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Southern New England Monkfish Gillnet Exemption Area

Exemption: Vessels may fish for monkfish with gillnets in the Southern New England (SNE) Monkfish Gillnet Exemption Area without also fishing on a Northeast (NE) multispecies day-at-sea (DAS) if the vessel complies with the requirements below.


Area: The SNE Monkfish Gillnet Exemption Area is defined by a line running from the Massachusetts shoreline at 41°35' N. latitude and 70°00' W. longitude south to its intersection with the outer boundary of the EEZ, southwesterly along the outer boundary of the EEZ, and bounded on the west by the western boundary of the SNE Exemption Area at 72°30′ W. longitude.

Season: All year.

Gear: Vessels fishing under this exemption are restricted to using only gillnet gear with a minimum mesh size of 10 inches (diamond) throughout the net.

Requirements: Vessels fishing in this exemption may not fish for, possess, or land any species of fish other than the following:

1 Skates may only be landed in this exemption if at least one of the following conditions are met: a) The vessel is called into the monkfish DAS program and complies with the skate wing possession limit restrictions; b) The vessel has a Letter of Authorization on board to fish for skates as bait only; or c) The vessel possesses and/or lands skates or skate parts in an amount not to exceed 10 percent by weight of all other species on board. For more information on the skate fishery, visit our species page.

2 Incidental species allowed for retention when fishing for the exempted species above include: Conger eels; sea robins; black sea bass; red hake; tautog (blackfish); blowfish; cunner; John Dory; mullet; bluefish; tilefish; longhorn sculpin; fourspot flounder; alewife; hickory shad; American shad; blueback herring; sea raven; Atlantic croaker; spot; swordfish; and American lobster – up to 10%, by weight, of all other species on board up to 100 lobsters per day for trips of 24 hours or less; or 200 lobsters for trips longer than 24 hours, whichever is less.

Note: Unless fishing exclusively in state waters, to land and possess monkfish, vessels are required to obtain a Federal monkfish permit and adhere to any applicable monkfish regulations.