- Division of Marine Fisheries
Emergency Action Taken to Reduce the Recreational Harvest of Striped Bass in 2023
On May 2, 2023, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Striped Bass Management Board (Board) voted to take emergency action to implement a 31” maximum size limit for all striped bass recreational fisheries. This results in a 1 fish at 28” to less than 31” size slot limit for all ocean recreational fisheries coastwide, including Massachusetts.
Striped Bass Citizen Science Project
Due to regulations and conservation-minded anglers, most striped bass are released back to the water after being caught. Read on to learn about DMF's Citizen Science Project.
ASMFC Approves Gulf of Maine Lobster Conservation Plan
The abundance of American lobster off Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine is still very high and the industry’s annual catches are twice what they were two decades ago, but there are signs that declines from the record highs are inevitable.
DMF Expands Winter Flounder Research Plan
Since 2019, DMF has been devoting available resources to reexamine life history characteristics and habitat use of winter flounder in state coastal waters. Winter flounder are a fairly ubiquitous species in Massachusetts coastal waters, but detailed information on juvenile and adult distribution, spawning behavior, and habitat use is lacking.
Massachusetts Seafood Value Returns to More Normal Levels in 2022
After reaching an all-time high of over $800 million in 2021, the ex-vessel value of seafood landed in Massachusetts returned closer to pre-pandemic norms with a total value of approximately $670 million.
Massachusetts’ 2023 Lobster Gear Relief Program for Dual Permit Holders
The Massachusetts Lobster Gear Relief Program for Dual Permit Holders was created to help defray the cost of requiring two sets of fishing gear to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales.
Assistance for Electronic Tracking Devices - Federal Lobster Vessels
In Massachusetts, electronic tracking devices were required by May 1, 2023, for vessels federally permitted to land trap-caught American lobster and/or Jonah crab. The Federal Fiscal Year 2022 budget provided funds for this assistance program which is being distributed for the purchase and installation of an electronic tracking device and a subsequent subscription service.
Creature Feature: White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias
The white shark (or great white shark) is a member of the family Lamnidae, which also includes the popular shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) and cold-water porbeagle (Lamna nasus) sharks. Read the full article for more insight on white sharks.
Protected Species Update
The 2023 right whale season saw plenty of whale activity, plus successful collaboration between DMF, researchers, fishermen and environmental law enforcement.
Diadromous Fisheries Updates
The DMF Diadromous Fisheries Project works to sustain and improve sea-run fish passage, habitat, and populations. Efforts cover 10 species, with a focus on river herring, American shad, American eel, and rainbow smelt. Read on for some important project updates!
Seafood Marketing Update
Get the latest details on what the Seafood Marketing Program has been up to here.
Massachusetts Anglers Continue to Enjoy Excellent Recreational Fishing
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts offers some of the finest recreational fishing on the east coast and a wide diversity of species for anglers to pursue. This is, in part, because the coast straddles two ecological regions divided by Cape Cod. Read on to learn more about recreational fisheries in Massachusetts.
DMF Continues to Host the Annual Saltwater Derby
Read the full article to get the latest updates on DMF's Annual Saltwater Derby.
Thomas O’Shea Announced as the new DFG Commissioner, DMF bids Farewell to Former Commissioner Ron Amidon
Thomas O'Shea was announced as DFG's new Commissioner, read on to learn about his background.
Changes to the New England Fishery Management Council
Read the full article to find out about recent changes to the New England Fishery Management Council.
In Memorium: Mike Hickey
It is with profound sadness that we must announce the passing of John Michael Hickey on May 24, 2023. “Mike” was the long-time Shellfish Program Manager for the Division retiring in 2020 after a nearly 52‑year career.
Read the full article to learn about the adjudicatory process and hearings that occurred in the first half of 2023.
During the period of January 1, 2023 through June 30, 2023 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.