DEEP: Notice to Spiny Dogfish Fishermen

Notice to Spiny Dogfish Fishermen
October 5, 2016

Finning / Fin Removal At-Sea is Prohibited

The Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Spiny Dogfish prohibits removing any fins from these fish at-sea. This requirement is consistent with federal law under the Shark Finning Prohibition Act which was signed into law in 2000. The exception for state waters spiny dogfish fisheries was eliminated by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in Addendum V to the Spiny Dogfish Fishery Management Plan. 
Finning is defined as the act of taking a fish, removing the fins, and returning the remainder of the fish to the sea. Finning spiny dogfish is already prohibited by both state regulation and federal law. In addition, under Addendum V, removing any fin (including the tail) of spiny dogfish at-sea, and retaining the fish is prohibited. All spiny dogfish must be landed with fins-naturally-attached to the corresponding carcass. Gutting (and heading) fish at-sea is permitted, so long as the fins remain attached by a portion of uncut skin.
The Commissioner does not currently have declaration authority to immediately prohibit fin removal at-sea as required under Addendum V. Consequently, in order to comply with this mandatory compliance element and keep the fishery open we are asking that, effective immediately, all commercial fishermen land spiny dogfish with the fins naturally attached, including the tail. As stated above, the fish may be gutted and headed but all fins must remain attached. Environmental Conservation Police and Marine Fisheries staff will monitor this fishery for compliance. Fishermen and dealers participating in this fishery understand that the fishery remaining open is contingent upon full cooperation with this fins-attached requirement of Addendum V.

For further information, contact the DEEP Marine Fisheries Division by email at, by mail at P.O. Box 719, Old Lyme, CT 06371 or by telephone at 860.434.6043 between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.

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