MA Fisherman Cited for Dragging at Night

The environmental police vessel Thomas Paine (pictured here outbound at Logan) was on patrol when its crew located a commercial dragger at night on June 1 | Massachusetts Environmental Police photo, via Mass.gov 

On Thursday, June 1, at 4:37 a.m., the fishing grounds in Massachusetts Bay state waters opened to commercial mobile gear fisheries. The Massachusetts Environmental Police vessel Thomas Paine was patrolling the area to ensure that all fishing vessels were in compliance and to monitor the safety of all vessels fishing on opening day.

At approximately 3:30 a.m., the crew of the Thomas Paine, utilizing advanced electronics that included a FLIR thermal night-vision camera, located a commercial dragger actively fishing with nets in the water. Fishing at night with mobile gear in state waters is a violation of marine fisheries regulations. The dragger was subsequently boarded and its captain issued a criminal summons for fishing at night with mobile gear in state waters. The catch aboard the dragger was still viable and returned to the sea. The Thomas Paine remained in the area for the remainder of the morning. All other vessels fishing on opening day were found to be in compliance.