State Marine Fisheries Commission will meet on Martha’s Vineyard

Menemsha Harbor is one of the centers of Martha's Vineyard's commercial fishing activity. — File photo by Susan Safford

The Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) will tackle a full agenda when it meets Thursday, May 10, on Martha’s Vineyard.

This will be the first time in several years that the commission has traveled to the Island. The nine-member, appointed board includes representatives of the recreational and commercial fishing sectors. It approves all changes to fishing rules.

Among the items the commissioners are scheduled to discuss are commercial striped bass management and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) updates.

The 15-member body is responsible for managing species and implementing management plans along the East Coast. Failure by any state to comply with ASMFC regulations can result in significant federal sanctions.

The ASMFC is at work on new rules intended to address illegal commercial striped bass fishing that would implement new tagging requirements and increase fines for illegal fishing.

The MFC will also discuss management of whelk, also commonly referred to as conch, a highly profitable fishery for many Island fishermen. The shellfish is highly prized in Chinese markets.

No votes are expected. The MFC normally meets in the Boston area. The decision to meet on the Vineyard came at the request of chairman Mark Amorello to meet in fishing communities on the cape and north shore.

The meeting begins at noon in the Katherine Cornell Memorial Theatre in Vineyard Haven.