For Immediate Release - July 22, 2014

New Regulations Affecting Recreational Fishermen and For-Hire Operations

The Division of Marine Fisheries (MarineFisheries) has promulgated new regulations that affect the at-sea filleting of recreationally caught scup and black sea bass and hold for-hire operators and permit holders responsible for violations onboard their vessels. These new regulations are effective immediately.  

Filleting of Recreationally Caught Black Sea Bass and Scup
MarineFisheries is allowing all recreational fishermen to fillet black sea bass and scup while at sea.  However, to determine compliance with the state’s black sea bass and scup recreational possession limits, recreational anglers are now required to keep the skin on the fish until they reach their home or temporary residence and may not possess fillets of black sea bass or scup in a quantity that exceeds two-times the recreational bag limits (i.e., two fillets per fish). For catch or fillets that are co-mingled among anglers, the co-mingled catch will be divided by the number of persons to determine compliance with the state’s possession limits. 

Violations Onboard For-Hire Vessels
MarineFisheries is now holding charter and head boat operators and permit holders responsible for any violations of the state’s recreational fishing laws or regulations by persons onboard their vessel.

Full text of these new regulations can be found at 322 CMR 6.41

For more information regarding the states recreational fisheries, please visit our website: www.mass.gov/marinefisheries