Sustainable Fisheries

I was anticipating that they (the DMF) had recognized and acknowledged that there are some serious issues that need to be addressed in both the whelk and the striped bass fisheries.

State Officials Discuss Proposed Regulations; Island Fishermen Have Their Say

On Tuesday, the state Division of Marine Fisheries held a public hearing in Vineyard Haven. Discussions centered around commercial fishing season length, reducing fishing days, bag limits, bass tagging systems, and stricter licensing rules for conch fishermen.

Rules Tighten for Bass and Conch Fisheries

Changes under consideration by the Division of Marine Fisheries include an extended commercial season for striped bass, smaller daily limits and a rule barring charter fishermen from selling their catch commercially.

Bass and Bivalves

The best treat available in the local fish market, and in the restaurants, is something you haven’t eaten in a while — black sea bass, another Vineyard waterfront success story.

We haven’t had the option of buying black sea bass in local fish markets during the summer for at least a half dozen years, if not more. If you have an aversion to oily tasting fish like bluefish, this is your kind of fish. Black sea bass is a white delicate flaky fish that is perfect any way it is cooked.

Seasonal Changes

There is a seasonal change on the water this week. Atlantic bonito are showing up in greater numbers just south of the Island and false albacore are only a few weeks away. There are also more stories of tuna.

Steve Morris of Dick’s Bait and Tackle Shop had an early birthday present on Monday. Mr. Morris turns 50 years-old next Thursday and to celebrate he went offshore fishing with Greg Lee. They went on Mr. Lee’s boat, Sea Ox II, and caught long-fin albacore and one 40-pound wahoo.

Petition Calls for Drastic Cuts to Striped Bass Fishing Limits

As many as 800 Massachusetts anglers have signed a petition seeking additional steps to conserve striped bass from overfishing. The petition calls for a 50 per cent reduction of both commercial and recreational efforts. As many as 30 Vineyarders signed the petition online according to Brad Burns, president of Stripers Forever, a Maine-based organization.

Changes at State Level Will Return Sea Bass to Summer Tables

There is good news on the Vineyard waterfront for those who love to eat fresh-caught fish. This summer, for the first time in many years, black sea bass will be available in restaurants and fish markets. Sea bass are abundant in surrounding waters, a commercial quota system in place has meant that the quota would be landed early in the fishing season.

Managing Conch Responsibly

The following letter was sent to Gov. Deval Patrick from Cape and Islands Rep. Timothy Madden and Barnstable Fourth District Rep. Sarah K. Peake.

The Fishermen

The state reopened coastal ponds to shellfishing on Saturday, following a closure due to heavy rains which ended early last week. The state Division of Marine Fisheries had issued the closure to more than 30 Massachusetts towns on Sept. 29, based on the expectation that water quality in coastal ponds would diminish after three days of heavy rains.

Shellfish managers were typically concerned that road runoff would fill the ponds with excessive bacteria.

Fishermen Weigh In On Debate Over Herring Ban

A moratorium on the taking of river herring, instituted three years ago because of dwindling stocks, appears set to be extended for another three years.

A decision will not be announced until next Friday, but a public hearing attended by Vineyard fishermen last week made it clear the fishery was still far from recovered.

Paul Diodati, the director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, said there had been some improvement in stocks, but populations were still low.

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