Vineyard Fishermen Warn of Ruin If Conch Rule Enacted

Martha’s Vineyard commercial fishermen spent more than two and a half hours Wednesday letting the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries know what they think of 18 proposed rule updates and new regulations. Some of the changes are minor tweaks to clarify existing rules, but others, if enacted, would affect the Vineyard’s fishing industry more significantly. Island speakers vehemently opposed a draft proposal to increase the minimum size of knobbed and channeled whelk, generally called conch, by three sixteenths of an inch in 2017. “That is a horrifying number,” said Tom Turner, a longtime Edgartown fisherman. “You’re guaranteeing the death of a fishery, and that would happen within two years of a three-sixteenth increase.” Continue reading the story here 15:16