- Division of Marine Fisheries
DMF Pilots New Abandoned Gear Retrieval Program
DMF has initiated a new joint program with the Massachusetts Environmental Police (MEP) to identify and remove all lost and abandoned fixed fishing gear within the portion of Massachusetts state waters that are seasonally closed to protect right whales.
Lobster Vessel Trackers to be Required in 2023
Beginning in 2023, one of the biggest blind spots in the assessment and management of commercial fisheries will be resolved. Precise location of lobster fishing effort, especially in federal waters, has been absent from the collection of statistics for this important fishery.
Right Whales Visited Massachusetts Waters Again in Large Numbers
In spring 2022, the Massachusetts coast once again played host to large aggregations of North Atlantic right whales. Seasonal feeding aggregations were observed in both traditional right whale habitats like Cape Cod Bay and in newly utilized areas like Massachusetts Bay and the North Shore.
Spring 2022: Diadromous Fish Run Update
Diadromous, or sea-run fish, are the migratory fish that switch between marine and freshwater habitats to complete their life history. Most diadromous fish populations have declined sharply from historical periods when valuable fisheries were supported.
Seafood Marketing Update
DMF’s Seafood Marketing Program seeks to increase consumer awareness and preference for local seafood products. Our activities under this program are guided by a 19-member steering committee and funded by commercial harvester and dealer permit revenues.
Creature Feature: Atlantic Mackerel
The Atlantic mackerel, Scomber scombrus, is a handsome pelagic forage fish that is fished both commercially and recreationally in Massachusetts.
Offshore Wind Update
The offshore wind industry has seen an explosion in activity since MA DMF’s first industry update published in 2018. Global offshore wind energy capacity surpassed 27 gigawatts (GW) in early 2020. In March 2021, the Biden-Harris administration announced a national goal of generating 30 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030, marking the nation’s first federal-scale offshore wind energy goal.
Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission Celebrates its 60th Anniversary
On June 16, the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission (MFAC) celebrated its 60th anniversary with a social gathering on the grounds of the Division’s New Bedford facility. With DMF staff and current and former Commission members in attendance, the event commemorated the six-decade history of the MFAC.
In Memoriam: Mike Hardy
On April 14, 2022 long-time DMF employee Richard M. Hardy (Mike) passed away after a year-long illness. Mike was instrumental at the Shellfish Purification Plant in Newburyport where he worked for the last 21 years.
Dr. Michael Sissenwine’s Departure from the New England Fisheries Management Council
On June 10, the Commonwealth said goodbye to one of its three appointed members to the New England Fishery Management Council, Dr. Michael Sissenwine. Dr. Sissenwine has been a longstanding contributor to the Council process, terming out of his seat after nine full years in service.
2022 Q1 & Q2 Regulatory Updates
During the period of January 1, 2022 through June 30, 2022 the following regulatory changes were enacted by DMF after public hearings and Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission approval, or by the Director under his declaratory and emergency authorities.