Massachusetts Charter Captains Request Reopening

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.

Sign a petition to show your support for re-opening for-hire fishing in Massachusetts.

Read the full letter on behalf of Massachusetts’ saltwater fishing guides and charter boat captains.

A coalition of for-hire captains in New Jersey released a similar plan earlier this week.


13 on “Massachusetts Charter Captains Request Reopening

  1. Tom Pear

    These guys need to make a livings too, and the wind and salt air are not ideal conditions for the virus to survive!! Let them fish!

    1. Vince

      They can get an essential job at Amazon, Walmart, supermarkets or meat processing plant. They’re just being lazy

      1. John N Costa

        Vince, I hope you are being sarcastic. A comment like that was totally uncalled for. I grew up in the business back in the 60s and 70s as did most of these charter and head boat captains. They worked and studied hard for their licenses to be able to take people out to fish for something they do not get a chance to do in their home states if they do not live near the ocean. Apparently you have never have worked in the business let alone been out on a charter and head boat. I have friends and family that still work and own boats dedicated to this business as well as being commercial fisherman in the off-season. Have a good day sir.

      2. Chris

        take your ignorance some place else. The mortgage payments on the vessels are still due. Oh so are the slip rentals and insurance. Take your lazy pea mind of a brain on a long drive off of a short pier

  2. Andrew Milmore

    I can’t say I blame these guys – there is so much confusing information out there that noone really knows exactly what the safest thing to do is.

    Their livelihoods are destroyed and half the time they hear “well its safe outside” so noone really truly knows the exact immunology behind all of this. Hell, the medical community is fractured about how to handle this.

    These captains probably go and see people closer together in the grocery store, on the street, and around town than they ever would be on their boats, all while being told they cant bring anyone out.

    I personally would not feel comfortable on a boat charter – but I can understand why they requested reopening.

  3. LOU


  4. LOU


  5. Michael Roy

    Let’s get real. Being on a charter boat is like being on an elevator. Fresh air or no fresh air, you want someone breathing on you, spitting wherever, without any sanitary controls? You’re on a ‘FISHING BOAT”. Roll the dice and take your chances, I’m sure everyone will be wearing masks and gloves. LOL

  6. Dave RI

    Ouch. Common sense isn’t common. Smaller crews, PPE, sanitizing. Implementing simple new rules like these could of potentially kept them open for business. Was it even discussed ?? This bug is a killer in so many ways.

  7. Joey

    Oh so all the other small businesses have to stay shut but the charter boats think they can just reopen?
    Come on, a charter boat is definitely non essential.

  8. dave

    Why should they get special treatment when others such as plumbers, carpenters, roofers etc cannot work Really

    1. W

      I don’t know what you are talking about but all those guys are working in my area of Mass and couldn’t be busier.

  9. Robert Miller

    Its very easy. If you dont feel comfortable with it, dont go! We dont need a dictator telling everyone what to do. Most people are low risk. Dont be sheep!

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