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Help Us Surpass 5,000 Signatures!
I am happy to report that we are about to hit 5,000 signatures on our petition asking Holtec CEO Krishna P. Singh to not dump radioactive water into Cape Cod Bay. AMAZING WORK EVERYONE!
To sign the petition please click on the link to Radioactive Water into Cape Cod Bay and check it out and leave a comment. To sign the petition please click on the following link: https://www.change.org/p/holtec-please-don-t-dump-radioactive-water-into-cape-cod-bay
We are making an impact with this petition and people in power are already starting to pay attention.
Ryan Collins started this petition to Holtec CEO Krishna P. Singh, Kelly Trice (President, Holtec Decommissioning International, and David Noyes (Holtec Senior Compliance Manager).
When my father and my uncles were growing up on the shore of Cape Cod Bay, just a couple miles south of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant, they played witness to the construction of the power plant, and watched as the lush green coastline, which my father described to me as “paradise”, was turned into an industrial no-man’s land.
Today thanks to Holtec, the company responsible for decommissioning the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant, we have begun dismantling this eye-sore, and hopefully, cleaning up the mess which my generation has inherited, and that future generations to come will also inherit. I am most thankful that the decommissioning of this plant has begun, and I appreciate Holtec’s expertise in ensuring this project is done in a responsible manner.
However, to my astonishment, it appears that Holtec is considering to dump 1.1 millions gallons of contaminated wastewater into Cape Cod Bay. There are of course several other alternatives to dumping the water into Cape Cod Bay (like trucking it to an offsite facility) but dumping the water into the bay is by far the cheapest option.
On Monday January 23rd there was a meeting at Plymouth Town Hall of the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (NDCAP), which advises the Governor and educates citizens across the state on activities related to the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station shut down.
To summarize the meeting, Holtec said they won't release the water until they receive a permit which allows them to do so. However, Holtec still wants to dump the water. During the meeting I heard many intelligent statements being made about what is legal and what is not legal. I also heard many intelligent statements being made about nuclear science, pollutants, and chemistry.
Nevertheless I feel the people from Holtec are missing the point. There is something here that is more important than the law. There is something here that is more important than the science. Though the proposed dumping is plainly illegal, and though the National Academy of Sciences concludes there is in fact no "safe" level of exposure to ionizing radiation (see the BEIR VII Report), the ultimate issue here is a moral one...
The people, the tens of thousands of residents of Plymouth and Cape Cod, and the million tourists who visit this area each year, have made it clear that we would prefer for this water to not be released into our beloved Cape Cod Bay. The wishes of people, the real human beings who live here in the shadow of the nuclear plant, ought to supersede all the science, the permits etc.
In fact, every Town on Cape Cod, every Town on Martha's Vineyard, as well as Duxbury, and Scituate, have either passed Town Meeting Articles or ballot questions opposing dumping. The Plymouth Select Board has been unanimous in its opposition. When we say the People are opposed, we are not simply opining on that matter; rather, the clear face of the electoral evidence demonstrates we are factually correct.
My goal in starting this petition is to kindly ask that Holtec CEO Krishna P. Singh retract his plan to dump the water into the bay. I am also kindly asking that he publicly announce that he will not dump the water into Cape Cod Bay, and instead truck it to another facility for disposal. I also ask that he please make this announcement before the the next NDCAP meeting on March 27th, 6:30pm at Plymouth Town Hall.
Thank you to the local groups, newspapers, and other organizations that have been working to bring this issue to light. Let’s all continue spreading the word and keeping a close eye on this. I will keep you all updated with any updates I receive on my end.
Thank you for reading and for signing this petition.
PS. This issue has also been covered extensively in the news. I would recommend reading this recent article from WBUR if you would like to learn more about what exactly is going on https://www.wbur.org/news/2022/12/08/epa-holtec-contaminated-wastewater-cape-cod-bay-clean-water-act
During the fall of 2022, the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) held public hearings and solicited public comment on a variety of fishery management regulations including measures affecting the recreational tautog fishery and the recreational lobster and edible crab trap fishery. Following approval by the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission, DMF has enacted the following regulatory amendments effective for 2023.
