- Division of Marine Fisheries
Under state law, DMF may sanction commercial and recreational fishing permits for violations of the state’s marine fishery laws and regulations subject to a due process adjudicatory proceeding. These adjudicatory proceedings are held before a magistrate. They may be initiated by the agency, the Environmental Police, or municipal officials (constables) authorized to enforce the marine fishery laws of the Commonwealth.
During the period of January 1, 2023 to present, DMF initiated one new adjudicatory proceeding. This matter involves numerous menhaden overages during the 2022 fishing year and intentional misreporting. This matter remains ongoing. DMF also resolved two matters that were previously initiated. The first matter dealt with violations of the state’s seasonal lobster trap closure, protected species regulations affecting buoy lines, surface marking requirements for lobster trap gear, and lobster conservation rules. DMF reached a settlement agreement with the party resulting in a three-year suspension of their commercial lobster permit. The second matter dealt with violations of the state’s seasonal lobster trap closure. DMF reached a settlement agreement with the party that requires they haul-out their lobster trap gear by no later than November 30 from 2023 – 2027.