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NOAA Fisheries Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule for Northeast Skate

October 20, 2017

NOAA Fisheries seeks public comment on a proposed rule to modify the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan.

Framework 4 would alter effort controls and possession limits to help reduce the risk of the skate bait fishery closing down as it did in fishing year 2016. Several measures are proposed to de-couple the skate wing and bait accountability measures, control catch, and provide a more consistent supply of skate bait to the lobster fishery. We propose to:

  • Reduce the Season 3 (November through April) bait skate possession limit from 25,000 lb to 12,000 lb;
  • Reduce the Season 3 bait skate in-season possession limit reduction threshold trigger from 90 to 80 percent;
  • Establish an 8,000-lb incidental possession limit for skate bait when a seasonal threshold trigger is reached; and,
  • Close the skate bait fishery when 100 percent of the quota is projected to be harvested.  

To get all the details on these proposed management measures, read the proposed rule as published in theFederal Register today and the background documents available on the website.

We are accepting comments through November 6.

Please submit comments either through the online e-rulemaking portal or by mailing your comments to: John Bullard, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA, 01930.

Please mark the outside of the envelope, "Comments on the Proposed Rule for Skates Framework 4."

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