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Buoy Line Trap Gear Modifications

Information regarding commercial and recreational buoy line trap gear modifications.

Commercial Buoy Line Trap Gear Modifications

  • Require commercial trap fishermen to fish buoy lines that break when exposed to 1,700 pounds of tension beginning on May 1, 2021. This may be achieved by fishing specially manufactured buoy lines with a custom 1,700 pound breaking strength or by inserting NOAA Fisheries approved contrivances into the top 75% of the buoy line every 60’. See below under "Approved Contrivances" to see what is available for use.
  • Require commercial trap fishermen fish buoy lines with a maximum diameter of 3/8”.

See full advisory including new commercial fixed gear closures here

  • To view the full legislation (322 CMR 12.00), click here
  • For clarification on buoy line marking rules for 2021, click here

Additional Resources for

Approved Contrivances

  • Rocky Mount Cordage Company’s fully formed 1,700 pound weak rope – Red – 3/8” diameter (runs slightly smaller than true diameter)
  • Rocky Mount Cordage Company’s fully formed 1,700 lb weak rope – “Candy Cane” – 3/8” diameter
  • Novabraid break-away “South Shore” sleeve
  • 4 Tuck Lazy Splice with Red or Candy Cane Rope
  • 3 Tuck Lazy Splice with Red or Candy Cane Rope
  • Eye Splice on Weak Rope to Loop 3 Tuck with Red or Candy Cane Rope
  • Cut Splice with Red or Candy Cane Rope
  • Butt (End) Splice with Red Rope Only 
  • To see photos of these contrivances, click here

Additional Resources for

Recreational Buoy Line Trap Gear Modifications

  • Establish a recreational lobster and crab trap haul-out period of November 1 – May 15 (effective March 5, 2021) throughout all of state waters. This haul-out period will not apply to buoyless gear fished from the shoreline. 
  • Require recreational trap fishermen fish buoy lines with a maximum diameter of 5/16”
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