• Lobster Hunting for Massachusetts Scuba Divers

    Laws

    Naturally, your best source for up-to-date information on the lobstering laws is the state government, and there are several online resources you can use to find out what you need to know. The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries website is a good starting point. You can also get your license online, including a temporary permit that is good immediately.

    That said, here are some of the regulations I've found in my searches. I don't claim they're complete, and they may have changed since I wrote this, but to the best of my knowledge, what you find here is accurate for now.

    Non Commercial Lobster Permits are required to fish for or take lobsters for personal use, using a maximum of 10 pots. This authorizes the holder and members of the holder's immediate family, residing in the same residence, to fish for and take lobsters. The immediate family is defined as the spouse, parents, children, grandparents, sisters and brothers of the permit holder. This permit may be endorsed for divingby only the permit holder. Other family members may purchase additional permits for diving only.

    Minors under seventeen (17) years of age must have the written consent of a parent or guardian to obtain a lobster permit.

    Non-residents of Massachusetts, who own in excess of $5,000 in Massachusetts real-estate and who will seasonally reside in a Massachusetts coastal town, may obtain a non-commercial lobster permit to take lobsters and edible crabs from June through September for consumption only by licensee and family.

    To sell lobster and crabs, a commercial lobster/crab permit is required. However, no permit is required to take edible crabs for use by immediate family, provided that the number of crabs does not exceed fifty (50) in one day and that no pots or traps are used.

    Annual Catch Reports are required of some licenses. These forms are provided by the Division of Marine Fisheries. Renewal licenses will not be issued until a catch report has been filed.

    It is illegal for anyone, except the owner, to handle, destroy or molest any lobster or crab pot or other fishing gear, including any gear swept upon the shore, beaches or flats whether public or private, or to take fish there from.

    Taking of lobsters and crabs from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise is strictly prohibited.

    Spearing, dipping or dragging for lobsters is prohibited.

    Removal of eggs from lobsters is prohibited. Egg-bearing lobsters or lobsters from which eggs have been removed must be immediately returned alive to the waters from which taken.

    Taking v-notched female lobsters is strictly prohibited. V-notched female lobster must be immediately returned alive to the waters from which they were taken.

    Mutilation of any lobster which affects its measurement or the possession of lobster parts shall be prima facie evidence that the lobster was less than the legal minimum size.