Published quarterly by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries to inform and educate its constituents on matters relating to the conservation and sustainable use of the Commonwealth's marine resources.

Volume 15 Fourth Quarter October - December 1995


Can Bay Scallop Stocks Be Restored?

DMF Shellfish Program and Local Aquaculture Firm Collaborate on Massive Stocking Experiment

A bay scallop restoration experiment is underway. This project, funded by the federal Fishing Industry Grants (FIG) Program and the responsibility of Taylor Seafood, Inc. of Fairhaven, is being assisted by DMF's Shellfish Program and DMF's Martha's Vineyard Lobster Hatchery and by municipal shellfish constables.

The project was approved last February and is officially titled, "Massive seeding to effect a bay scallop fishery restoration in selected embayments." The goal is to restore local bay scallop fisheries through a seeding of up to 30 million "large" (30 mm) scallops in coastal embayments. Three objectives are: (1) to determine if this stocking effort will restore fisheries in the embayments on a "put and take" basis, (2) to determine if enough scallops survive and reproduce to restore self-sustaining bay scallop fisheries, and (3) to observe biological and environmental factors possibly contributing to the fisheries' declines.

Bay scallop fisheries have been important since colonial times when settlers picked them by hand at low tide. Once a mainstay of the Commonwealth's shellfishery in southeastern Massachusetts, the fisheries have declined for the last 10 years. Similar declines occurred in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.

During the 1970s and early 1980s reported Massachusetts scallop landings hovered around 200,000 bushels per year. From 1985 through 1994 landings dropped to a 1993 low of 41,500 bushels (See Landings Figure on page 2).

Today, 200,000 bushels would be worth about $13.9 million to fishermen at first wholesale. At an average retail price of $12 per pound, 200,000 bushels would exceed 16.8 million retail value and greatly contribute to local economies. Furthermore, the fisheries can provide valuable wintertime employment for shellfishermen when seasonal demand for other species wanes and provide employment for shuckers, who remove meats from the shell, and other related waterfront businesses.

Uniquely qualified to produce large quantities of bay scallop seed, Taylor Seafood, Inc. completed two production phases this year. First, from February through May they acclimated and spawned bay scallops in heated water at rented space at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory. Larval scallops were then transferred to DMF's Lobster Hatchery and placed in growout tanks. There they were fed a special diet of algae until they reached metamorphosis ("setting") when scallops complete the free-swimming period and develop the ability to attach themselves to objects by byssal threads secreted from a foot gland. At this stage they are less than 1 millimeter across. Secondly, scallops were spawned in June and July in the Lobster Hatchery at ambient water temperatures. Larvae were "grownout" in the same way as the MBL-produced scallops.

Over the summer Taylor Seafood, Inc. personnel transferred 5 millimeter scallop seed from the Hatchery to the Taylor Seafarm in Fairhaven. Held in a system of suspended nets, scallops were grown to a size suitable for planting at three sites chosen by DMF shellfish biologists, local shellfish constables, and Taylor after a careful review of 16 sites based on the following criteria: (1) history of scallop productivity, (2) habitat to enhance scallop growth and survival, (3) few indigenous scallops, (4) relatively few predators such as starfish and crabs, and (5) no heavy wave action and ice. An important additional criteria was the willingness of the towns to close shellfishing sites for one year and assist DMF monitoring of the sites after planting.

The three sites chosen were Menemsha Pond in Chilmark and Gay Head, Nasketucket Bay in Fairhaven and Mattapoisett, and West Falmouth Harbor in Falmouth. Planting began on September 20, and by late October 8.7 million scallops were planted.

Scallops were taken from "pearl" nets at the Seafarm and emptied into fish totes early in the day of planting by Taylor personnel. Totes were brought to planting sites by a Taylor Seafood barge.

