NOAA Fisheries Service Closes Nantucket Lightship Scallop Access Area
NOAA Fisheries Service announces that effective 0001 hours, July 20, 2006, the Nantucket Lightship Scallop Access Area (NLCA) will be closed to all scallop vessels until June 15, 2007. NMFS has projected that 100% of the yellowtail flounder total allowable bycatch for the commercial scallop fleet in the NLCA will have been harvested by July 20, 2006. Scallop vessels may not declare or initiate a scallop trip to the NLCA after 0001 hours, July 20, 2006. If a vessel has complied with the observer notification requirements, declared a trip into the NLCA, and has crossed the VMS demarcation line *before* 0001 hours on July 20, 2006, the vessel may complete the NLCA trip. Unused trip(s) into the NLCA will be converted to open area DAS as detailed in the permit holder letter dated June 7, 2006. A letter will be mailed within 15 days to all scallop vessels with unused NLCA trips detailing the vessel's new open area DAS allocation. One-for-one trip exchanges involving the NLCA that are received prior to 0001 hours, July 20, 2006, will be processed. Please click on the permit holder letter below or contact the Sustainable Fisheries Division at 978-281-9315 with questions.
July 25, 2006