations work with the new Pacific bluefin tuna bag and possession limit?  The daily recreational bag limit changed to two (2) fish per angler, per day on July 31, 2015. In order to possess more than two Pacific bluefin tuna, an angler must be on board a vessel that has properly filed a declaration with CDFW.

• If a trip is two days in length, the possession limit is four (4) Pacific bluefin tuna
• If a trip is three days or longer, the possession limit is six (6) Pacific bluefin tuna

See CCR Title 14, Section 27.15 for all requirements related to multi-day fishing declarations. For more information on the new bluefin tuna limits and new tuna fillet regulations, visit the CDFW tuna page.

tuna table
For all tuna species not listed here, the daily bag limit is 10 fish included in the general daily bag limit of 20 fish.

Bonito are not included under tuna regulations. For bonito regulations, see CCR Title 14, Section 28.32.


post by Elizabeth Hellmers, CDFW Environmental Scientist
updated July 20, 2018 and June 8, 2022

2 thoughts on “Extended Fishing Trips: How Many Tuna Can You Keep?

  1. Hello have a trip leaving Monday night and will be a 2.5 day trip. With this (Muti Day Declaration Form) how does this work getting the signature of the operator?

  2. Thank you for your question. The signature of the boat operator is required on the Declaration for Multi-Day Fishing Permit Application Form, and would be submitted to the Department as outlined in the instructions on the bottom of the form. The Declaration for Multi-Day Fishing Trip form can be obtained on the CDFW website.

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