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NOAA Fisheries Allows State Waters Scallop Exemption Program for Maine

Through a final rule published October 6, scallop vessels holding both Federal permits for the Northern Gulf of Maine and Maine commercial licenses may fish inside Maine state waters, even if the Federal Northern Gulf of Maine fishery is closed.

Maine requested this exemption as part of the Scallop State Water Exemption Program, which allows Federal permit holders to be exempted from a few specific regulations when fishing in state waters scallop fishery in cases where the state's program does not jeopardize the objectives of the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan.

This rule goes into effect on November 6.

This exemption will benefit approximately 40 Federal Northern Gulf of Maine permit holders.

Read the rule as filed in Federal Register and the permit holder bulletin.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Goebel, Regional Office, at 978-281-6175 or Jennifer.Goebel@noaa.gov.