Skip to main content
New Hampshire

Saltwater Fishing

Saltwater Fishing

Joint Enforcement Agreement

Conserving and Protecting Marine Resources

A Joint Enforcement Agreement (JEA) between the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Law Enforcement Division and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Law Enforcement provides federal funding and resources for patrols, equipment, training and public outreach initiatives that help N.H. Conservation Officers enforce federal marine fisheries regulations.

The key is preventing and detecting marine violations. Through a combination of at-sea patrols, dockside inspections and public outreach, the JEA focuses on increasing voluntary compliance. It also encourages enforcement of state marine fisheries regulations in nearshore waters, including groundfish, lobster, striped bass and tuna patrols. This joint agreement improves our level of service to commercial harvesters and recreational anglers, as well as other coastal organizations and constituents. It significantly enhances Fish and Game’s ability to conserve, manage and protect our marine fisheries resources for future generations.

Fixed Gear Harvesters — Prevent Whale Entanglement

One of the priorities of the JEA is expanding awareness of state and federal regulations now in effect to minimize whale entanglements in buoy lines and other fixed gear. The primary laws in place that affect fixed gear harvesters include vertical line marking, weak rope and/or weak rope inserts, plastic weak inserts, and groundlines. For a full description of the requirements, see Lobster & Crab.

Examples of weak link and weak rope/inserts configurations:

  • Weak links — required for gill nets only. Examples shown in images below.
  • Weak rope/inserts — required for trap/pot gear — to view examples visit