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NOAA Fisheries Announces Common Pool Area Closure and Trip Limit Adjustments for Georges Bank Cod

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 15, 2016

We are closing the Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area for Georges Bank cod to common pool vessels on groundfish trips fishing with trawl, sink gillnet, and longline/hook gear for the remainder of Trimester 2, through December 31. The closure is effective November 15, 2016.

The closure applies to the following statistical areas: 521, 522, 525, and 561. See map below for all current common pool closures.

Also effective November 15, 2016, common pool possession limits for Georges Bank cod are reduced to 25 pounds per day, up to 50 pounds per trip. The trip limit for Handgear A vessels is 25 lb per trip. The trip limit for Handgear B vessels remains 25 pounds per trip.

If you have crossed the vessel monitoring system demarcation line prior to 1615 hours on November 15 and are currently at sea on a groundfish trip, you may complete your trip in all or part of the newly closed areas. You will not be subject to the new possession and trip limits for that trip. Vessels that have set gillnet gear prior to November 15, 2016, may complete their trip by hauling such gear.

We are required to close this area because the common pool fishery is projected to catch 90 percent of its Trimester 2 Total Allowable Catch for Georges Bank cod. This closure is intended to prevent an overage of the common pool's quota for this stock.

For more details, read the notice as filed this afternoon in the Federal Register and the permit holder bulletin.

Questions? 

Contact Liz Sullivan, Regional Office, at 978-282-8493 or Liz.Sullivan@noaa.gov.