For Immediate Release - January 06, 2014

Notice of Public Hearings Scheduled for Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Under the provisions of M.G.L. c. 30A and pursuant to the authority found at M.G.L. c. 130 § 17A, 21 and 80, the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) and the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission (MFC) have scheduled a public hearing and public comment period to accept comment on proposed regulations to amend 322 CMR 6.00 and 8.00.

  1. American Eel (322 CMR 6.30).  To comply with ASMFC’s Interstate Management Plan for American Eels, DMF is proposing to:
    1. Increase the minimum size to 9 inches;
    2. Decrease the recreational bag limit to 25 eels per day, except for for-hire operators who may continue to possess 50 eels per day; and
    3. Prohibit the use of nets (e.g. fyke nets) for eel harvest from September 1 through December 31.  Use of rod and reel, pots, traps and spears would be allowed during time.
  1. Tautog Management (322 CMR 6.40, 6.41 and 8.06). DMF is proposing to:
    1. Clarify the existing minimum size rules by prohibiting possession by any person of any tautog smaller than 16 inches;
    2. Prohibit dealers from possessing live tautog within 5 days after the start of a closed commercial fishing period; 
    3. Take comments on changes to the open commercial tautog fishing seasons;
    4. Recodify all tautog rules (commercial and recreational) into a single section at 322 CMR 6.40; and
  1. Hammerhead Shark Minimum Size (322 CMR 6.37).  To comply with the ASMFC’s Interstate Management Plan for Coastal Sharks, DMF is proposing to increase the recreational minimum size for hammerhead shark species from 54 inches to 78 inches. 
  1. Recreational V-Notch Standards (322 CMR 6.02) DMF is proposing to establish a state-wide recreational v-notch possession standard of 1/8 inch with or without setal hairs.
  1. Quota Managed Species (322 CMR 6.41). DMF is proposing to establish a universal procedure for closing quota managed fisheries.

Public Hearing Schedule
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Sagamore Fire Station #3 Meeting Room
53 Meetinghouse Lane, Sagamore Beach, MA 02562
From 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Public comments will be accepted until 5:00 PM on Friday January 31, 2014.  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 full proposed regulations please contact Jared Silva by phone (617-626-1534) or through e-mail (jared.silva@state.ma.us), or visit our website (www.mass.gov/marinefisheries).