Tisbury establishes commercial raft regulations

The Tisbury select board has adopted new regulations for commercial rafts. — Rich Saltzberg

The Tisbury select board voted unanimously Tuesday night to adopt regulations for commercial fishing rafts in Lake Tashmoo. The rafts would be exclusively used for storing and drying pots and traps. 

Harbormaster John Crocker spoke in support of the new regulations. 

The regulations establish a minimum raft size of 16 feet by 24 feet, and call for a two-ton concrete mooring block and the use of ⅝-inch chain. 

“The one thing I will say is I think everyone knows we’re in the process of reappointing the waterways committee,” chairman Jim Rogers said, “and this is just an addendum to our waterways regulations we have at this time. And once the waterways committee is permanently appointed, which we’re hoping to get done sometime soon, then they can look at this again and see if they want to ask us for another public hearing for more changes.”

Lorraine Wells, president of the local advocacy group Tisbury Waterways Inc., said her board would rather the committee be “identified and formed” before changes are made to regulations. 

Rogers responded by saying the select board was acting in the best interests of commercial fishermen, and that the need was pressing.

Local mariner Lynne Fraker thanked the board for the new regulations. “The way that you care about the commercial fishermen is really fantastic,” she said.