1881 Line Mobile Gear Closure Lines

The MA Division of Marine Fisheries held Public Scoping Meetings on 9/27 & 9/28 to Describing Mobile Gear Closures

DMF held two meetings to discuss modernizing its mobile gear closure regulations in order to improve the clarity of the closure coordinates, especially those that reference the Line of 1881. DMF favors amending these closure boundaries to instead use latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates that are more amenable to modern GPS technology. Both fixed and mobile gear fishermen attended the scoping meetings.

DMF regulations establish a series of spatial and temporal mobile gear closures. In many instances, the seaward boundary for the closure is described as the Line of 1881. This is a historic line that previously delineated the exterior boundary of the Commonwealth. Today, the coordinates for the Line of 1881 are not readily available to fishermen and Law Enforcement, as it is not portrayed on NOAA charts or through GPS overlays.

As a result fishing industry representatives and members of Law Enforcement have encouraged DMF to modernize its mobile gear closure regulations to use straight lines between lat/long coordinates. In advance of these meetings, DMF has delineated and mapped the point corners of the 1881 Line and the seaward boundaries of our mobile gear closures using lat/long coordinates.

All maps depicted herein are unofficial and not for legal purposes. Maps are provided for public discussion only.  See Charts here 

Please review these charts and let us know where these lines can be simplified.  Call Beth Casoni at 781-545-6984 xt1

Gear Conflict or Catastrophic Gear Loss Report

You can now fill out a GEAR CONFLICT or CATASTROPHIC GEAR LOSS REPORT online.  This form can be used to report a gear conflict or catastrophic gear loss incident. Upon submission of the form below, the information is sent to DMF. Click HERE  All MLA members please forward your email copy to beth.casoni@lobstermen.com or mail a copy to the MLA office at 8 Otis Pl, Scituate, MA 02066 Attn. Beth and also copy to the MA Environmental Police 251 Causeway St Suite 101, Boston, MA 02114.  We are working on getting this link to the Mass. ENV Police.


New England fishermen challenge Obama’s marine national monument

Creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument exceeded the Antiquities Act, which authorizes monuments only on federal land, not the ocean

BOSTON, MA;  March 7, 2017: A coalition of New England fishermen organizations filed suit today over former President Barack Obama’s designation of a vast area of ocean as a national monument — a dictate that could sink commercial fishing in New England. The organizations filing the lawsuit are the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen’s Association, Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, Rhode Island Fisherman’s Alliance, and Garden State Seafood Association. Listen to Podcast

They are represented, free of charge, by Pacific Legal Foundation, a watchdog organization that litigates nationwide for limited government, property rights, and a balanced approach to environmental regulations.  READ MORE HERE

Commercial Fishing Organizations Oppose Cashes Ledge and the New England Canyons be designated a National Monument

December 7, 2017


SUBJECT: Final Report Summarizing Findings of the Review of Designations Under
the Antiquities Act

Executive Summary and Impressions of the Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
In 1906, Congress delegated to the President the power to designate a monument under the
Antiquities Act (Act). The Act authorizes the President singular authority to designate national
monuments without public comment, READ MORE HERE.

September 18, 2015 

Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association along with 8 other commercial fishing organizations signed and sent a letter to President Obama opposing the potential designation of the Cashes Ledges and the New England Canyons as a National monument.

Dear Mr. President;  The Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association along with the following organizations: Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen’s Association, Maine Lobstermen’s Association, Downeast Lobstermen’s Association, Maine Lobstermen’s Union, Stellwagen Bank Charter Boat Association, Rhode Island Lobstermen’s Association, Gloucester Fisheries Commission and the American Bluefin Tuna Association (Organizations); collectively represent an estimated 10,500 commercial and charter fishermen Read More here.