For Immediate Release - June 05, 2014

Small Mesh Trawl Fishery for Longfinned Squid Extended Through June 14, 2014

The small mesh trawl fishery for longfinned squid has been extended through Saturday, June 14, 2014. This fishery was previously scheduled to close on June 10. However, late warming waters delayed the springtime run of longfinned squid into Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds. Accordingly, the Director, in accordance with 322 CMR 6.39(1) and 8.07(1)(b), has extended this fishery through Saturday, June 14, 2014. The extension of this commercial fishing season will provide mobile gear fishermen with continued access to the longfinned squid quota while these fish are available in our waters. A similar action was taken in 2009. 

Through next Saturday, any vessel that chooses to participate in this small mesh trawl fishery may fish seven-days per week. To reduce regulatory discarding, participating vessels will not be subject to the closed fishing days in the state’s summertime scup and fluke fishery next Friday, and Saturday - June 13 and 14, 2014. These closed fishing days shall apply to any vessel fishing for fluke or scup, with large mesh (6 ½ inch opening or greater in the cod end). 

Vessels fishing with small mesh in state waters or landing longfinned squid caught with small mesh in Massachusetts ports are subject to all state-trip limits. Specifically, vessels may not possess or land any black sea bass; more than 800 pounds of scup without a Letter of Authorization to participate in Massachusetts’ Scup Weekly Aggregate Experimental Fishery Program; more than 50 pounds of winter flounder taken from the waters south and east of the cape; or more than 100 pounds combined of any flounder species, including fluke. Additionally, it is unlawful to conduct trawl fishing from ½ hour after sunset until ½ hour before sunrise.

Effective Sunday, June 15, 2014 the small mesh fishery for longfinned squid will be closed. At that time, all vessels fishing with trawl gear in state waters will be required to use nets with a minimum mesh size of 6 ½ inch through the cod-end and 6 inches throughout the remainder of the net. 

For more information regarding the management of longfinned squid in Massachusetts, please visit our website: www.mass.gov/marinefisheries