9.01: Definitions

For purposes of 322 CMR 9.00 only, the following words shall have the following meanings:

(1) Fish for means to harvest, catch or take, or attempt to harvest, catch or take any sea herring by any method or means.

(2) Gonad somatic index or GSI means for female herring the percentage obtained by the formula: [Gonad weight/(total body weight - gonad weight)] x 100.

(3) GSI Trigger means female herring greater than 28 cm total length with a mean GSI of 20% or female herring greater than 24 cm and less than 28 cm with a mean GSI of 15%.

(4) GSI Sampling means at least two samples of 50 fish or more in either GSI trigger length category taken from commercial catches during a period not to exceed seven days apart.

(5) Southern Gulf of Maine means that portion of Management Area 1 south of 43 [degrees] 32' N parallel of latitude.

(6) Land means to transfer the catch of any sea herring from any vessel onto any land or dock, pier, wharf, or other artificial structure.

(7) Management Area means one of three Management Areas as specified in the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and NOAA Fisheries federal fishery management plan.

(8) Management Area Quotas means the annual area-specific quota as specified by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission under the authority of the interstate and federal management plans.

(9) Massachusetts/New Hampshire Spawning Area means all waters encompassed by an imaginary line beginning at the intersection of the 43 [degrees] 30' N parallel of latitude and the Maine coast; thence in a southwesterly direction along the coasts of Maine, New Hampshire, and the Commonwealth to the intersection of the 70 [degrees] 00' W meridian of longitude; thence in a northerly direction along the 70 [degrees] 00' W meridian of longitude to its intersection with the 43 [degrees] 30' N parallel of latitude; thence in a westerly direction along the 43 [degrees] 30' N parallel of latitude to the point of beginning.

(10) Sea Herring means that species of Atlantic sea herring known as Clupea harengus.

(11) Spawn Herring means mature sea herring in ICNAF gonadal stages V and VI.

(12) Vessel means any waterborn craft registered under the laws of the state as that term is defined in M.G.L. c. 130, § 1.

(13) Vessel Fishing for Mackerel means any vessel whose catch on board at any given time is at least 75% mackerel (Scomber scombrus) by weight.

9.02: Management Area Boundaries

(1) Management Area 1: all U.S. waters of the Gulf of Maine (GOM) north of a line extending from the eastern shore of Monomoy Island at 41º 35’ N latitiude, eastward to a point at 41º 35’ N latitude, 69º 00’ W longitude, thence northeasterly to a point along the Hague Line at 42º 53’ 14” N latitude, 67º 44’ 35” W longitude, thence northerly along the Hague Line to the U.S. Canadian border, to include state and Federal waters adjacent to the States of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Management Area 1 is divided into Area 1A (inshore) and Area 1B (offshore). The line dividing these areas is described by the following coordinates:

N LatitudeW Longitude
41° 58´70° 00´ at Cape Cod shoreline
42° 38´70° 00´
42° 53´69° 40´
43° 12´69° 00´
43° 40´68° 00´
43° 58´67° 22´ (the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary)

(2) Management Area 2: All waters west of 69º 00' W longitude and south of 41o 35' N latitude, to include state and Federal waters adjacent to the States of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.

(3) Management Area 3: All U.S. waters east of 69º 00' W longitude and southeast of the line that runs from a point at 69º 00' W longitude and 41º 35' N latitude, northeasterly to the Hague Line at 67º 44' 35" W longitude and 42º 53' 14" N latitude.

(4) Management Area Map

9.03: Spawning Herring Protection

(1) Prohibition. It shall be unlawful to possess or land any spawn sea herring caught from the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Spawning Area seven days after the GSI trigger for herring from that area is reached. (2) Closure Duration. The prohibition of 322 CMR 9.03(1) shall extend for four weeks and may be extended by the Director if DMF sampling indicates that herring landings comprise more than 25% spawn herring.

(3) Default Closure. It shall be unlawful to possess or land any spawn sea herring caught from the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Spawning Area during the period September 21 through October 18 provided the GSI trigger has not been reached by September 14. This prohibition may be extended by the Director beyond October 18 if DMF sampling indicates that herring landings comprise more than 25% spawn herring

(4) Exceptions. A vessel may land or possess up to 2,000 lbs. of sea herring during the closure period described in 322 CMR 9.03.

9.04: Vessel Size Limit

It shall be unlawful for any vessel greater than 165 feet in overall length and 3,000 horsepower to land sea herring in the Commonwealth.

9.05: Fishing Restrictions & Annual Specifications

(1) Commercial Fishery Limits. It is unlawful for a vessel to land or possess sea herring from:

(a) Management Area 1A

(i) on no-fishing days specified by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and established by the Director through declaration;
(ii) when 100% of the Management Area 1A quota is taken or projected to be taken.

(b) Management Area 1B & 2 

(i) when 100% of the Management Area 1B or 2 quota, respectively, is taken or projected to be taken.

(2) Commercial Fishery Limit Specifications & Adjustments.

(a) The director may declare and adjust sea herring commercial fishery landing/possession limits, seasons, and no-fishing days to correspond to limits established by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

(b) Prior to any declaration or adjustment of the landing/possession limits for sea herring, the Division shall:

(i) obtain written approval by a majority of the members of the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission;
(ii) file notice with the Secretary of State;
(iii) publish a notice on the Marine Listserv and Division website; and (iv) directly notify sea herring dealers.

(3) Exceptions.

(a) Any vessel may land or possess up to 2,000 lbs. of sea herring during prohibited times established by 322 CMR 9.05.

REGULATORY AUTHORITY

   M.G.L. c. 130, §§ 2, 17A, 80 and 104.