The Division of Marine Fisheries (MarineFisheries) is projecting that commercial fishermen have harvested 85% of the state’s commercial Atlantic menhaden quota. In accordance with 322 CMR 6.43(4)(a)(2)(ii), the menhaden trip limit for all vessels will be 6,000 lbs per trip or per 24-hour day (whichever is longer) as of 00:01 hours on Saturday, July 6th.
The commercial menhaden fishery will close when MarineFisheries projects that 100% of the quota has been taken. Once the fishery is closed a 1,000 pound menhaden bycatch tolerance will be allowed, provided the weight of menhaden bycatch does not exceed 5% of the weight of the entire commercial catch.
This past winter, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden. This Amendment implemented the first ever coast-wide commercial menhaden quota. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been allocated 0.84% of the overall quota. For 2013, Massachusetts’ commercial menhaden quota is 3,126,019 pounds.
For more information about commercial menhaden regulations and management please visit our website (www.mass.gov/marinefisheries).
As a reminder a public hearing regarding the state’s commercial menhaden management and permitting regulations will be held on Monday, July 29, 2013 at 5:00 PM at MarineFisheries Annisquam River Station, 30 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930.
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