Recreational Tautog Slot Limit and Trophy Fish Allowance
The 2023 recreational tautog fishery is scheduled to open on April 1. In prior years, a 16” minimum size limit has applied. However, beginning in 2023, the fishery will be subject to a slot limit of 16” to 21” with an allowance for each angler to retain one trophy fish measuring greater than 21” each day. Tautog are measured in total length, which is the straight-line measurement from the tip of the snout to the farthest extremity of the tail.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Tautog promotes uniform recreational regulations within a management region. Under this FMP, Massachusetts and Rhode Island comprise a single management region. This action realigns the two states’ tautog size limits, following Rhode Island’s adoption of the same slot limit and trophy fish allowance last year. Having consistent rules across jurisdictions enhances enforcement and compliance and should address impacts of the potential eastward movement of fishing effort into Massachusetts and Rhode Island to target the relatively healthy stock of tautog shared by the two states. .
Recreational Lobster and Crab Trap Fishing
For 2023, DMF is enacting two changes affecting recreational lobster and crab trap fishing. Both measures address the potential interaction between the gear and right whales.
Recreational lobster and crab trap fishers using buoyed gear are no longer required to rig their buoy lines with a weak link (capable of breaking at 600 pounds of tension) at the buoy. Weak links were designed to allow for a buoy to part from its line should the line entangle a right whale. However, the entanglement record shows little evidence the gear modification works as intended and ultimately does not lead to risk reduction. As such, DMF is rescinding the requirement for recreational fishers to rig their buoy lines with this device. While the use of a weak link at the buoy is no longer a mandatory requirement, fishers may continue to deploy buoy lines with the device installed. Many fishers favor this device because it makes the gear easier to fish.
The November 1–May 15 closed season for buoyed recreational lobster and crab trap gear may now be extended past May 15 or rescinded after May 1 based on the documented presence or absence of right whales in state waters. DMF implemented this seasonal gear closure in 2021 to reduce the potential for the gear to become lost or abandoned as a result of winter storms, and to eliminate the risk that a buoy line may entangle an endangered right whale during the winter and early spring months when they aggregate to feed in our inshore waters. DMF has successfully managed commercial fixed gear fisheries with this dynamic management approach over the past several seasons and is now applying it to recreational fixed gear fisheries as well.
For more information regarding the management of marine fisheries in the Commonwealth, please visit our website: www.mass.gov/marinefisheries
During the period of July 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022 the following regulatory changes were enacted by DMF after public hearings and Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission approval, or by the Director under his declaratory and emergency authorities.
Commercial Period II Summer Flounder Trip Limit Increase (322 CMR 6.22). Through an in-season adjustment, DMF increased the commercial summer flounder trip limit for October 1 – December 31 from 3,000 pounds to 10,000 pounds. This action was taken to enhance access to and increase the utilization of the available 2022 commercial summer flounder quota.
Recreational Gulf of Georges Bank Cod (322 CMR 6.03). New recreational Georges Bank cod limits were implemented in July 2022. This established an August 1 – April 30 open season with a five-fish bag limit and a slot limit of 22” to 28”. The replaced the prior limits that allowed recreational fishing year-round with a 10-fish bag limit and 22” minimum size. These changes matched the federal regulations implemented as part of Framework 63 to the Multi-Species Groundfish Fishery management Plan. Framework 63 cut the Georges Bank recreational cod target by about 50% for the 2022 and 2023 fishing years and these amendments to the recreational fishing regulations were designed to keep recreational fishing mortality below the catch target.
Recreational Gulf of Maine Cod (322 CMR 6.03). New recreational Gulf of Maine cod limits were implemented for September 1, 2022. This established open seasons of September 1 – October 7 and April 1 – April 14 with a 1-fish bag limit and 22” minimum size. This extended the fall recreational fishing season by three weeks and increased the minimum size by 1” compared to the prior limits that established open seasons of September 15 – September 30 and April 1 – April 14 with a 1-fish bag limit and a 21” minimum size. These state limits matched the federal rules adopted by NOAA Fisheries for this stock.
Recreational Gulf of Maine Haddock (322 CMR 6.22). New recreational Gulf of Maine haddock limits were implemented for September 1, 2022. This increased the recreational haddock bag limit from 15-fish to 20-fish while maintaining the April 1 – February 28 open season and 17” minimum size. These state limits matched the federal rules adopted by NOAA Fisheries for this stock.
MassWildlife and The Nature Conservancy recently launched the latest version of BioMap, an online mapping tool designed to guide the strategic protection and stewardship of lands and waters that are most important for conserving biological diversity in Massachusetts. Learn more and sign up for a training webinar. https://www.mass.gov/news/new-release-of-biomap-provides-powerful-tool-for-conservation-inthe-commonwealth
New BioMap features
The current BioMap incorporates enhanced knowledge of biodiversity and habitats, improved information on the threats to biodiversity, and new understandings of how to ensure that natural systems are more resilient in the face of climate change. This BioMap release contains new features including:
It's a chilly day on Cape, with temperatures in the 30's and a breeze from the north. The warm days of summer may well be behind us, but anglers from around My Fishing Cape Cod are still out there catching fish.
