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NOAA Fisheries Proposes Measures for 2017 Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 19, 2017

Today, NOAA Fisheries published the proposed rule to set management measures for the Atlantic Sea Scallop fishery for the 2017 fishing year, beginning on March 1, 2017. 

Framework 28 would:

  • Set annual catch limits for both the limited access and limited access general category (LAGC) fleets, including days-at-sea and allocations for sea scallop access areas. Limited access allocations are similar to previous years, while LAGC IFQ allocations would be reduced by 44 percent compared with 2016;
  • Revise the way we allocate catch to the LAGC individual fishing quota (IFQ) fleets to more accurately reflect spatial management of the scallop fishery;
  • Open the Elephant Trunk Flex Access Area to scallop fishing and provide vessels flexibility to fish some Mid Atlantic Access Area (MAAA) pounds in either the Elephant Trunk Flex Access Area or the MAAA (see map below); and
  • Implement a 50-bushel shell stock possession limit for limited access vessels inshore of the days-at-sea demarcation line north of 42° 20' N. lat.

Read the complete proposed rule as published in the Federal Register, and supporting documents on our website.

We are accepting public comments on this proposed rule through February 7, 2017.

You may submit comments online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, or by mailing your comments to: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Please mark the outside of the envelope, "Comments on Scallop Framework 28 Proposed Rule."