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Squid In Nantucket Sound Massachusetts


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#1 loligo

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 12:25 AM

Hi there,
We have a spring squid fishery here in Ma.. Commercially most of the squid are caught by draggers,
but there is a small jig fleet as well. The draggers are allowed to fish with very small mesh inside the three mile line for one week April 23'd- May 1'st. This is pretty bad in itself, 10- 40 big boats towing in an area about 3 miles by 1 mile all day for a week, in depths of less than 30'. This year the draggers are trying to get our DMF to let them go another 2 weeks. There are other fishermen that typically and historically fish this same area with hook and line and fish pots, they would be completely displaced, not a good thing. Historically this area had been off limits to small mesh since 1930 until 1990 when some fishermen started doing it illegally and DMF gave in to these same fishermens request to open this area and DMF allowed it conceding , that the closure wasn't enforcible anyway
:(

If you are from Ma. or you are just interested in knowing more let me know, here.
If you are from Ma. and you want to make sure this doesn't get to happen, let the Ma. DMF/MFAC know.

Email them and tell them you are against an extension of the 3 mile closure- mfac@state.ma.us

regards- loligo

Edited by glen, 24 March 2006 - 06:34 PM.

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#2 glen

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 06:27 PM

Hi loligo,

For those not too familiar with Ma fisheries management, DMF = Division of Marine Fisheries
and MFAC = Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission.

Here are some extracts from the DMF Newsletters/Advisories showing changes to the regulation of the fishery over recent years:

April 13, 2005 MarineFisheries Advisory

Commercial trawling regulations for waters south of Cape Cod and the islands were
amended.
The commercial squid season when small-mesh trawling is allowed, formerly ending
on May 31, was extended through June 9th. The summer-time allowance for the use of 4 1/2"
mesh during the June through October period in waters south of Cape Cod and the islands was
eliminated (322 CMR 6.22, 8.07, & 8.08).

DMF News - Volume 18 Third Quarter July - September 1998

1998 Squid trawler season lengthened an extra 2 weeks through June 14. Squid trawling (using small-mesh nets in Nantucket Sound, Vineyard Sound, and state waters around the islands) was allowed through June 14. DMF granted this 2-week extension for draggermen who hoped catches would improve in early June after they experienced dismal catches throughout May when catches usually peak. Preliminary landings figures suggest 1998 will result in the lowest catches in 21 years from Nantucket and Vineyard Sound. DMF and fishermen had hoped the inshore migration of squid was delayed by weather or other oceanographic factors. Sea sampling and reports from dealers and fishermen showed squid size composition never shifted to predominately small squid, and by-catch of other species remained minimal.[/size]

DMF has taken strong steps to manage this fishery conservatively during the 1990's, including a shortened season, by-catch limits, and a contentious exclusion of large (larger than 72 ft.) trawlers. This past season was especially frustrating since DMF had planned with gear experts and cooperating draggermen to study fish and squid behavior in the trawls to improve bycatch reduction. The scarcity of squid and many finfish species has hindered this work's progress. This research may prove critical for the long term management and conservation of scup since fishery scientists have identified discards in the offshore small-mesh trawl fishery as a primary source of mortality that will prevent stock recovery. Squid are managed in federal waters by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

DMF News - Volume 17 Third Quarter July - September 1997

Squid trawling with small mesh nets temporarily extended in 1997 through June 15. This was a 15-day extension of the fishery. Fishermen were allowed to continue to trawl for squid in waters under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth south of Cape Cod and around the islands. Sea sampling - as well as reports from dealers and fishermen -showed the squid size composition remained predominately large through the period. Cooler than normal temperatures likely delayed the normal succession where squid size shifts to predominately small squid


DMF News - Volume 15, Third Quarter July - September 1995

Massachusetts squid season was extended for trawlers one week in early June. Catches appeared up slightly from 1994 but still below average according to reports from weir fishermen and draggermen. Trawlers found squid in harvestable quantities during the second week of May with a surprising mix of both large and small squid in the catch from the outset. Fishing effort by large trawlers was reduced given DMF's new regulation prohibiting vessels over 72 ft from trawling in state waters. A legal challenge to the 72 ft. rule (request for preliminary injunction) was denied in Suffolk Superior Court.

Squid ageing research got a boost last month when Dr. William Macy of URI received a federal grant (S-K) to further examine squid size and age composition. Dr. Macy has already published a landmark study that altered squid management when he determined Loligo squid was an annual species capable of spawning year-round. Dr. Macy counted squid daily growth rings and concluded squid live less than 12 months - quite remarkable when you hold a large male squid whose mantle (tube) measures the length of your forearm. Previous estimates of Loligo squid life span ranged from 1.5 to 3 years. DMF's report on the Nantucket Sound squid fishery (copies still available..) recommended further ageing studies to determine the relative importance of summer inshore vs. winter offshore spawning.

Finally, DMF's Resource Assessment Project recently published "Evaluating the Effects of Two Coastal Mobile Gear Fishing Closures on Finfish Abundance off Cape Cod", published by the American Fisheries Society in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management. The study focused on the local squid trawl fishery's effects on local fish abundance to answer local anglers petition to restrict trawling back in 1993.


Cheers, Glen :(
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#3 loligo

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 06:13 PM

I guess I forgot to mention above that the 2 week extension is for fishing inside the 3 mile line, which has always been closed to trawling after May 1'st. The trawlers have always been able to fish after May 1'st, just not inside the 3 mile line. The area in question had always been closed to small mesh fishing (squid), until 1990, when the trawlers suceeded in getting DMF to allow them to fish inside the 3 mile line from April 23 - May 1. DMF conceded the opening, because they weren't able to enforce the regulations thast prevented it.
(basically didn't/wouldn't do their job!)

This area that they want access to is the where many people fish with fish traps and hook and line, almost all of which begins after May 1. If this petition from the trawlers is approved (I don't think it will be) then the people that ordinarily fish there will be put out of work for 2 very important weeks while we wait for the trawlers to finish.


This area is a very important area for squid and black sea bass to spawn, and the trawlers should never have been allowed in there in the first place, potential for undersized bycatch is enormous, and the destruction/disruption of the sensitive bottom environment is too risky to even consider this.

Happy spring

-loligo
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#4 mehek

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 06:41 PM

Who knew that squid and mackerel came from such funny looking contraptions? We purchased this entire fishing set for our culinary school to show our chefs exactly where the fish they're preparing comes from. I looked around and could not find anything so specific in exploring the different fisheries as this one.
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Mehek
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