Saltwater fishing has of course quieted down, but earlier in the month the fishing for giant tuna was lights out! I made a trip on December 5th which produced two hookups and one 91 inch giant bluefin.
Many people don't realize that aside from beautiful beaches, Cape Cod is also home to hundreds of gorgeous freshwater ponds. Many of these ponds are stocked with rainbow, brook, brown and tiger trout, and recently many My Fishing Cape Cod members have been catching their fill. Trout fishing will remain a great option from now through spring.
I'm happy to announce that season 6 of My Fishing Cape Cod TV on NBC Sports Boston will begin airing on Saturday February 25th at 9:30am. This brand new season will include fishing for haddock, stripers, albies, giant tuna and much more. I hope you will tune-in! This year's episodes will also be available for streaming through the My Fishing Cape Cod website, in case you don't have access to cable.
On behalf of all of us here at MFCC, I hope you have a very Happy Holiday Season and a wonderful New Year!
UPDATE: March 2023
West Falmouth Family Area Closure
Per this week's approved 2023-2024 Annual Shellfish Resource Management Regulations, the West Falmouth Harbor Family Area shall be closed for shellfish stocking from sunset on March 20, 2023 and will re-open in October 2023 or as soon as the MA DMF deems water quality is acceptable.
What does this mean? In short, this coming ***Sunday, March 19, 2023*** is the last day for oysters! If anyone is planning on shellfishing in the Family Area this weekend, please do not be discouraged when you do not see oysters upon first walk-in to the area. It tends to happen that the areas closer to the end of the path through the dunes get picked over first, but there are still oysters out there - just keep walking all the down, past the first two big docks!
UPDATE: November 2022
Oysters, shellfish - All areas below are open to FALMOUTH FAMILY and COMMERCIAL PERMIT HOLDERS - Monday through Sunday EXCEPTION AS
NOTED. THERE IS NO COMMERCIAL SHELLFISHING ON SUNDAYS. Please see Town website for open areas maps.
***These dates do not apply to the harvest of bay scallops.***
UPDATE: October 28, 2022
MES received an another not-so-good update from the MA DMF today regarding the shellfishing area opening in West Falmouth Harbor. Unfortunately, the water samples collected to date have all failed to meet the necessary criteria for opening the area to shellfishing. From the biological side, what is undoubtedly happening is that recent heavy rains combined with warm water temperatures are causing persistent elevated fecal coliform levels. As with many bacteria and other very small lifeforms (including shellfish larvae!), warm water is a key ingredient in the recipe for rapid growth and proliferation. We are seeing that our estuaries have water temperatures as warm as 63° F (about 17.2° C for those that think that way) even at the very end of October. That's pretty warm!
MA DMF is scheduled to collect another water sample this Sunday, October 30th. As I have mentioned before, as soon as DMF can give us the green light from clean testing, I will send out an email confirming the new opening date. We will also continue to post updates on the Town of Falmouth website at www.falmouthma.gov.
UPDATE: October 18, 2022
Falmouth Marine Environmental Services (MES) received an update from the MA DMF today regarding the shellfishing area opening in West Falmouth Harbor. To date, MA DMF has collected only one of the two required samples for processing. The remaining sample, which we were shocked and frustrated to learn this morning had not already been collected, is scheduled to be collected on Monday, October 24, 2022. Pending both samples meeting the criteria for the shellfish opening, the earliest anticipated opening of shellfishing in West Falmouth Harbor is Saturday, October 29, 2022. As soon as DMF can give us the green light from clean testing, I will send out an email confirming the new opening date. Updates will also be posted on the Town of Falmouth website at www.falmouthma.gov.
UPDATE: October 13, 2022
Unfortunately, per order of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, the planned October recreational shellfishing season in West Falmouth Harbor will be postponed until further notice. We learned this morning that the DMF lab made an error in processing the meat sample (entirely their fault not ours) and a new sample needs to be drawn and processed. The earliest the sample can be processed is Tuesday. I am optimistic we will have results sometime next week. As soon as DMF can give us the green light from clean testing, I will send out an email update with the new opening date. Updates will also be posted on the Town of Falmouth website at www.falmouthma.gov.
As of September 26, 2022
The Fall/Winter shellfishing season is drawing near! I know folks are very eagerly awaiting news of when the season will open and I am pleased to share the info with you! We are anticipating the recreational oyster (and quahog) season in the West Falmouth Harbor Family Area to open on Sunday, October 16th! The rest of West Falmouth Harbor will be open to recreational shellfishing this same day as well. *** Please note that this October opening is pending testing by the MA Division of Marine Fisheries.
