The Commonwealth’s Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission met on April 7 and approved proposed regulations for commercial and recreational scup, black sea bass, and fluke management in 2011. The recreational black sea bass regulations also required approval by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which was granted on April 20. Due to the late timing of the action, MarineFisheries is enacting emergency regulations for the upcoming season. These regulations will allow Massachusetts to remain in compliance with the interstate plans and in some cases to capitalize on more liberal catch limits allowed under the plans.
The following changes are in effect for 2011:
Commercial Scup: An increase of 50,000 pounds to the quota set-aside for the weir fishery; a doubling of the trip limits for all other authorized gears; replacement of Thursday with Wednesday as an open fishing day for the May fish pot and hook-and-line fishery; and a one-month earlier season opening for the summer directed fishery, with the addition of Sunday as a fishing day for the fish pot and hook-and-line fishery.
|Gear Type||Open Fishing Days||Possession Limit (lbs)||Size Limit|
|May - October||Fish Weir||All||275,000 in aggregate||9"|
|April 23 – June 9||Trawlers during squid and fluke seasons||All||800|
|June 10 – October 31||Sunday - Thursday||800|
|May 1 – May 31||Fish pot and hook-and-line||Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday||400|
|July 1 – October 31||Sunday - Thursday||800|
Commercial Black Sea Bass: For the spring fishery, extension of the season by seven days, replacement of Thursday with Wednesday as an open fishing day, and a 60 percent reduction to the daily trip limit for all gears. For the summer fishery, alignment of the possession limits with the spring fishery.
|Commercial Black Sea Bass||Season||Gear Type||Open Fishing Days||Possession Limit (lbs)||Size Limit|
|January - April||All authorized||All||100||12"|
|May 1 - May 31||Fish pot & weir||Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday||200|
|All others authorized||80|
|August 1 - Quota||Fish pot||Sunday - Thursday||200|
|All others authorized||80|
Commercial Fluke: No changes from 2010 management.
|Gear||Season||Minimum Size||Trip Limits (lbs)|
|Nets||February 1 – April 22||14"|
w/o LOA: 500
w/ LOA: 2,000
|Nets||April 23 – June 9||100|
|Longlines||April 23 – June 9||100|
|Nets||June 10 – Quota||300|
|Longlines||June 10 – Quota||200|
|Handlines/Rod & Reel||June 10 – Quota||200|
(LOA = letter of authorization)
Recreational Scup: No changes from 2010 management.
|Trip Type||Season||Possession Limit||Size Limit|
|Private||May 24 - September 26||10 fish (with 50 fish vessel limit)||10.5"|
|For-hire||May 15 - June 18||40 fish||11"|
|June 19 - September 17||10 fish|
Recreational Black Sea Bass: A shortening of the season by 61 days (no November and December fishery), a decrease in the possession limit by 10 fish, and an increase in the minimum size limit by 1.5 inches.
|Recreational Black Sea Bass||Season||Possession Limit||Size Limit|
|May 22 - October 11||10 fish||14"|
Recreational Fluke: A lengthening of the season by 24 days in September, and a decrease in the minimum size limit of one inch.
|Recreational Fluke||Season||Possession Limit||Size Limit|
|May 22 - September 30||5 fish||17.5"|