This notice serves to remind commercial fishermen of the various discrete openings and closures in Cape Cod and Massachusetts Bays during the fall months.

Vessels permitted to fish in the small-mesh net raised footrope trawl whiting fishery may do so from September 1 – November 20 in the Upper Cape Cod Bay Whiting Area (right).  The cod-end net mesh may be no smaller than 2.5 inches and whiting trawls must meet the gear specifications at 322 CMR 8.14(2) .  The retention of groundfish bycatch is prohibited in this fishery.

West of Provincetown, embedded inside the Upper Cape Cod Bay Whiting Area, is the Fixed Gear Free Zone.  From September 1 – October 31 lobstermen and gillnetters are prohibited from setting their fixed gear in this area (right).  As state law prohibits the molestation of gear, this action provides trawlers with access to this area during the seasonal whiting fishery.  LORAN line coordinates for the fixed gear free zone can be found at 322 CMR 8.14(1)(c) .

All commercial groundfish permit endorsement holders should be aware that from October 1 – November 30, the catch, possession and landing of groundfish from the waters of the Commonwealth south of the 42° 30’ line and north of the 42° 00’ line is prohibited (above).  The regulations for these seasonal groundfish closures can be found at 322 CMR 8.12 .

For more information contact MarineFisheries at 617-626-1534 or visit our website

Showing the months of September, October, November, & December when Whiting area, fixed gear free zone, & Groundfish closure