In a letter to Massachusetts Governor Baker, a coalition of saltwater fishing guides and charter boat operators requested that they be allowed to resume operations at the time of Phase One reopening of the state. Recreational for-hire fishing was suspended with guidance issued by the Governor on April 27.
The letter states that “given the open-air nature of the for-hire industry and the economic devastation the virus has inflicted upon it, it is our sincere hope that the for-hire fleet will be considered among the first businesses able to resume operations. Should we be allowed to operate, we are confident that our businesses can adhere to the directives from both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to inhibit further spread of COVID-19.”
Examples of preventative actions suggested in the letter include requiring completion of a COVID-19 prescreening questionnaire 24 hours prior to charter departure, limiting the number of clients on board so as to maintain recommended social distancing, wearing approved face coverings and gloves, and regularly cleaning and disinfecting all areas of the vessel.
A coalition of for-hire captains in New Jersey released a similar plan earlier this week.