Massachusetts Marine Regulatory Updates

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Massachusetts Marine Regulatory Updates

The following are a selection of regulatory changes enacted between January 1, 2022 through June 30, 2022 by DMF after public hearings and Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission approval, or by the Director under his declaratory and emergency authorities. For a complete list, including commercial, visit www.mass.gov.

Recreational Lobster and Crab Trap Clarification (322 CMR 6.19). DMF clarified that recreational fishermen may only use traps to catch Cancer crabs and that all traps used must comply with recreational lobster trap restrictions.

Recreational Black Sea Bass Limits (322 CMR 6.28). The recreational black sea bass limits were amended by emergency regulation. The emergency regulations establish a May 21–September 4 open season, 4-fish bag limit, and 16” minimum size. This replaces the May 18–September 8 open season, 5-fish bag limit, and 15” minimum size. These changes were necessary to reduce projected recreational harvest by 20.7% as required by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Recreational Scup Limits (322 CMR 6.27). The recreational scup minimum size was increased from 9” to 10” by emergency regulation. This change was required by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to achieve a projected 33% reduction in harvest coastwide.

Recreational Summer Flounder Limits (322 CMR 6.22). The recreational summer flounder limits were amended by emergency regulation. The emergency regulations establish a May 21–September 29 open season, 5-fish bag limit, and 16.5” minimum size. This replaces the May 23–October 9 open season, 5-fish bag limit, and 17” minimum size. These changes were enacted to meet an allowed 16.5% liberalization in projected recreational harvest in 2022, accomplished principally through the minimum size decrease, and to align the start of the season with the recreational black sea bass season.

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