A scientist holds a large cod caught during a National Marine Fisheries Service trawl survey in the Gulf of Maine. PHOTO COURTESY OF NOAA

Cod, haddock rules change

AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency rule change for the recreational cod and haddock fisheries effective May 7.

In accordance with the New England Fisheries Management Council and for consistency with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) federal regulations effective May 1, the department is enacting emergency rulemaking for charter, party and recreational fishing vessels operating in state waters regarding cod and haddock.

For the recreational fishery, the cod fishery has been taken off the prohibited list and it is now lawful to take or possess one cod per day in state waters. Cod may not be possessed on board a charter, party or recreational fishing vessel from Oct. 1 to July 31 inclusive. For cod fish, the size limit of 24 inches (60.1 cm) will apply. In addition to complying with federal law, this emergency regulation also will increase fishing opportunity in Maine State waters.

The rule implements NMFS’s increase of recreational possession limits for Haddock from three to 15 fish.

Finally, restrictions on recreational haddock possession are being shifted, so that haddock may not be possessed on board a recreational fishing from March 1 through April 14, whereas the rule had restricted recreational haddock possession in both the fall and spring months.

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