Marine Fisheries Advisory Public Scoping Meeting: Describing Mobile Gear Closures

DMF has scheduled 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 are encouraged to attend the scoping meetings. The meeting schedule is:

6PM

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

DMF’s Annisquam River Station

30 Emerson Avenue

Gloucester, MA

6PM

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Hotel 1620

180 Water Street

Plymouth, MA

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. These documents are available on the Division’s website.

These two public meetings have been scheduled to discuss modernizing the boundary descriptions, as well as potentially simplifying the closure areas. DMF is not seeking to establish any new closures or to rescind any existing closures. However, DMF may consider minor modifications to the existing closures, provided they will not impact the agency’s conservation and management objectives. Following these meetings, DMF will consider the comments received and begin to draft regulatory changes. We anticipate public hearings will be held on these draft regulations this winter, this will provide stakeholders with another opportunity to comment on this issue. Final regulatory adjustments should then be implemented by the spring of 2018.

For more information about mobile gear fishery management in Massachusetts, contact DMF at 617-626-1520 or visit our website at www.mass.gov/marinefisheries.

MA DMF fall 2017 Trawl survey updates

Fixed Gear Fishermen of Massachusetts,
MarineFisheries will be conducting its annual fall trawl survey throughout state coastal waters beginning
September 5, 2017. Surveys have been conducted each May and September since 1978 to provide a consistent
sampling of benthic fishes and mobile invertebrates. Survey data is used to monitor the condition of fish
stocks, as well as to inform the environmental review process that minimizes construction impacts on fisheries
resources. Maintaining access to the planned sampling sites is critical to the integrity of the survey.   READ MORE HERE>>>      

UPDATED 9-18-2017

Completed sites –  B-1, B-2, B-3, B-4, B-5, B-6, B-7, B-8, B-9, B-10, B-11, B-12, B-13

C-1, C-2, C-4,C-5, C-6, C-7, C-8, C-9, C-10, C-11, C-12, C-13, C-14, C-15, C-16, C-17, C-18, C-19, C-20, C-21, C-22,   C-23,  C-24, C-25, C-26, C-27, C-28, C-29, C-30, C-31, C-32, C-33, C-34

N-1, N-2, N-3, N-4, N-5, N-6, N-7, N-8,  N-9, N-10, N-11, N-12, N-13, N-14, N-15, N-16, N-17, N-18, N-19, N-20, N-21, N-22, N-23, N-24, N-25, N-26, N-27, N-29, N-30,  N-31, N-32

S-15, S-23, S-24, S-25, S-26, S-27,S-29,S-31, S-32, S-35, S-36, S-38, S-39, S-41, S-42, S-43, S-44, S-45, S-46, S-47

All stations in Mass Bay have been completed.

We observed fixed gear at all stations and had to abandon C-9 C-16, N-18, N24, N-26 and N-27 due to no open lanes for a tow.

Five stations were cut short due to fixed gear at N-19, N-22, N-23, N-25 and N-30.

Your cooperation is greatly appreciated and is vital to the effective monitoring of marine resources in the Commonwealth. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact me (matt.camisa@state.ma.us, (508) 990-2860 x 139). If you have any questions about the Marine Fisheries website, Facebook, or Twitter, please contact Story Reed (story.reed@state.ma.us, 617- 626-1524).

 

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

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.