This is to inform you that the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries is presently conducting enrollment to an experimental fishery for commercially permitted fishermen whose state permits have a State Waters Groundfish endorsement. This experimental groundfish fishery will be conducted in the May and June “rolling closures” (322 CMR 8.12). Participation conditions and monitoring requirements will be established by a Letter of Authorization (LOA) issued by the Director to the permit holder.

In addition to having a current State Waters Groundfish endorsed commercial fishing permit, in order to qualify to enter this fishery your permit’s required catch reporting must be up to date through March 2011. Do not apply for enrollment if your reporting information was not sent to or received by the Division of Marine Fisheries prior to April 18, 2011.

The Division may place at-sea observers aboard all participating vessels. Consequently, vessels must be up to date with all required safety equipment, including but not limited to: immersion suits/PFDs, throwable floatation device, life rafts (where required), first aid material, distress signals, fire extinguishing equipment, and radio. If regulatory discards become problematic, as determined by observer data, permits may be further conditioned to restrict fishing from certain areas, to modify fishing gear, or to end access. If cod spawning aggregations are identified, new closures to protect the spawning activity may be implemented.

For more information about this experimental fishery or to enroll, please send DMF by fax or email a request to participate with the following information:

  • Your name and the name of the operator of your vessel (if different)
  • DMF Permit ID
  • Vessel name, length, and registration (or documentation number)
  • Port you intend to fish from
  • Gear you intend to use

The fax number is 617-626-1509 or contact Kerry Allard by email:

Other pre-existing area, time and gear restrictions will be in effect during the experimental fishery. The attached maps will help to clarify where fishing will be allowed.