HALLOWELL — The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) has proposed new regulations for the black sea bass fishery.
“Black sea bass have become more prevalent in Maine waters in recent years so the department determined that it was important to develop regulations that would provide opportunity for both recreational and commercial fishermen while ensuring that this new commercially viable species can be sustained,” said DMR Commissioner Patrick Keliher.
The proposed management measures will be consistent with the existing Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Interstate Fishery Management Plan and will implement a quota for commercial harvesters of 10,850 pounds in 2014.
The ASMFC will establish Maine’s commercial sea bass quota each year by May 1, and when that quota is reached, the Department of Marine Resources will close the commercial fishery.
Commercial harvesters fishing in Maine waters will have a daily limit of 50 pounds. In order to fish commercially for black sea bass, harvesters must obtain a DMR Commercial Pelagic and Anadromous Fishing license. Wholesalers who wish to sell black sea bass must also obtain a black sea bass endorsement and must report all transactions weekly to the DMR landings programs.
A daily bag limit for recreational harvesters is set at 10 fish. The minimum size for both commercial and recreational fish is 13 inches. The season for recreational harvesting is May 19 through Sept. 21 and Oct. 18 through Dec. 31.
The method of fishing for both commercial and recreational fishing is hook and line.