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Author Topic: Proposed major change to Blue Crab harvest in Massachusetts  (Read 3341 times)
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« on: July 21, 2009, 01:57:19 PM »

See #5 below in the latest notice of hearings to be held my DMF

July 17, 2009
MarineFisheries Advisory

SCHEDULED FOR August 24th, 25th, and 26th2009


Under the provisions of M.G.L. Ch 30A and pursuant to the authority found in M.G.L. Ch. 130 ss. 17A & 80 Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) and the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission (MFC) have scheduled a hearing to accept comments on DMF proposals (322 CMR 4.00, 6.00 & 7.00) to:

1.Reduce fishing mortality in the commercial and recreational winter flounder fisheries by implementing:
in the Gulf of Maine:

a.a 250-lb. daily possession limit for commercially permitted fishermen fishing or seen fishing in state waters; and
b.either a 4-month recreational closure from September – December or a three fish recreational daily possession limit with no closed season.
in Southern Coastal Waters:
c.a 50-lb. daily possession limit for commercially permitted fishermen fishing or seen fishing in state waters; and
d.a two fish recreational daily possession limit.
2.Enact gear and permit modifications for the commercial lobster fishery by:
a.increasing the lobster trawl maximum length from 2,000-feet to 2,500-feet;
b.expanding trawl marking exemption area in Boston Harbor and its approaches as well as enacting new trawl marking exemption area in southwestern Cape Cod Bay; and
c.exempting commercial lobster permit holders who also hold a retail boat permit from having to hold a Wholesale Truck Permit for purposes of transporting only live lobsters and live crabs for sale.
3.Prohibit the commercial harvest of rainbow smelt and implement a recreational daily possession limit as low as 25-fish.

4.Implement coastal shark regulations in compliance with the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Coastal Sharks, including:
a.establishing recreational and commercial minimum size limits, possession limits, and gear restrictions;
b.prohibiting possession of some species, filleting of sharks at sea, and finning of sharks; and
c.establishing additional standards for disposition of commercial and recreational catch
5.Increase the minimum size (from 4 1/8” to 5”) and decrease the daily possession limit (from 50 to 25) for recreational and commercial harvest of blue crabs.
6.Clarify that the prohibition on use of gillnets south and west of Cape Cod during April 1 through November 15 does not apply to persons:
a.using surface gillnets less than 250-square feet to take bait for personal use in the Inshore Restricted Waters; or
b.permitted to fish surface gillnets in accordance with 322 CMR 4.14 and fishing in the Inshore Restricted Waters as defined in 322 CMR 4.02.
Public hearings have been scheduled for 4PM on August 24th at the Tisbury Senior Center (34 Pine Tree Rd., Vineyard Haven); 6PM on August 25th at the Kingston Town Hall (26 Evergreen St., Kingston) & 6PM on August 26th at the Annisquam River Marine Fisheries Station (30 Emerson Ave., Gloucester).

Comments received by e-mail ([email protected]), fax (617.626.1509), or mail (251 Causeway St., Suite 400; Boston, MA 02114) will be accepted until 5PM on Friday, August 28, 2009. Copies of proposed regulations may be obtained by contacting Melanie Griffin by email ([email protected]), phone (617.626.1528), or at the above fax and mailing address.
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2009, 03:55:53 PM »

I emailed Melanie Griffin at DMF and here is the proposed change in the abstract.  I don't really object to the 5" size, but do object to the limit of 25 crabs per 24 hour period.  The current limit of 50 crabs per day was just changed to that number from unlimited crabs last year.  To propose another reduction in the daily take in such a short time period certainly needs to be backed up by some "science".  I am going to try to make the meeting in Kingston to hear what they say.  Because a recreational crabber is limited to 10 traps, and I average 8 to 10 traps at any given time, I would have to cut back to 4 to 5 traps fishing on any given day.  This is based on an average take daily for me including throwbacks and females which I always throw back.  (I don't necessarily have traps in the water every day).

You Southerners can see why there is NO commercial crabbing done here. 

Let's hear what you Massachusetts crabbers have to say on this important issue

6.19  Blue Crab Restrictions
   (1)  Definition. Blue crab means that species of crustacean known as Callinectes sapidus.
   (2)  Minimum Size. No person shall take, offer for sale, or possess at any time any blue crab measuring less than 5 inches across the shell from tip to tip of the posterior-most, longest spines along the lateral margins of the carapace.
   (3)  Possession Limits. It shall be unlawful for any recreational fisherman or commercial fisherman to take or possess:
       (a) more than 25 blue crabs per 24-hour day; or
       (b) any egg-bearing blue crab or female crabs with the egg mass (sponge), egg pouch or bunion removed at any time.
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2009, 10:39:02 PM »

The state has not mentioned why we need these restrictions on blue crabbing in mass. why do we need a 5" min.? why do we need a reduction in limit? Is this just another example of he eco-nuts taking control of our regulatory bodies and implementing changes as they see fit. I could go of on a rant here about how in our state the fishing isn't bad but nobody can keep a thing for the food locker. God forbid I keep a fat winter flattie I caught in my lobster traps for the table. Again....why do we need this major change? where is the evidence of the overfishing/harvesting of blue crab in MA?HuhHuh
« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 10:41:29 PM by robc22 » Logged

Lobster Troll #1.........

"Beli . . . Beli . . . Belichnikov! … Belichick! Great man! Great leader!".......George Steinbrenner

"Eat wild fish/shellfish...... not something from china"...... Stillfishing

"Listen or your tongue will keep you deaf."......... Native American Proverb

“Oh, I could spend my life having this conversation - look - please try to understand before one of us dies”...... John Cleese

"Never met a bluefish I wouldn't sell"........Maddmatt


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