Under the provisions of M.G.L. Ch 30A and pursuant to the authority found in M.G.L. Ch. 130 ss. 17A & 80, the Division of Marine Fisheries (MarineFisheries) and the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission (MFC) have scheduled two public hearings to accept comments on proposed changes to 322 CMR 6.17.  To continue the ongoing conservation efforts and comply with the interstate management plan for river herring and shad, the Division of Marine Fisheries is proposing the following actions:

1.Continue indefinitely the moratorium on the harvest of river herring species in state waters;
2.Clarify that a tolerance of river herring species within any batch or container of bait, is allowed, provided it is not more than 5% by count and said bait fish was caught outside of the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Two public hearings have been scheduled:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at the Division of Marine Fisheries Annisquam River Station, 30 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930.  From 6:00 – 8:00 PM.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at the Plymouth Public Library Fehlow Room, 132 South Street, Plymouth, MA 02360.  From 6:00 – 8:00 PM.  

Public comments will be accepted until 5PM on January 11, 2012.  Please e-mail all public comments to jared.silva@state.ma.us or send to 251 Causeway Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02114.

For further information or to obtain a copy of the draft regulations please contact Jared Silva by phone (617-626-1534) or through e-mail (jared.silva@state.ma.us).