Massachusetts Announces Suspension of For-Hire Fishing

Charter fishing is on hold while the current emergency order remains in effect.

In a letter to Massachusetts for-hire fishing permit holders dated April 27, 2020, The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries announced the suspension of all for-hire fishing operations.

“On March 23, 2020, Governor Baker issued an emergency order closing certain businesses and advising citizens of the Commonwealth to limit activity outside of the home. This order was issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and remains in effect. Further guidance regarding boating and marine related activities was provided on April 27, 2020. This included prohibiting all for-hire boating operations while the current emergency order remains in effect. Consistent with this emergency order and subsequent guidance, the Division of Marine Fisheries is issuing you this Statement of Permit Conditions.

1. During the duration of Governor Baker’s stay at home advisory and essential services order, all for-hire fishing operations shall be suspended and it shall be unlawful for you to conduct any for-hire fishing activities.
2. This shall not restrict your ability to fish as a private recreational angler or conduct any commercial fishing activity for which you are permitted.”

27 on “Massachusetts Announces Suspension of For-Hire Fishing

    1. Rips

      yep, we can social distance with all this extra bs from government. They let criminals out of jail bit harrass you for walking through a park

  1. Brian Megley

    I hope you will be paying all the charter captains for staying on the dock

  2. Jeffrey Gomes

    This is crazy!!! You are about to bankrupt us all! Really doesn’t matter to you, you crooks are still getting paid insane salaries from our tax dollars!

  3. Moses Moses

    This will create a severe hardship for charter boats and the crews they hire. Financial assistance usually does not benefit the fishermen and the mates and workers on the boats. They usually rely on tips and/or a percentage of the catch to get paid. It makes it difficult to file for unemployment and be qualified to collect benefits.

  4. Patrick Morgan

    This doesn’t make any sense to me. What could be any healthier than being out on the ocean in all that fresh air and sunshine.

  5. Andrew

    Shouldn’t these charters/small businesses qualify for stimulus funds?

    1. michael rayne

      assuming the Banks dont suck it all up for them self like they did with the first round of money

  6. Dutton

    The charters rely on seasonal fishing and there boat a big enough to stay at a safe distance .

  7. LOU


  8. Kevin Salvi

    The safest place is on the open sea. A charter boat with 5 people is perfect when wearing masks. My grandson is a 1st mate on a charter and depends on his tips to help pay for his college education. Not being a minority nor an international student, the former is given a free education while the latter can afford to full pay. My grandson from a middle class American family gets further reversed discriminated against! This restriction could force him to not continue his college education. By the way, he is 20 years old and is not receiving a stimulus check because he is from, again, middle class America. Even the diligent worker gets screwed again. Please end this nonsense so he can continue his education.

    1. David

      Time to get creative. Have the captain create a “donation fund” for the first mate and all would be fees donated to the fund. The first mate and captain would have a prearranged agreement how much (his normal wage plus tips) would go to your grandson’s “education” the remaining staying with the captain for boat expenses.

  9. Rich D

    This really is over the top they can open golf courses. But fishing charters suffer.This really puts a crimp in people’s livelihoods. Its one of the safest activities fresh air and you can social distance. Whats the problem. Politics = hardships all the way around.

  10. Mike D

    Another government overreach. What about the commercial boats?
    Are they exempt? If I’m fishing tuna, and have designated myself commercial for the day, or don’t intend to keep any fish under 73”, have all the required gear, am I allowed to take customers.?

  11. Jmac

    It was my understanding that gatherings up to 10 people were acceptable, now the governor/dictator has to overstep his boundaries and extend this hysteria to the boating community!

  12. Derrick

    I wish all you charter guys would stop crying and stop being selfish. Thousands of people around the world have died and are still friggin dying and your crying because it effects your livelyhood. To bad!

    1. Paul

      Really I think we have gone overboard. You’re right someone could catch covid on a charter. Vs financial devastation for an industry and all the problems associated with shutdowns. The effects of shutting down isolated activities such as golf and fishing are far worse than the benefits gained.

    2. John

      Well said
      Can you believe it?
      Everyone is dying and these guys have the nerve.

  13. Dave

    It seems to me that a 6-pack charter would fall within the guidelines of “gatherings of 10 people or less”. I can understand limiting the passenger count on large headboats, but stopping all charter fishing seems excessive. I guess it comes down to the definition of “essential” businesses.

  14. Richard

    Fellas – now is when you get creative. It’s not a “paying charter” its your “friends or family”. They pay cash beforehand, everyone shows up at the boat in the same vehicle and the “family” goes fishing. Just remember that everyone needs their own saltwater license.

  15. peter okeefe

    This is unlawfull..only judges can issue stay at home orders and quarantine. SCOTUS has ruled and federal court decisions agree. NO SUCH THING EXISTS IN LAW

  16. Robert

    Listen, you all got it wrong. Your law states that all members that ride to a fishing outing must be from the same house / live together. Now ask yourself, how many 6 pack fishing groups have you taken out fishing, who lives in the same house??? Think people!!!!

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