The Division of Marine Fisheries (MarineFisheries) has promulgated new regulations affecting the small mesh trawl fishery for squid. Effective July 3, 2014, permitted trawlers will be authorized to continue to fish with small mesh trawls for squid in the waters south of the islands between 70º46’ to the west and 70º00 to the east.
This small mesh trawl fishery is authorized between June 10 and December 31 or until the commercial fluke fishery closes, whichever occurs is earlier. Any fishermen fishing with or in possession of nets with mesh smaller than 6 ½ inches in the cod-end and six inches throughout will be subject to a 100 lb aggregate possession and landing limit for all flounder species. The existing Sunday through Thursday open fishing days for scup, fluke and black sea bass apply to any vessel fishing with small mesh trawls for squid and in possession of these species.
The purpose of this new regulation is to provide fishermen access to the federal longfinned squid quota, while the resource remains in Massachusetts waters, but at the same time limiting the bycatch and potential regulatory discards of other quota managed finfish species.
For more information regarding the management of longfinned squid in Massachusetts, please visit our website: www.mass.gov/marinefisheries