Hopeful Added Protection of MA Waters

Notice of Virtual Public Hearings:
New Protected Species Regulations Affecting Trap and Gillnet Fishing

These draft regulations are designed to reduce the risk of endangered right whales becoming entangled in fixed fishing gear and reduce the potential harm posed by fixed fishing gear if a right whale interacts with it. 

A public hearing was a zoom webinar Dec. 8th & 9th, 2002
(video of hearing at bottom of page.

Public Comment Period and Public Hearing Schedule
Written public comment accepted

through 5PM on Friday, December 18, 2020. 

Write to Director Daniel McKiernan
by e-mail: marine.fish@mass.gov
or by post to
MA DMF, “Attention: Director McKiernan”,
251 Causeway Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02114.


*The Ropeless ConsortiumTowards shellfishing without rope entanglements https://ropeless.org
*North Atlantic Right Whale Consortiumhttps://www.narwc.orgLOVE this NARWC mandate, first point addressed last night. Their second point, on continued research into right whale habitat also addressed with expanded area of closures around Vineyard…  and extending closure season.

What actions must be taken to effect the solutions?
Eliminate human-caused mortality to right whales in critical habitats and migration corridors

Reduce and eliminate mortality and injury from entanglements and ship-strikes via:
• Reduce and eliminate mortality and injury from fishing-gear entanglements via:
• Use of reduced breaking strength ropes
• Development and implementation of ropeless fishing
• Ship rerouting around critical areas
• Ship speed reduction to “whale safe” speeds
• Advanced technology to help ships avoid right whales