The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) will host two for-hire recreational fisheries forums in January. The first of the two forums will be on Wednesday, January 13 at 6 p.m. at DMF Annisquam River Station, 30 Emerson Ave. in Gloucester. The second will be on Thursday, January 14 at 6 p.m. at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 101 Academy Drive in Buzzards Bay.
All charter and party boat permit holders are encouraged to attend either of the two forums. DMF's fishery monitoring and angler compliance program will be reviewed. In 2014, DMF enacted regulations making permit holders responsible for the actions of not only the anglers, but their clients. Over the past year, numerous size, bag limit and season violations were observed on for-hire vessels, according to a DMF release.
The for-hire recreational fishing is an important part of the Commonwealth's tourism economy, but compliance with regulations that protect the fisheries is vital. To that end DMF conducts sampling to characterize both angler catch and participation. Management of the fisheries can only be effective if that data is accurate. During the forums, DMF will review the sampling process and encourage attendees to ask questions or comment. The 2014 regulations will be discussed along with any recommended changes.