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NOAA Fisheries Announces Common Pool Area Closure for Gulf of Maine Cod

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 26, 2018

Effective at 1615 hours on April 26, 2018, statistical areas 513 and 514 are closed for the remainder of Trimester 3, through April 30, 2018. This closure applies to all common pool vessels fishing on a groundfish trip with trawl, sink gillnet, or longline/hook gear, including handgear vessels. This area will reopen at the beginning of Trimester 1 of fishing year 2018, at 0001 hours, May 1, 2018.

If you have crossed the vessel monitoring system demarcation line and are currently at sea on a groundfish trip, you may complete your trip in all or part of the closed areas. If you have set gillnet gear prior to April 26, 2018, you may complete your trip to retrieve that gear.

We are required to close this area because the common pool fishery is projected to have caught 90 percent of its Trimester 3 Total Allowable Catch for Gulf of Maine cod. This closure is intended to prevent an overage of the common pool’s quota for this stock. If the 2017 fishing year quota is exceeded, the amount of the overage will be deducted from the common pool’s quota for fishing year 2018.

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

Questions? Contact Spencer Talmage, Regional Office, at 978-281-9232, or Spencer.Talmage@noaa.gov.