DMF cancels Vineyard public hearing on whelk manangement Tuesday

A channel whelk giving birth to an egg string, a process that took 13 days. — Photo by Shelley Edmundson

Updated 11:30 am, Monday

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has cancelled a meeting for Island fishermen at 10 am, Tuesday, Feb. 9, at the Katharine Cornell Theater in Vineyard Haven to address whelk fishery management and compliance issues due to inclement weather which may affect travel.

The meeting will be rescheduled and a notice of a new date and time will be provided in a future advisory.

“Of specific interest is discussing how to improve the method for gauging whelks, as well as gear loss and trap tag replacement,” DMF said in a press release. DMF officials will also listen to comments on whelk management issues.

Whelk, commonly referred to as conch, is a major Island fishery. The vast majority is exported to China. Recent declines have spurred new restrictions on size.

Martha’s Vineyard fishermen harvested 1.5 million pounds of conch in 2011, and in 2014, the total was roughly half that — 795,791 pounds.