For Immediate Release - May 16, 2012

Moratorium on the Issuance of Commercial Black Sea Bass Permit Endorsements

In response to the seasonal, near-shore abundance of black sea bass, a limited and static commercial fishing quota, and increased commercial fishing effort in recent years, the Director of the Division of Marine Fisheries, pursuant to his authority at M.G.L. c. 130 s. 80 and 322 CMR 7.01(4) and with the consent of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission, is ceasing the issuance of new commercial black sea bass permit endorsements. Effective May 11, 2012 and until further notice there is a moratorium on the issuance of new commercial black sea bass permit endorsements.

In addition, MarineFisheries has reviewed the potential to take action to close or constrain the May 2012 commercial black sea bass fishery to ensure commercial quota is available for the summer months and has determined there are insufficient remedies. Consequently, there is the potential for the May fishery to take the entire annual quota, eliminating the opportunity for a summer fishery.  To better manage this fishery in future years, the Division of Marine Fisheries and the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission will discuss potential management revisions at the June 7, 2012 Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission meeting at the Annisquam River Station in Gloucester, MA.

If you have any questions about this action or the regulations pertaining to the commercial black sea bass fishery, contact Jared Silva by phone (617-626-1534) or e-mail (jared.silva@state.ma.us).