DMF biologists played an important role during each day's planting of 40-70 totes with 0.4-1.6 million scallops. They sampled totes to determine scallop size distribution; by hand, they broadcasted scallops directly from the barge to locations within the planting sites. Then they donned SCUBA gear and observed scallop condition and distribution as they settled to the bottom; they noted location, bottom type, amount of eelgrass, and presence and type of predators. Dives were repeated at each planting location one, three, and about seven days after planting to determine survival, predation, and distribution. This monitoring at each site will continue throughout this fall and winter.

Preliminary results, as expected, indicate better survival of larger scallop seed than smaller seed. One explanation might be that plantings in early November result in greater survival because water low temperatures decrease predator activity. Assuming sufficient survival through the winter, DMF biologists and divers plan to monitor development of gonads, spawning, and setting success from May though October 1996.

This project will provide DMF with valuable information on planting techniques, growth, survival, predation, spawning, and setting _ information to manage bay scallop fisheries and for the design of improved, future restoration programs.

Text & Photos by Michael Hickey.

The Bay Scallop

The bay scallop is short-lived, spawns only once, and is found at the northern extension of its range in Massachusetts _ three factors contributing to large fluctuations in scallop abundance from year to year and place to place. North of Cape Cod the scallop essentially is a stray although large populations occasionally can be found in Cape Cod Bay. Pollution and habitat destruction affect scallop abundance as well.

Scallops grow very rapidly and are able to spawn in their second summer when they are 1-year old. The majority of scallops spawn only once in their life; only 10-20% live to be 2-years old. Most die at 20-22 months. Therefore, it's extremely important that all scallops under 1-year be protected because they provide nearly all of the spawn the following year. For this reason, Massachusetts laws prohibit the taking of scallops less than 1-year old. Scallops over 1-year have a well-defined growth ring on the shell, and this is used to determine age. Additionally, it does no harm to harvest scallops a year old. In fact, there would be economic loss if they were not taken since nearly all die from natural causes before spawning a second time.

In Massachusetts spawning generally occurs from mid-June through mid-August depending on local environmental conditions such as water temperatures. Possessing male and female sex organs, bay scallops discharge eggs and sperm at different times thereby avoiding self-fertilization. Most other bivalves (two-shelled mollusks) such as clams, oysters, and mussels have separate sexes. Eggs are fertilized externally, and there are 10-12 days before metamorphosis to a tiny scallop that attaches to eelgrass, algae, rocks, shell, or some other solid object.

The bay scallop is unique, possessing many eyes (up to 50) closely resembling those of higher vertebrates. It is the only swimming bivalve, jetting in a backwards direction by rapid opening and closing of its shells. This technique works well to escape predators.

Saltwater Flyfishing: Growth Fueled by Striper Resurgence

As recently as three years ago, the sight of someone on a Cape Cod beach false casting with a stripping basket on their waist would have been extremely unusual. Today, this scene has become commonplace as the popularity of saltwater flyfishing in Massachusetts increases. It is remarkable that this has happened in such a short span of time.

Flyfishing along the Atlantic coast is certainly not new. The sport appeared as early as 1849, and there are some turn of the century accounts of flyfishing for striped bass in Massachusetts. During the 20th century, however, the focal point of saltwater flyrodding became the Florida Keys and neighboring Caribbean locations while in the Northeast the pastime was the domain of a small core of diehards. The spinning tackle revolution following World War II helped to keep flyrods in the closet.

In Massachusetts, renewed interest in saltwater flyfishing bloomed on Martha's Vineyard where bluefish, bonito, and false albacore provided plenty of action during the 1980's. The spread of the sport to the mainland has coincided perfectly with the recovery of striper populations and has grown to the point where today there are two Orvis Company franchises and at least three independent retailers in southeastern Massachusetts alone who specialize in flyfishing. Many shops that carry a more eclectic tackle line have dramatically increased the amount of floor space devoted to saltwater flyfishing.

