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NOAA Fisheries Announces Closure of the Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop Management Area

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 22, 2017

NOAA Fisheries is closing the Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) Scallop Management Area to all federally permitted scallop vessels effective 0001 hr on March 23, 2017, except as noted below.

As of March 23, 2017, no scallop vessel fishing under federal scallop regulations may fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the NGOM Scallop Management Area. The scallop regulations require that we close this area once we project that 100 percent of the 2017 default total allowable catch for this area will be taken. The closure will be in effect until the end of the fishing year.

Vessels that have declared a trip into the NGOM Scallop Management Area using the correct Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) code, and have crossed the VMS demarcation line before 0001 hr March 23, 2017, may complete their trip and retain and land scallops caught from the NGOM Scallop Management Area.

All limited access scallop vessels fishing on a day-at-sea must exit the NGOM Scallop Management Area before 0001 hr March 23, 2017.

Exemption for Maine Vessels Fishing Exclusively in Maine State Waters

Vessels issued a NGOM scallop permit (category LAGC B) may continue to fish in the Maine state waters portion of the NGOM Scallop Management Area under the State Waters Exemption program provided that they have a valid Maine state scallop permit and fish in state waters only.

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

Questions?

Contact Shannah Jaburek at Shannah.Jaburek@noaa.gov or at 978-282-8456.