What's even better is that the Family Area will be re-seeded with harvestable oysters in mid-November so there will be PLENTY of oysters to go around! If you are interested in helping with this mid-November relay and seeding, please see the previous "save the dates" email. The remainder of fall/winter seasonal shellfishing areas are anticipated to open/close on November 15, 2022, with the Great Pond Family Area anticipated to open the following Saturday, November 19, 2022.
A document summarizing all fall/winter openings will be available on the Town website soon, and the interactive map overlay will be updated with the anticipated dates, although the areas will not be labeled in green until they are actually open.
The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) manages the state’s commercial and recreational saltwater fisheries and oversees other services that support the marine environment and fishing communities.
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries - Facebook
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries - Website
With over 1,500 miles of coastline, there is plenty of opportunity to fish in Massachusetts. Before you hit the water, be sure to get your fishing permit and check out the resources in the link below.
Marine fisheries regulations are updated throughout the year. Permit holders are responsible for remaining compliant with Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) rules and regulations. DMF receives its mandate from the General Laws of the Commonwealth. It authorizes the Director of DMF to manage the Commonwealth's marine fisheries, including how often, how many, when and where fish may be taken.
Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations
The information below describes the current recreational fishing limits for Massachusetts and was last updated on August 30, 2022.
The fish and shellfish in Massachusetts coastal waters are public resources. The Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has the responsibility to manage these resources for all citizens, even those who do not fish. We use fisheries research to develop regulations that specify where, when, how, and how many fish can be caught each year.
Because many fish don’t stay in one place, DMF collaborates with other states and the federal government to ensure the regional or coastwide resiliency of fish stocks. Also involved in the fisheries management process are fishing industry members, environmental groups, municipalities, and other interested parties.
DMF Advisories provide official announcements of updates to permits, public hearings, opening & closing of fishing seasons and other important news. If you want to stay up-to-date on current Advisories subscribe to the DMF listserv.
Public Hearing Notices
Under the provisions of M.G.L. Ch 30A and pursuant to the authority found in M.G.L. Ch. 130 ss. 17A & 80, the Division of Marine Fisheries and the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission schedule public hearings to accept comment on regulatory actions and proposed changes to 322 CMR.
Published in 2005, the fact sheet on "Public Rights Along the Shoreline" was developed by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM).
Coastal managers are often asked, "Who owns the sea and shore?" If you have been curious, or perhaps a bit confused about what rights the public has along the shoreline, here's a brief primer on waterfront property law.
Vineyard Wind is well underway in developing the nation's first utility-scale offshore wind energy project over 15 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. The project will generate clean, renewable, cost-competitive energy for over 400,000 homes and businesses across the Commonwealth, while reducing carbon emissions by over 1.6 million tons per year.
New England is shifting to clean, competitively-priced energy, and Massachusetts state law seeks to have 3,200 MW of offshore wind providing electricity to the Commonwealth by 2035, which could represent over 20% of electricity consumed in the state. Vineyard Wind is an important part of that goal, and will make a significant contribution to the Commonwealth’s aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while growing our economy and enhancing energy security and reliability.
The Sportfish Angler Data Collection Team (SADCT) program is a group of volunteer anglers collecting biological samples of selected recreational fish species in Massachusetts marine waters. SADCT is part of an Atlantic coast-wide effort to manage and conserve recreationally targeted species. Information gathered through SADCT is used by the Division of Marine Fisheries and provided to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to support conservation and sustainability efforts. See PDFs below to find out more about joining the team.
SADCT originally began in 2002 with anglers taking data from their striped bass catches. In 2013, three more species were added to the program: scup, black sea bass, and fluke. https://www.mass.gov/service-details/sportfish-angler-data-collection-team
Anglers joining SADCT follow simple protocols for gathering data on striped bass, fluke (summer flounder), scup, and black sea bass. Participants measure fish length, collect scale samples from each fish caught, and note whether it is kept or released. Scales are used to determine the age of the fish by counting growth rings, much like the aging technique for trees. See PDF below for sampling procedures.
In 2018 approximately 1,900 samples were collected by SADCT volunteers. Of those 1,900 samples 1,600 samples were from striped bass. Black sea bass, fluke, and scup accounted for the remaining 300 samples.
See PDF below for Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries - Sportfish Angler Data Collection Team 2018 Report.
Advisories and News Downloads
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