Massachusetts Grown...and Fresher!
COMMONWEALTH QUALITY SECTORS
Massachusetts has one of the most regulated fishing industries in the entire country. Strict regulations imposed by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) help ensure coastline protection and biodiverse waters.
Commonwealth Quality requires that lobsters be harvested in accordance with all DMF regulations. In addition, dealers who wish to participate in the program must provide documentation to prove their lobsters are harvested in accordance with these regulations.
Permitting & Licensing Requirements
Permit and license requirements help maintain a sustainable resource and promote food safety, protecting valuable natural resources and consumers alike. Licenses are required of all persons who intend to sell lobsters.
To participate in Commonwealth Quality, lobstermen must possess a commercial fishing license issued by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF). Prior to receiving their license, permit holders must prove involvement with the commercial fishing industry for at least two years; this ensures local lobstermen have practical experience prior to becoming licensed to harvest on a large scale.
The Division of Marine Fisheries limits the number of commercial lobster licenses available as well as the number of traps allowed per license.
Commonwealth Quality certified lobstermen must report landings to the state on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis. Reports must include information about the harvest area and the amount harvested. By supplying this information, harvesters enable local officials to closely monitor stock, ensuring that waters are not overfished.
Management plans for all Massachusetts fisheries are currently under the direction of the following government organizations:
· The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF)
· The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC)
· The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)