Vineyard Bay Scallop Season Nets Twelve Thousand Bushels
Mark Alan Lovewell

Martha’s Vineyard leads the Cape and Islands in bay scallop landings, beating Nantucket. The Vineyard’s commercial and recreational shellfishermen landed over 12,000 bushels this past season, and more are being landed. With three weeks still left in the season, Nantucket shellfishermen have landed 8,000 bushels. This makes the Vineyard the largest producer of wild bay scallops in the world.

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Fishermen Get Organized

Fishermen Get Organized

Vineyard commercial and recreational fishermen are invited to attend a meeting to discuss a plan to organize as a group; the meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 5 p.m. at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven.

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Commercial Fishermen Seek to Organize
Mark Alan Lovewell

A small but spirited group of fishermen met this week to discuss forming an advocacy organization.

The meeting was held Wednesday at the county administration building; 16 people attended. The idea of forming a formal fishermen’s association comes at a time when federal regulators are clamping down on fishing permits and a new bill has been filed in the state legislature to ban commercial fishing for striped bass.

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Striped Bass Bill Divides Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

A renewed effort to restrict striped bass to game fish status in Massachusetts is dividing recreational and commercial fishermen.

Legislation was filed on Beacon Hill last month that would ban the commercial sale of wild striped bass in the commonwealth and also place stricter limits on the recreational fishery.

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Untended Gill Nets Are Killers of Fish and the Environment
By WARREN DOTY

Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent to Paul Diodati, director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. The letter was also signed by Chuck Hodgkinson, Emmett Carroll, Jennifer Clark, Jonathan Mayhew, Virginia Jones and Tom Osmers.

Regarding the request for consideration of a tending requirement on bottom tending or sink gill nets in Massachusetts state waters: All nets must come in with the boat and not be left at sea when the boat is at port.

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Petition Seeks to End Black Sea Bass, Scup Spring Fishing Season
Mark Alan Lovewell

A fisheries petition that began on the Vineyard last summer to throttle back the commercial season for black sea bass and scup is gaining favor among state fisheries managers.

The petition from Island recreational and commercial fishermen asks the state to end the spring commercial season for black sea bass and scup and postpone the opening until later in the summer and early fall. The action would not affect recreational fishing for both species.

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Fishing Fly-Tying Program at the Rod and Gun Club

The Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club fly-tying program will be held every Monday night at The Anchors, Council on Aging, in Edgartown, while the clubhouse on the shore of Sengekontacket Pond is being rebuilt.

The Monday night fly-tying session had been on hold this winter because the clubhouse was unusable. It was suggested that the The Anchors might be a good temporary winter site and director Laurie Schreiber agreed.

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West Tisbury Sees Brief Season for Recovering Oyster Fishery
Mark Alan Lovewell

West Tisbury oysters were on the market during the holiday season, but they are unavailable now. Tom Osmers, town shellfish constable, said there were three commercial oyster fishermen out on the pond. The season opened on Monday, Dec. 15 and was closed on Wednesday, Dec. 31. The fishermen were limited to one bushel a day, a sparse amount compared to years ago when the fishery was healthy and more productive.

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Saltwater Licenses on Hold
Mark Alan Lovewell

A plan to require all saltwater recreational fishermen to obtain either a state or federal license has been postponed a year to January 2010. The notice by federal fisheries authorities came out recently; a plan to establish a Massachusetts recreational fishing license has also been postponed.

Paul Diodati, director of the state Division of Marine Fisheries, said he is pleased by the delay, as it gives federal authorities more time to work out details for the license.

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Hearing Asks: How Big Do Bay Scallops Have to Be?

The question of what is a harvestable sized bay scallop will be the subject of a public hearing next week on the Cape. The state Division of Marine Fisheries is hosting the hearing at 3 p.m. on Jan. 6 to gather input, following emergency action they took last fall to quiet a dispute between fishermen and regulators.

The hearing will take place at the Barnstable Senior Center, 825 Falmouth Road, Route 28 in Hyannis.

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