Another example of this rapid growth is the Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass Flyfishing Tournament. When this competition was first held in 1992, only 50 anglers entered. Interest has increased each year, and in 1995, 311 fishermen participated in the one-day contest.

Several explanations for the rapid growth of saltwater flyfishing have been advanced. One idea is that the movie, A River Runs Through It, stimulated a great deal of interest in flyfishing in general. However, while the movie may have played a role, such a reaction to the movie would have been nationwide and would have focused on trout fishing. The only dramatic sales increases in the flyfishing industry over the last few years have been in the Northeast and primarily in saltwater tackle.

The resurgence of striped bass populations has certainly played a major part in the sport's growth. The availability of small stripers to shore-based fishermen fueled the enthusiasm of these anglers, and when increased size limits mandated the release of most of these fish, the stage was set for a more challenging and rewarding fishing technique.

Flyfishing makes the most of a catch-and-release situation where the fish's only value is the enjoyment to be gained from hooking and playing it successfully. Doing this on fly tackle enhances the experience because the higher degree of skill required provides greater satisfaction. Fly tackle allows more of a "direct connection" with the fish than does conventional gear. The fish is often played from the hand rather than the reel, and the lack of stretch that is characteristic of monofilament lines creates an appealing sensitivity to the fish's actions.

Whatever their reason for taking up saltwater flyfishing, Massachusetts saltwater flyfishermen certainly chose the right time and place to make the switch.

by Ken Reback, DMF's most avid flyfisherman and Anadromous Fisheries Project Leader.

The Massachusetts Governor's Seafood Task Force Gears Up to Promote Underutilized Species

One partial answer to the ongoing groundfish crisis is to transfer fishing effort to alternative species. That's the mission of the Massachusetts Governor's Seafood Task Force Ñ to promote alternative fisheries by improving the market for non-traditional species: primarily mackerel, skate, spiny dogfish - now called "Cape Shark", a more consumer friendly name - and also sea herring and red hake.

The Governor's Seafood Task Force is laying the groundwork now for its statewide marketing program-- Making a Splash!. The campaign will kick off next Spring 1996 to coincide with the arrival of mackerel and increasing availability of Cape Shark and skates. It includes the following:

The Task Force is asking Massachusetts restaurants, supermarkets and fish markets to carry and promote mackerel, Cape Shark and skate for one year, when in season. Discussions with several major players show that retail outlets are eager to help the fishing industry and will sign onto the Making a Splash! Campaign but they want to be assured of a high quality, consistent supply. The Task Force will act as a referral service to hook up appropriate suppliers with campaign partners and will be compiling a database throughout the winter. (This interactive computer program will, in fact, link producers with both domestic and export markets.) The Task Force will create recipe brochures, point of purchase displays and in-ice signs for retail partners. And, a public relations campaign will create press coverage on the program and the targeted species.

The culinary program at Boston University will create an educational program for restaurant and institutional volume feeder partners involved in the Making a Splash! Campaign. Chef and restaurateur Jasper White and former WGBH producer and restaurateur Franco Romagnoli will be involved in creating videotapes to demonstrate preparation and innovative presentations of mackerel, Cape Shark and skate. Wait staff training and motivation is another part of this program--a package of materials will help wait staff answer consumer questions and help promote the new menu offerings. Specific recipes will be highlighted to food service professionals in a series of tastings involving Massachusetts fishermen and seafood purveyors.

Professional in-store demonstrators will be selected in an open bidding process to conduct in-store cooking and sampling demonstrations in select Making a Splash! partner supermarkets.

The Task Force will also contract for product development work to expand the consumer appeal of products made from mackerel, red hake and possibly herring. This work will complement related work being done in the Northeast Region under S-K and Fishing Industry Grant projects.

