Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Division of Marine Fisheries
251 Causeway Street, Suite 400
Boston, MA 02114
Fax (617) 626.1509
November 9, 2007
MASSACHUSETTS MARINE FISHERIES ADVISORY COMMISSION
APPROVES NEW REGULATIONS
Commercial Haddock Size & Cod Conservation Zone
At an October 11th business meeting the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission (MFC) approved 1) finalizing a recent emergency reduction in the commercial haddock minimum size from 19” to 18” and 2) continuing commercial and recreational fishing prohibutions during December 1st through February 28th in the Cod Conservation Zone.
This action finalizes an August 10th emergency action reducing the commercial minimum size for haddock from 19” to 18”. DMF took emergency action to complement a federal emergency rule reducing the commercial haddock minimum size based on evidence that commercial trawlers using legal sized mesh were discarding excessive amounts of undersized haddock due to the current slow growth rate observed in haddock. The Commonwealth’s commercial fishermen (state and federally permitted) would have been unable to avail themselves of this opportunity without complementary state action.
Recreational fishermen are reminded that they remain prohibited from possessing haddock smaller than 19”.
DMF first took action in 2003/2004 to protect this spawning aggregation from excessive fishing effort by recreational and commercial fishermen. Since then, the CCZ continues to be an area of particular importance for late fall-early winter cod aggregations.
Figure 1. Map Cod Conservation Zone.
For more information, contact DMF at 617-626-1520 or online at www.mass.gov/marinefisheries.