TOWN OF BREWSTER
GENERAL COMMERCIAL SHELLFISH REGULATIONS
- Commercial/quahog/scallop/eel/Steamer permits may be granted to any Brewster resident/taxpayer for a fee of $100. Definite proof of domicile/taxpayer status must be presented at the time of application. Permits shall be forfeited if the holder fails to maintain his resident/taxpayer status. Applicants for commercial shellfishing licenses must be bona fide domiciled residents of the Town of Brewster. Residency shall be established to the satisfaction of the Board of Selectmen. Documentary evidence of residence/domicile shall include one or more of the following:
- A current motor vehicle driver’s license;
- A current motor vehicle excise tax bill issued by the Town;
- A current real estate tax bill issued by the Town;
- A current lease or rental agreement of applicant’s residence/domicile in Town;
- A current listing on the Town census or list of persons.
- No person will be issued a Commercial Permit for the Town of Brewster unless they are in possession of a valid transaction card from the Division of Marine Fisheries of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the year the permit is applied.
- Commercial Permits will be issued April 1 – May 30 and valid through March 31 of the following year. Steamers may be taken in specific areas designated by the Board of Selectmen until March 31.
- The area of Brewster flats north and easterly from the leader of the northernmost Ellis fish trap known as “the Channel” will be open to commercial harvesting of quahogs. Persons holding Commercial Shellfish Permits are prohibited from shellfishing in areas designated for family permits only. The Selectmen may restrict the use of any areas for the taking of any shellfish as they may deem expedient, either absolutely or generally or for some particular use, or the taking of certain kinds of shellfish only and allowing other kinds to be taken on such restricted areas, and such restrictions shall have the same force and effect as any rule or regulation made rerein, and any violation of which shall be punishable in like manner. No shellfish shall be taken from any area of waters in the Town of Brewster unless such areas have been declared open for the taking of each kind of shellfish by the Board of Selectmen, and only to the quantity specified. Steamers may be harvested only by hand rake. Digging in grass areas, including grass roots, is prohibited.
- The taking of quahogs from the waters and flats within the Town of Brewster by implements other than those known as long rake, scratcher, tong, quahog rake or clam hoe is prohibited. Hydraulic dredging is prohibited. Power dredging with drags with a maximum 20-inch wide cutting edge is permitted only seaward of the 9960-y-44000 LORAN line. The presence of quahog dredges overboard at any time shall be evidence of the intent to shellfish commercially. The fine for dragging in non-approved areas shall be $200.00.
- The daily commercial limit of quahogs taken in the assigned areas of Cape Cod bay shall be ten (10) standard bushels (1 bushel = 2150 cubic inches), except seaward of the 9960-y-44000 LORAN line where the limit shall be 35 bushels per day. The daily limit of steamers shall be one (1) bushel.
- No commercial permit holder shall take shellfish from the waters and flats within the Town of Brewster during the hours between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise.
- Any boat engaged in commercial shellfishing in the Town of Brewster must be registered or documented in the Town of Brewster.
- Permits shall be issued subject to any changes in these provisions, rules and regulations and any amendments thereto that the Board may deem necessary and expedient and so adopted under the provision of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 130, Section 52.
- Permits are not transferable and no person shall amend, alter, or in any way modify the information contained on a permit.
- Permit holders must visibly display shellfish permits and carry identification upon their persons when shellfishing. Shellfish permits, a valid driver’s license or positive identification must be shown when requested by the Shellfish Constable or Assistant Constables.
- Permit holders, upon request, shall permit Shellfish Constables or Assistant Shellfish Constables to check the size and quantity of shellfish.
- No person shall take, or have in their possession, seed clams, seed oysters, seed scallops, seed quahogs, seed mussels, and seed sea clams except that a five (5) percent by count of seed by accident, not by design, shall be allowed.
- The Board of Selectmen reserve the right to suspend for a period of 30 days the permit of any person violating the Town regulations on shellfishing. Whoever violates any rule or regulation made under the authority of Chapter 130 of Massachusetts General Laws, unless otherwise provided, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $15.00, but not more than $1,000.00.
- The annual fee for a Commercial Permit will be $100.00.