The Governor's Seafood Task Force is composed of private sector leaders in the Commonwealth's fishing industry and government officials. For more information contact Ken Coons, Chairman of the Task Force (also Executive Director of the New England Fisheries Development Association, Inc.) 617-443-9494 or Buell Hollister, Task Force Coordinator at the Division of Marine Fisheries at 617-727-3193, ext. 334. Interested media should call Lee Regan Larkin, Regan Larkin Communications at 617-268-1380.

Industry Input Sought at Regional Meetings

The Massachusetts Governor's Seafood Task Force is co-hosting a series of meetings to review Making a Splash! Campaign details, to seek industry input, and create a database of everyone in the industry working in the area of underutilized species. A primary goal is to link suppliers with supermarket chains, fish markets and restaurants to ensure a high quality, consistent supply during our 1996 Making a Splash! Campaign.

Co-host: Gloucester Fisheries Commission

Thursday, November 30, 1995 _ 3 to 4 p.m.
At the Chamber of Commerce, 33 Commercial Street, Gloucester
For more information: Vito Calomo, Executive Director, Gloucester Fisheries Commission 508-281-9703; Lee Regan Larkin, Task Force 617-268-1380

New Bedford
Co-host: New Bedford Seafood Coalition

Wednesday, December 6, 1995 _ 2 to 3 p.m.
At the Family Fishing Center, 46 Foster Street, New Bedford
For more information: Jim Kendall, Executive Director, New Bedford Seafood Coalition 508-997-0013; Lee Regan Larkin, Governorás Seafood Task Force 617-268-1380

Co-host: Massport

Date and locations TBD
For more information: Richard Henderson, Associate Director of Port Planning & Development, Massport 617-973-4072; Lee Regan Larkin, Task Force 617-268-1380

Cape Cod
Co-Host : Cape Cod Economic Development Council

Date and locations TBD
For more information: Mike Collins, Fisheries Coordinator, Cape Cod Economic Development Council 508-790-4980; Lee Regan Larkin, Task Force 617-268-1380

Lobster Catch and Value Up in '94

The results for 1994's lobster year are in and landings and value are both up. Massachusetts lobstermen managed to pull a near record year out of the 1994 fishing season, even while debate continued about overfishing the resource.

Commercial lobster landings in the Commonwealth were 16,200,000 pounds in 1994, very close to 1990's record landings of 16,570,000 pounds. The greatest portion of these landings (10.5 million pounds) were harvested from within the territorial waters of the Commonwealth that include the embayments of Massachusetts Bay, Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound. The remainder (5.7 million pounds) were harvested from federal waters, generally beyond three miles from shore. One million pounds of the federal waters lobster catch lobsters were taken by trawlers and 4.7 million pounds were taken by lobster traps.

Lobster value - price paid to fishermen at the dock - increased as well to $2.94 per pound. This estimate is gleaned from the annual audit of a percentage (15%) of active lobstermen's catch reports submitted at the beginning of the year. Lobstermen submit dealer slips or logbooks of their daily catch to substantiate what is reported on their catch reports. Thousands of lobster transactions are used to generate a daily and annual average price for lobster landed in the Commonwealth.

This high price is good news for lobstermen considering that some recent years prices have dipped well below the $2.50 mark. Using this price and total landings for 1994, lobster landings were worth $47.5 million dollars to Massachusetts lobstermen.

In spite of strong landings and a good price at the dock, 1994 was a turbulent year for lobster fishery management. State and Federal fisheries scientists remain concerned about how long lobster landings can remain strong with bigger boats dropping more and more traps in the ocean and pursuing the resource further out to sea each year. Federal officials initiated an updated lobster fishery management plan on January 01, 1994 that called for cooperative fishing effort reductions from all lobstermen from Maine to North Carolina. Six regional Effort Management Teams (EMTs) were created by scientists and the industry to draft regional plans to scale back fishing effort. The year and a half long process has been both productive and frustrating for all of those involved, and the final outcome is still uncertain.

