Cape Cod Spiny Dogfish Exemption Areas
Exempted fisheries allow vessels to fish for specific species without being subject to certain northeast (NE) multispecies regulations, including days-at-sea (DAS), provided the bycatch of regulated species is minimal. These are seasonal exemption areas for the spiny dogfish fishery around Cape Cod; an Eastern Area and a Western Area.
There are two Cape Cod Spiny Dogfish Exemption Areas (EA): the Eastern Area and the Western Area.
The Eastern Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated here:
|N. Latitude||W. Longitude|
|41°20’||Eastern coast of Nantucket, MA|
|Northern coast of Nantucket, MA||70°00’|
|Northern/eastern coast of Cape Cod, MA||70°00’|
|Northern coast of Cape Cod, MA||70°00’|
The Western Area is defined as the area bounded on the north by 42°11.5’ N. latitude, bounded on the east by 70°00’ W. longitude, and bounded on the south and west by the coast of Massachusetts (See map above).
Eastern Area: June 1 – August 31 for handgear; June 1 – December 31 for gillnets and longlines.
Western Area: June 1 – August 31 for longlines and handgear.
In the Eastern Area, a vessel can fish for dogfish for part of the year with handgear, longlines, and gillnets without the requirement to be on a NE multispecies trip (DAS). This area does not exempt vessels from the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank Regulated Mesh Area minimum mesh sizes for gillnets.
In the Western Area, a vessel can fish for dogfish part of the year using longlines and handgear without the requirement to be on a NE multispecies trip (DAS).
While fishing in these EAs, vessels may only use the gear types described above, and may only fish for, possess on board, or land spiny dogfish on directed trips. No NE multispecies (groundfish) may be retained when participating in this exempted fishery.
Note: Unless fishing exclusively in state waters, to land and possess dogfish, vessels are required to obtain a federal dogfish permit and adhere to any applicable dogfish regulation.