Vineyard Fishermen Challenge Absent Herring Rules in Court
Mark Alan Lovewell

Vineyard fishermen have joined a federal lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission over the lack of management of river herring and shad in federal waters. The lawsuit targets offshore industrial large-scale fishing boats working the Gulf of Maine and waters south of the Vineyard as culprits in the sharp decline of the fish.

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State Seeks Recreational Anglers’ Input: Saltwater Fishing Licence
Mark Alan Lovewell

Most Massachusetts saltwater recreational fishermen will be required to purchase a $10 license if they plan on putting a hook in the water next year.

There are exceptions. Fishermen who are younger than 16 or disabled are exempt, for instance, as are fishermen on a state permitted charter fishing boat.

The new license is going to have the biggest impact on charter fishing captains. While their patrons aren’t going to be required to have the license to go out on a boat and fish, some captains will be required to pay a hefty fee above last year.

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Black Sea Bass Are Back Here, But Commercial Limits Stay Low
Mark Alan Lovewell

Black sea bass should be another New England fisheries success story. Years ago they were scarce but now they seem to be everywhere in Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds. Nevertheless, regulators farther down the coast still consider the fish in trouble, so local commercial fishermen are feeling shut out of what is an apparently healthy, growing fishery.

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Conservation Commission Says Yes to Fishing Pier

A dedicated fishing pier off of the North Bluff in Oak Bluffs has cleared its final local hurdle.

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Hope is the Thing With Scales
Paul Greenberg
In 1978 all the fish I cared about died. They were the biggest largemouth bass I had ever seen, and they lived in a pond ten minutes’ walk from my house on a large estate in the backwoods of Greenwich, Connecticut, perhaps the most famously wealthy town in America. We did not own the house, the estate, the pond, or the largemouth bass, but I still thought of the fish as my fish. I had found them, and the pond was my rightful hunting ground.
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Whither Striped Bass?
Mark Alan Lovewell

The commercial striped bass season ended last Monday and Alec Gale of West Tisbury said it was the worst season he has seen in the six years he has been hauling fish to the mainland for the local anglers. “It was a slow season, and it wasn’t because of overfishing,” Mr. Gale said. “I think it was a lack of bait and the warm water temperature.”

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Commercial Striper
Mark Alan Lovewell

Vineyard restaurants and fish markets are now serving and selling fresh, locally caught striped bass. The commercial season officially opened on Tuesday in Massachusetts.

Commercial anglers have a season that will probably run well into August before the quota is taken. They are limited to fish that are a minimum of 34 inches, and there is a daily limit of five fish on Sundays, and 30 fish on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The Massachusetts quota for commercial fishing of striped bass is 1,128,577 pounds.

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Island Fishermen Attend Sector Meeting

Fishermen from Martha’s Vineyard, Bar Harbor, Jonesport and Swan’s Island gathered last month for the inaugural meeting of members of the Northeast Coastal Communities Sector.

Over a 6 a.m. breakfast in Stonington, Me., the group elected a governing board and made plans for the opening of this year’s groundfishing season. This historic event heralds the possibility of landing sizeable amounts of groundfish in eastern Maine for the first time in almost 20 years.

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Bass Fisherman Is One of Many Who Pitched In to Help Others
Peter Brannen

By PETER BRANNEN

As the charred remains of the drive-on dock at Menemsha stand as a reminder of last Monday’s fire, the unselfish actions of a few individuals during the frenzied confusion of the blaze have come into sharp relief.

One such individual is Menemsha bass fisherman Casey Elliston, who salvaged a number of boats from the inferno as flames raced down the ill-fated pier. For his part, Mr. Elliston refuses to acknowledge that he did anything special the day Menemsha burned.

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Fishermen Feud Over Horseshoe Crab Protection
Mike Seccombe

Among all the species taken by fishermen in this part of the world, horseshoe crabs have, until now, enjoyed a dubious distinction: they were the only ones targeted while in the act of reproducing.

The easiest way for many to catch them was to walk the beaches at the times of the full and new moons in May and June and simply pick them up as they came into the shallows to spawn.

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