Massachusetts fisheries officials: Loophole in striped bass fishery needs closing

Massachusetts fisheries officials want to to close a loophole in state regulations that resulted in what they believe were illegal landings of striped bass last year. At a public hearing at Massachusetts Maritime Academy Wednesday night, Division of Marine Fisheries Deputy Director Dan McKiernan said the state is looking to reduce the number of striped bass that commercial fishermen could land from 15 down to two, if they’re fishing from shore. “What happened last year was disgusting,” said Patrick Paquette of the Massachusetts Striped Bass Association, which is composed of both commercial and recreational fishermen. “There was a rampant black market at the (Cape Cod) canal. Plenty of guys were taking fish from friends, putting them in coolers, and selling them under their boat permit.” Under state striped bass fishing regulations, a commercial fisherman can buy a boat permit that allows him or her to catch and sell up to 15 fish a day. There is also a less expensive individual permit under which he or she can land two fish a day from shore. The state limited commercial fishing to two days a week. In bad weather, some fishermen with boat permits fished from shore, and could technically land their 15 fish. Read the story here 09:37