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Year-Round Gear Regulations in all Massachusetts State Waters

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The following restrictions apply to all recreational pots set on a year round basis.

  1. All buoys must be outfitted with a 600-pound weak link. See photo.
  2. If fishing pot trawls, sinking groundline must be used between all traps.
  3. Vertical buoy lines must be made of sinking line, except the bottom 13 portion, which may be floating line if desired.
  4. All gear must have a 4 inch red marker midway on the buoy line. See photo.

Swivel Weak Links


Weak Links

Weak links allow the buoy to part away from the buoy line in the event that a whale encounters your gear.



Hog Ring Weak Link


Buoy Line Marking

By marking the rope, that gear can be identified to a certain area and fishery, if it is taken off an entangled whale.




Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Division of Marine Fishieries allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Division of Marine Fishieries Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC &, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Division of Marine Fishieries neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/ directly at 413-884-1001,
This is not the full law. Consult the Division of Marine Fishieries for further details. All persons are reminded that the statutes, code and regulations are the legal authorities.
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