Massachusetts lobstermen and Division scientists continue to wait and support the planning process and the important management changes that may result. Safeguarding our lobster resource while it is still healthy only makes sense for the Commonwealth.

The Division's Statistics Project produces an annual publication of statistics generated from lobstermen's catch reports. The 1994 Massachusetts Lobster Fishery Statistics is available by writing the Division at 92 Fort Ave. Salem, MA 01970.

by David McCarron, Fisheries Economist


DMF biologists Bruce Estrella and Steve Cadrin recently published a study of female lobster fecundity (female egg production rates) in three regions along the Massachusetts coast. The results are used by state and federal lobster biologists who calculate benefits of regulation changes to increase egg production. The study appeared in ICES Marine Science Symposium Series (volume 199, pp. 61-72) entitled "Fecundity of American lobster (Homarus americanus) in Massachusetts coastal waters".

DMF biologist Steve Cadrin cited for Outstanding Performance. Steve Cadrin of the Division's Resource Assessment Project was among three Department staff awarded the "Pride in Performance" award for 1995. Steve worked as a DMF biologist for seven years and served on the Coastal Lobster Investigations project prior to his current assignment. His recent accomplishments include a study of the effect of trawling area closures on fish abundance, and a Master's of Science thesis describing lobster stock discrimination. He also serves as DMF's representative on the interstate (ASMFC) Atlantic Menhaden Advisory Committee. His work and articles have been featured in past issues of DMF News. Congratulations, Steve.

Shellfish Program's Karl W. VonHone has been appointed Director of Natural Resources for the Town of Yarmouth. Karl has been a Fisheries Supervisor on the shellfish project working out of the Sandwich field office since June 1992. As director of the Yarmouth Department of Natural Resources, Karl will be in charge of town programs involving shellfish, hunting, wildlife and animal control as well as harbor master and waterways (dredging , docks) activities. We wish Karl good luck and look forward to a continuing mutually beneficial association.

Seafood supplier directory will be updated. DMF's licensing staff is now updating the "MASSACHUSETTS SEAFOOD SUPPLIER DIRECTORY". Each year, DMF receives hundreds of calls for referrals for specific seafood products produced - or sold by -Massachusetts dealers from all over the United States and Canada. In an effort to direct these inquiries to appropriate businesses we have mailed all wholesale and retail dealers a questionnaire. The information obtained will be used to create a directory that will be made available to the public. Completing and returning the questionnaire is strictly voluntary. If you are a dealer interested in participating, kindly complete the questionnaire. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to call Laurie McLaughlin or Jeanne Haggerty at (617) 727-3193.

Paul Diodati has been appointed supervisor all DMF's recreational fisheries programs. Paul has served the Commonwealth for over 17 years as a senior fisheries biologist. He is well known for his outstanding work with striped bass and northern shrimp, two fisheries management success stories. Paul will oversee seven regional biologists, the anadromous fisheries program, and the contract for recreational fishery surveys.


EDITORS:Dan McKiernan, David Pierce
GRAPHICS:David Gabriel

DMF receives state and federal funds to conduct research, management and development of the Commonwealth's marine fishery resources. Information in this publication in alternative formats is available.

Philip G. Coates, Director, DMF
John C. Phillips, Comm'nr DFWELE
Trudy Coxe, Secretary, EOEA
William F. Weld, Governor

Comments and suggestions for the newsletter are welcome. Please contact the Editors at (617) 727-3193, or write to DMF, 100 Cambridge St., Boston, MA 02202.

Publication #17020-12-7000-11/95-$2030

Division of Marine Fisheries

Public Hearings - Regulations - Legislation Volume 5 Number 4

Inside Rules Update...

