A commercial fishery for broadbill swordfish has operated on the east coast for years, most notably by long-line boats operating several hundred miles offshore.

Pressure on these fish caused their stocks to plummet during the 1990s, even to a point where long-line fishing was no longer viable. Regulation of the fishery changed drastically around 2000, and the good news for recreational anglers is that things have changed.  

A stock assessment done by ICCAT (International Commission for Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) in 2009, and later confirmed in 2013, shows that swordfish stocks have been rebuilt to the point where they a thriving. The domestic stock of swordfish is healthy, and no one should have any qualms about harvesting one for the dinner table.  

Swordfish stock management still has some hurdles to overcome, especially with accurate catch reporting, but it appears to be on the right track.  Just be sure to purchase your Highly Migratory Species permit before you head offshore, and to report your swordfish when you come home after a successful trip.