Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 130 § 17A and 80 and 322 CMR 7.01(4), for the 2012 fishing year, the Division of Marine Fisheries (MarineFisheries) is considering implementing a special regulated fishery permit endorsement authorizing Coastal Access Permit (CAP) holders to take sea scallops by dredge in state waters; this permit endorsement will be known as the State Waters Sea Scallop Endorsement (SE).  

The SE will only be made available to CAP holders who do not also hold a federal sea scallop permit. This will not prevent federal scallop permit holders from fishing in state waters, rather vessels will be allowed to fish state waters and land up to their 200 lb trip limit and IFQ vessels will be authorized to fish state waters as long as they do not exceed the state possession limit while fishing in state waters.

MarineFisheries is also recommending the following conditions to the SE:

1. all permitted vessels are authorized to retain and land no more than 200 lbs of sea scallop meats or 2,000 lbs of in-shell sea scallops per trip or 24 hour period, whichever is longer;
2. all permitted vessels must use at minimum a 10” twine top net mesh; and
3. all permitted vessels must use at minimum a 4” dredge ring.

Two public scoping meetings have been scheduled to take comment on the proposed permit and permit conditions:
Tuesday, October 4, 2011 – 6:00 to 9:00 PM – Falmouth Public High School,  874 Gifford Street Ext, Falmouth, MA 02540.  
Wednesday, October 5, 2011 – 6:00 to 9:00 PM –Annisquam River Station, 30 Emerson Ave, Gloucester, MA 01930.

In addition MarineFisheries will also be accepting written comments:  
From September 13, 2011 through 5:00 PM on Friday, October 7, 2011, interested parties may submit
comments to MarineFisheries via e-mail (marine.fish@state.ma.us), fax (617-626-1509) or mail
(251 Causeway Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02114).

For additional information regarding the meetings or proposal please contact Jared Silva by phone (617-626-1534) or e-mail (jared.silva@state.ma.us).