The town's ban on fishing from docks and floats has drawn criticism and praise since going into effect Aug. 5. In the letter below the harbormaster clarifies reason for the ban.
To Whom It May Concern:
On Monday August 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm the Harbors and Waters Board met in regular session. Several members of the public attended the meeting and expressed there concerns and complaints of the overcrowding on the public docks. An exceptionally high volume of squid this year has been attracting large numbers of fisherman drawn to protected harbor areas along the Massachusetts coastline.
Starting in mid July complaints of fisherman taking over the Commercial street dock, interfering with boats trying to tie up, leaving the new dock cover in squid slime and ink, littering, Carelessly leaving pieces of monofilament fishing line and hooks strewn over the dock for people to step on or birds and fish to get tangled in.
Comments of individuals casting into boat traffic and actually hitting boats, Children of fisherman were running around without life jackets. It was only a matter of time before there was an accident.
In response to these concerns and comments, the H&W Board voted to post “NO FISHING” signs on all public docks for the month of August in order to allow the Harbormaster time to assess the situation. Specifically emergency response access, public health and safety as well as results of what other towns have done and report back to the Board at their next meeting, which is to be held on September 9th at 7:30pm at the Harbormaster Quarters 9 Ferry Lane.
These docks are entirely purchased and maintained by the enterprise funded Harbormaster Department which operates on fees generated from the mooring holders of Marblehead waters.
F. Webb Russell III
Harbormaster Town of Marblehead