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NOAA Fisheries Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Modifications to the Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 5, 2018

NOAA Fisheries announces proposed 2018-2019 fishing year catch and landing limits, as well as a few measures to provide additional flexibility to fishermen. We propose to:

  • Increase the annual catch limit for the skate complex to 31,327 mt from 31,081 mt in 2017.
  • Increase total allowable landings of skate wings to 8,749 mt from 8,372 mt in 2017.
  • Increase the total allowable landings of skate bait to 4,408 mt from 4,218 mt in 2017.
  • Allow limited possession of barndoor skate in the skate wing fishery and establish a barndoor skate wing possession limit of 650 lb wings in season 1 (May l-August 31), and 1,025 lb wings in season 2 (September l-April 30) for vessels fishing under a Northeast multispecies, sea scallop, or monkfish days-at-sea.
  • Prohibit discards of any skate wings when barndoor skate is in possession.
  • Require that barndoor skate wings and carcasses on board a vessel would be separated from other species of fish and stored so as to be readily available for inspection.
  • Exempt vessels from some specific domestic skate regulations when fishing exclusively within the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Regulatory Area.

To get all the details on these proposed modifications, read the proposed rule as published in the Federal Register  today.

We are accepting comments through August 6, 2018.

Please submit comments either through the online e-rulemaking portal or by mailing your comments to:

Michael Pentony, Regional Administrator
NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region
55 Great Republic Drive
Gloucester, MA, 01930.

Please mark the outside of the envelope, "Comments on the Proposed Rule for Skates Framework 5 and 2018-2019 Specifications."

Questions?

Fishermen: Contact Deb Lambert at 301-427-8560 

Media: Contact Jennifer Goebel at 978-281-9175