13- 188 C.M.R. ch. 45, § 10 - Net restrictions

A. Mesh size
1. It shall be unlawful to fish for, take, transport or possess any shrimp on board any vessel rigged with a trawl net having a mesh opening of less than 1 3/4 inches between knots. It shall also be unlawful to possess a net or netting with an opening of less than 1 3/4 inches between knots on board any vessel rigged with a trawl net which is engaged in the fishing for, taking, or transport of shrimp or which carries shrimp for any purpose, except that the webbing funnel may be constructed with a mesh size not less than 1 3/8 inches. Additionally, an exception is made for a deflector panel of 1-inch mesh in the cod end behind the second grate in a double grate system, as described in Chapter 45.10(F).
2. EXCEPTION for Maine Territorial Seas: Pursuant to Department of Marine Resources' Regulation 34.10(1)(C)(1) and (2), any vessel rigged with a trawl net having a mesh size of less than 6 inches diamond or square mesh in the body and wings and less than 6.5 inches diamond or square mesh in the cod end may only fish in Maine territorial waters January 1 to March 31, both days inclusive.
3. Finfish Excluder Device. It shall be unlawful for any vessel rigged for otter trawling, to fish for, land or have in possession northern shrimp except by using trawls equipped with finfish excluder devices. Such finfish excluder devices (commonly referred to as the "Nordmore Grate System") shall consist of:
a. The grate is a rigid or semi-rigid planar device consisting of parallel bars attached to a frame with a spacing between bars of not more than 1 inch. The parallel bars of the grate shall be oriented up and down and the grate itself shall be tilted at approximately a forty-five degree angle from the vertical plane. The frame of the grate shall be secured to the extension piece of the trawl net in such a manner that prevents the passage of fish between the frame of the grate and the webbing of the extension into the cod end.
b. The fish outlet is a triangular opening in the webbing of the extension of the trawl. This outlet may be located on the top or bottom of the extension which allows the escape of fish too large to pass between the bars of the grate. The triangular base of the fish outlet is aligned with the apex of the opening forward and is attached to the portion of the tilted grate closest to the cod end so that no lip or protruding edge of webbing is present to impede the escape of finfish. The base of the triangular opening shall not be less than 19 inches in length. The sides of the triangular outlet shall taper to a forward (toward the mouth of the trawl) apex and shall be cut "all bars" to achieve the triangular shaped opening.
c. The webbing funnel shall be constructed of webbing or mesh not less than 1 3/8 inches and shall be located in the extension in front of the grate. The circumference of the extension and the outlet of the funnel shall be of sufficient diameter to allow the passage of fish captured by the trawl. The funnel shall be secured in the extension in such a manner that the funnel mouth will be directed to the part of the grate furthest from the fish outlet to maximize the separation characteristics of the grate. However, this webbing funnel is not mandatory.
4. The maximum length of the bottom legs of the bridle of any shrimp trawl net shall not exceed 15 fathoms of uncovered or bare wire.
Exception. No person may possess any regulated species of cod, witch flounder, American plaice, Atlantic halibut, yellowtail flounder, haddock, pollock, winter flounder, windowpane flounder, redfish, ocean pout and white hake on board any vessel while fishing for shrimp.
5. Mesh measurement. Mesh sizes are to be measured by a flat wedged-shaped gauge having a taper of 4 cm. in 20 cm. and having a thickness of 2.3 mm., inserted into the meshes under a pressure or pull of 1.90 kg. The mesh size of a net shall be the average of the measurements of a series of any 20 consecutive meshes, at least 10 meshes from the lacing, and when measured in the cod end of the net beginning at the after end and running parallel to the long end axis.
B. Chafing gear and liner

It shall be unlawful to fish for, take, transport or possess any shrimp on board a boat rigged with a trawl net of more than one layer or with a liner of any kind attached, except that a cod end strengthener may be used as specified in Chapter 45.10(E). However, it shall be lawful to attach chafing gear to the lower half of the circumference of the cod end unless a cod end strengthener is used. Any such chafing gear shall be attached in such a manner as to ensure that the effective mesh opening in the cod end is not diminished.

C. Tolerance in mesh measurement

A tolerance of 1/8 inch may be applied to the average mesh size in the body and wings of a net. No tolerance shall be provided for any other portion of the net.

D. Exception

It shall be lawful to possess herring seines or purse seines for the purpose of transporting those seines from one location to another on board a vessel rigged for otter trawling, as described in 45.10 (A) as long as a permit is obtained in advance from the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

E. Cod End Strengthener

An outer mesh may be used as a cod end strengthener while fishing for Northern Shrimp (Pandalus borealis). The outer mesh must be a minimum of 6.5 inches and the outer mesh must be at least three times larger than the size of the inner mesh. The mesh may be single or double twine, and diamond or square in shape. The hanging ratio must be the same as the mesh size ratio. Hanging ratio shall mean the number of meshes in the circumference of the cod end compared to the number of meshes in the circumference of the strengthener. The mesh size ratio shall mean the number of inner meshes compared to the number of outer meshes. The outer mesh may only cover the cod end. No chafing gear may be used with a cod end strengthener.

F. Double Nordmore Grate

A double Nordmore grate may be used while fishing for Northern Shrimp (Pandalus borealis). A double Nordmore grate is a second grate placed behind the currently required grate. The second grate is intended to release small shrimp from the net while retaining larger shrimp. Double Nordmore grate devices shall have the following gear components:

(1) A second grate that is placed 8 feet behind the first grate with a locational tolerance of plus or minus 2 feet, i.e., must be greater than 6 feet and less than 10 feet.
(2) A second grate that is hung at the same orientation as the first grate.
(3) A space between the bars that is 7/16 or an inch.
(4) An exit hole to the cod end that is placed at the trailing end of the second grate and is not more than 10 percent of the surface area.
(5) A 1-inch mesh panel behind the second grate that is 45 degrees down from the top of the bars to the bottom of the cod end.
(6) An escape hole in the cod end in front of the 1-inch mesh panel.
(7) Optional: A funnel that is placed in front of the second grate designed to direct the catch toward the grate to maximize the retention of the shrimp may be used but may not have mesh less than 1-3/8 inch stretched mesh.

Notes

13- 188 C.M.R. ch. 45, § 10

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