Notices of Public Hearings

Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Commission
Scheduled for November 14, 16 and 20

Under the provisions of G.L. c. 30A and pursuant to the authority found in G.L. c.130, s. 2, 17A, 80, and 104, the Marine Fisheries Commission has scheduled hearings at the times, dates, and locations of the following:

(1) Revisions to summer flounder quota management regulations:

In response to the Massachusetts summer flounder 1996 commercial fishery quota of about 758,000 lbs., down from about 984,000 lbs. in 1995, DMF proposes to revise summer flounder regulations to prevent quota overages and extend the commercial fishing season.

Options include - but are not limited to changes in seasonal allocations, landing/possession limits, and establishment of no-fishing days or periods;

DMF also seeks comments on an option to limit participation in the winter-time fishery to only those vessels with a record of substantial fluke winter landings prior to 1993.

(2) Sea Urchin control date for sea urchin divers:

DMF seeks comments on a recently approved control date of 9/11/95 for possible future use in limiting entry into the urchin fishery for fishermen hand-harvesting urchins by diving.

(3) Lobster permit transfer regulations:

DMF proposals to amend 322 CMR 7.03 regarding the transfer of lobster permits:

A) Prohibit Commercial Coastal Lobster Permit Holders to acquire additional Coastal Lobster permits through a transfer pursuant 322 CMR 7.03.

B) For permit holders seeking to transfer their permit, allow the granting of waivers on performance criteria only to those fishermen who have actively fished their permits during four of the five preceding years.

C) Amend the requirement that permit holders be owner/operators to exempt the following: recipients of a posthumous transfer, those in active military service, immediate family members, and for two years those granted permission from DMF to fish another fisherman's permit if that fisherman is disabled.

D) For immediate family members receiving a coastal lobster permit through a posthumous transfer, waive the commercial fishing experience requirements.

E) Regarding all permit transfers, amend the regulation that requires sale of lobster related business assets to allow sale or transfer of such assets.

(4) Emergency Action to amend the fall gillnet time/area closure:

DMF will accept comments on a recent emergency action that amended 322 CMR 4.08 to expand the November sink gillnet closure north of Cape Ann consistent with recent federal action. Closure will be extended for November through December and include all state waters north of Marblehead (latitude 42 degrees 30 minutes). See description in Regulatory Update.

Draft regulations are available upon request from DMF.

Three hearings have been scheduled:

Tuesday, November 14, 1995 at 7:00 PM at the Sawyer Free Library, Friend Room, Gloucester, MA; Thursday, November 16 at 7:00 PM at the Mass Maritime Academy, Buzzards Bay, MA;
Monday, November 20 at 4:00 PM at the Martha's Vineyard Commission Bldg., New York Avenue, Oak Bluffs, MA.

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

Northern Shrimp Section

Under the auspices of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the Northern Shrimp public hearing has been scheduled to discuss the 1995-96 northern shrimp season. The hearing will be held cooperatively by the following:

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Commission; New Hampshire Fish & Game Dept. and Fish & Game Commission; and Maine Dept. of Marine Resources. The ASMFC Shrimp Technical Committee will present information on the status of the stock, and proposals to continue gear restrictions such as finfish excluder devices, trawl specifications, and mesh sizes. Public comments will be accepted during the public hearings and immediately following the hearing, the Northern Shrimp Section of the ASMFC will decide on the regulations for the 1995-96 season.

One hearing is scheduled:
November 14, 1995 at 10:00 AM at the Naval Reserve Center, 350 Commercial Street, Portland, Maine.

Regulations UPDATE

No public hearings were held during August. Only two regulations were changed and these were accomplished by emergency action.

Annual October spawning closure for sea herring enacted nine days early. DMF biologists in cooperation with Maine biologists determined sea herring spawning was occurring in late September so the annual three week closure, Oct. 1 - 21, was shifted back to Sept. 22 - Oct. 12 for this season. Vessels are allowed a by-catch of sea herring of 1,000 lbs. or up to 5% of the weight of a trip, whichever is greater.

