DANVERS, MA – Starting Dec. 31, groundfish sector boats will be allowed to fish in two different portions of the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area for the remainder of the 2013 fishing year, which ends April 30.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced its decision in a Dec. 16 Federal Register notice but delayed the effective date for 15 days to give lobstermen and others the opportunity to remove fixed gear from the new exemption areas (see chart for locations).
While access to the Lightship closed area was expected to be welcomed by some gillnetters, NMFS’s announcement frustrated many trawl fishermen who were hoping for additional access to Closed Areas I and II.
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