Emergency Regulations Close Georges Bank Cod Fishery

The fishery will be closed July 15 – July 31, and will reopen August 1 with a new bag limit and slot limit.

Massachusetts has enacted new emergency regulations affecting the recreational fishing limits for Georges Bank cod. Effective July 15, 2022, the fishery is closed for the remainder of July. It will re-open on August 1 with the bag limit and slot limit:

These rules apply to recreational cod fishing within the Southern New England Groundfish Management Area. This area covers of all state waters south and east of Cape Cod that are south of 42°00’ north latitude, but does not include those waters north of Cape Cod within Cape Cod Bay that are south of 42°00’ north latitude. Additionally, by matching the federal limits, these regulations ensure recreational anglers can lawfully possess and land catch taken in federal waters in the Commonwealth.

This emergency action complements adjustments to federal fishing regulations implemented by NOAA Fisheries through Framework 63 to the Multi-Species Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (Federal Register) that similarly become effective on July 15. Framework 63 cuts the Georges Bank recreational cod target by about 50% from 304,238 pounds (138 mt) to 164,346 pounds (75 mt) for the 2022 and 2023 federal fishing years (May 1 – April 30). This was done to reduce fishing mortality on this stock and promote its rebuilding. To achieve this cut in the recreational harvest target, NOAA Fisheries also implemented these new recreational fishing limits. The closed season, bag limit reduction, and maximum size are designed to keep recreational fishing mortality below the catch target and prevent potential overages of the overall annual catch limit for this stock.

For more information regarding the management of marine fisheries in the Commonwealth, please visit our website: www.mass.gov/marinefisheries.

9 on “Emergency Regulations Close Georges Bank Cod Fishery

  1. john M

    Are these the same geniuses that require the draggers to shovel cod dead back into the water if they exceed their 200 lb daily limit…so they can then repeat it the next day? Maybe they should stop blaming recreational fisherman and look at the management model that Norway uses to manage their intensely fished waters.

  2. peter okeefe

    This is the result of an over bearing government. As if the guy with a fishing pole effects the 40 million sq mile atlantic?? While we enact laws “prohibiting ” foreign nations from drag nets and then sell them “special” permits to do just that. Both parties are fully complicit in this horror.

    1. John Costa

      Peter this is a disgrace. The 200-mile limit should have been implemented 80 years ago but the geniuses in our federal government as usual were sleeping as the foreign fleets raped and pillaged our fishing grounds using nets the size of your pinky finger while they forced the American fishermen to use a 12 in mesh net. No special permits should be granted period! The federal government does not care about the American fishermen especially the recreational fisherman.

  3. John C

    The geniuses that are in place now haven’t a clue as to how to manage any Biomass. You have Big time Commercial fishing companies on the board and as soon as you tighten the screws on them stop the throwing back of dead cod and give the overage to the local food banks. Things will never change. Mandate the use of circle hooks on all fisheries. I have used them for over 50 years and my catch and release mortality is non-existent.

  4. Dan Feeney

    I suggest that recreational fishermen finally get together and sue the fisheries managers Make them remove all commercial fishing interests from all boards and leave them only an advisory position. Force management to file an impact statement as regards the population dynamics of each species and set their limits based on sustained yield that guarantees continuance of the species. Further forcing management to allocate to recreational use first and commercial harvest second if a surplus is available.
    The days of shutting down recreational fisheries and then reopening commercial harvests at a higher level are over.
    I would fire every single person in fisheries management and start rehiring with the above guidelines mandatory for all future policy.
    My major in college was wildlife management, something that bears no resemblance to the corrupt fisheries management we now see.

  5. Dick Chase

    This is why I sold my boat. I was constantly fearing that I would unintentionally run afoul of constantly changing regulations. That worry took all the fun out of fishing.

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