Gillnet closure north of Cape Ann, designed last year to prevent incidental takes of harbor porpoise, was broadened to include waters north and south of Cape Ann (extending from Marblehead to N.H border) Also the closure was extended an additional month through December. This action complements the federal action taken by the New England Fishery Management Council and National Marine Fisheries Service. The closures were designed to coincide with harbor porpoise migrations. State waters south of Marblehead in Mass. Bay and Cape Cod Bay are scheduled to be closed during March again this winter but this area closure may be changed based on ongoing analyses of gillnet fishery sea sampling data depicting harbor porpoise by-catch. Comments on this action will be accepted at the three November public hearings.

Contact DMF's Boston office for details on these regulations at (617) 727-3193.

Legislative UPDATE

FY '96 Budget passed in June
On June 21, 1995, Governor Weld signed the FY '96 budget. Sections of interest include: $75,000 earmarked in the education budget for an artificial reef program with Umass Dartmouth; DMF to conduct a study of the Newburyport shellfish purification plant; and, an amendment to the personal floatation device (PFD) law to comply with new federal regulations which require Type IV PFDs to be used only as throw-able devices and not in lieu of wearable PFDs.

Legislators working to reach compromise on lobster bill
Chairs Barbara Gray (Framingham) and Bob Durand (Marlborough) along with Representatives John Quinn (Dartmouth), Bill Straus (Mattapoisett) and DMF Director Philip Coates are currently working with members of the lobster pot fishery and dragging fishery to reach a compromise on the lobster dragging bill which would regulate draggers landing lobsters in Massachusetts, which were caught legally in federal waters.

Legislators brave the elements and assist DMF biologists at sea
Four members of the Natural Resources Committee joined DMF biologists for their annual fall survey aboard the NOAA research trawler, Gloria Michelle. Chairwoman Barbara Gray, Representative John Quinn, Representative George Peterson (Grafton) and Senator Robert Antonioni (Leominster) assisted biologists in counting, weighing, measuring and obtaining scale samples from fish caught throughout state waters. DMF will continue to invite legislators to participate in the semi-annual surveys to give them a first-hand look at the health of the Commonwealth's fish and shellfish resources.

Successful State House Day
Over sixty legislators attended the DFWELE's "State House Day" held on October 17, 1995. DMF sponsored displays on current programs and research. The event was designed to allow legislators and their staff to learn about the varied programs within the entire Department. Biologist Dan McKiernan, using actual fish, showed legislators some of the more common marine species. The Governor's Seafood Task Force sponsored a table of deliciously-prepared underutilized species such as mackerel, squid and hake.

Limpet Bill Gets "Flavorable" Report
House Bill 5423 an act which would regulate limpets (a.k.a. slipper shells, quarterdecks) pursuant to state's shellfish laws, caused quite a commotion. At the bill's hearing in October, Representative Frank Hynes (Marshfield) suggested that the committee taste a plate of limpets before reporting the bill out of Committee. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Turkington (Falmouth), arranged for freshly shucked limpets from the Martha's Vineyard to be delivered to the State House, where he, Representative Gray, Representative Tony Verga (Gloucester) and Representative Hynes dined on the delicacy. The bill was reported out "flavorably" from the Committee.

Bond Bills
As of this writing, both the House and Senate have passed their versions of the Open Space Bond Bill and the Seaport Bond Bill. Both bills contain funding for programs which would benefit the commercial fishing industry. A legislative conference committee for each bill will recommend a final joint version for both houses. The legislature is scheduled to conclude the 1995 session on November 15, 1995.

Contact Priscilla Geigis, DFWELE Deputy General Counsel, for details (617-727-1614, ext. 388).

UPDATE is published quarterly to publicize regulatory matters affecting marine fisheries.
Director: Philip G. Coates, DMF
Commissioner: John C. Phillips, DFWELE
Secretary: Trudy Coxe, EOEA - Governor: William F. Weld
Editor: Daniel J. McKiernan , DMF - Art Dir.: David G. Gabriel, DFWELE
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