If you get a hankering for striped bass, you’re going to have to catch your own for the rest of the season, because the 2017 commercial striped bass season was closed as of Friday, Sept. 1.
The Massachusetts 2017 commercial striped bass quota of 800,885 was reached on August 31, according to tabulations by the state Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF). Until the 2018 commercial striped bass fishery opens, fishermen are prohibited from possessing more than one striped bass that measures at least 28 inches in total length per person — the daily limit for recreational fishermen. Selling or attempting to sell any striped bass in the commonwealth is also prohibited until the beginning of the 2018 commercial season.
Also effective Friday, Sept. 1, seafood dealers in Massachusetts are prohibited from purchasing or receiving striped bass from any fisherman until the 2018 commercial season opens. During the closed period, dealers may sell striped bass that are imported into the state, provided the fish were lawfully caught and bear a tag with the state of origin. If the fish are resold whole, the tag must stay affixed to the fish. If the fish are processed, all containers of fillets must be marked with the state of origin.
Through Sept. 5, all striped bass in the possession of a Massachusetts dealer — regardless of state of origin — must be 34 inches in total length or larger. Beginning on Sept. 6, dealers may import sublegal-size product, provided it conforms to the minimum size of the state of origin, according to a DMF press release.
The DMF also reminds commercial fishermen their August trip-level report is due no later than Sept. 15. Failure to submit these reports for all months of the year may result in the nonrenewal of a commercial permit in 2018. Fishermen who misplaced the forms that were mailed out prior to the beginning of the 2017 season can get new forms at the DMF website.