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NOAA Fisheries Announces Framework Adjustment 28 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan

March 22, 2017

NOAA Fisheries announces that the final rule to set management measures for the Atlantic Sea Scallop fishery for the remainder of the 2017 fishing year (March 1, 2017-March 31, 2018) will file in the Federal Register and become effective tomorrow at 4:15 pm.

Framework 28:

  • Sets annual catch limits for both the limited access and limited access general category (LAGC) fleets, including days-at-sea and allocations for the sea scallop access areas. Limited access allocations are similar to previous years, while LAGC individual fishing quota (IFQ) allocations receive a 44 percent decrease from 2016;
  • Revises the way we allocate catch to the LAGC IFQ fleet to more accurately reflect the spatial management of the scallop fishery;
  • Opens the Elephant Trunk Flex, Nantucket Lightship, and Closed Area 2 Access Areas to scallop fishing and allows vessels the flexibility to fish some Mid Atlantic Access Area (MAAA) pounds in either the Elephant Trunk Flex Access Area or the MAAA; and
  • Implements 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.

For more information, permit holder letters for both limited access and LAGC vessels are available on our website. The rule is expected to file in the Federal Register tomorrow afternoon at 4:15.

Geographic Information System (GIS) files with the updated Scallop Rotational Area boundaries will be available on the GARFO GIS website and the NOAA GeoPlatform once the final rule publishes.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Goebel at 978-281-9175 or