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NE Multispecies FW 42 Proposed Management Measures

  Summary
 
  • FW 42 maintains the Amendment 13 default DAS reductions for the 2006-2008 fishing years (i.e., a modification of the ratio of Category A DAS to Category B DAS from 60/40 to 55/45). This represents approximately an 8-percent reduction in a vessel’s allocation of Category A DAS from its previous level.
  • FW 42 implements differential DAS counting (2:1) in specific areas of the inshore Gulf of Maine (GOM) (GOM Differential DAS Area (click here for chart) and near-shore SNE waters (SNE Differential DAS Area (click here for chart)). That is, for vessels that have declared into these areas, for each hour fished, the vessel will be charged 2 hours of DAS use.
  • FW 42 specifies target TACs for most regulated species (16 stocks) and Incidental Catch TACs for stocks of concern (10 stocks) for the 2006, 2007, and 2008 fishing years.
  • FW 42 requires that limited access NE multispecies vessels fishing under a NE multispecies DAS must have an operational VMS on board. Vessels will not be required to obtain a VMS in order to renew their permit, but must have an approved VMS installed and operational in order to fish under a NE multispecies DAS.
  • From November through April, possession of GOM cod by private recreational and charter/party vessels is prohibited. The minimum size for GOM cod for private recreational and charter/party vessels is increased from 22 to 24 inches (total length). These measures are designed to achieve a similar percentage reduction in fishing mortality for the recreational sector, as those implemented for the commercial sector.

To achieve the additional fishing mortality reductions necessary beyond those obtained through DAS measures, FW 42 implements new commercial trip limits for the following stocks:

    • Cape Cod/GOM yellowtail flounder: 250 lb/DAS up to 1,000 lb/trip
    • SNE yellowtail flounder: 250 lb/DAS up to 1,000 lb/trip; GB yellowtail flounder: 10,000 lb/trip
    • GB winter flounder: 5,000 lb/trip
    • White hake: 1,000 lb/DAS up to 10,000 lb/trip
    • GOM cod: 800 lb/DAS up to 4,000 lb/trip (the emergency action requires 600 lb/DAS)

FW 42 implements guidance on GB yellowtail flounder trip limits for implementation under RA authority at various harvest levels.

  • FW 42 implements the Fixed Gear Sector for vessels using gillnet or hook gear, and allocates a portion of the GB cod target TAC to Sector members. This will be the second approved Sector in the FMP. Similar to the currently approved GC Cod Hook Gear Sector, the Fixed Gear Sector’s fishing effort on GB cod is limited by a hard TAC and the fishing effort on other stocks is limited by DAS. The specific rules under which the Sector operates must be approved annually by the RA
  • FW 42 continues the flexibility for vessels fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area begun through the emergency action. FW 42 removes the prohibition on fishing both inside and outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area in order to provide additional flexibility for vessels fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area when inclement weather occurs or if fishing is unproductive.
  • In order to make the requirement less confusing to the fishing industry and more easily administered by NOAA Fisheries Service, FW 42 requires the following standardized requirements for vessels fishing in the U.S./Canada Management Area, the Regular B DAS Program, and all SAPs: Catch reporting (via VMS) for a standardized list of species (haddock and all groundfish species of concern), reporting date of catch, Vessel Trip Report serial number, and statistical area of catch.
  • FW 42 modifies the trawl codend diamond mesh size requirement for vessels fishing in the SNE Regulated Mesh Area from 7 inches to 6.5 inches (and maintain the 6.5-square mesh option). The intent is to help reduce discarding of small yellowtail flounder because vessel operators generally choose to use 6.5-inch square mesh instead of 7-inch diamond. Allowance of 6.5-inch diamond provides an option that, if selected by operators, results in less discarding that the 6.5-inch square mesh.
  • FW 42 broadens the RA’s authority in the U.S./Canada Management Area to enable modification of rules at any time during the fishing year, and sets a policy that Category A and Category B DAS may be treated differently (i.e., additional fishing opportunity may be provided to Category A DAS).
  • FW 42 implements a requirement that, when a special management program requires a vessel to use a haddock separator trawl (or other authorized gear), more restrictive trip limits apply in order to provide incentives for the vessel operator to use the gear correctly (i.e., 500 lb of skates, 500 lb of monkfish, 500 lb of flatfish (combined), and no lobster)
  • FW 42 renews and modifies the Regular B DAS Program. The modifications require trawlers to use a haddock separator trawl, reduce the number of DAS during the first quarter of the fishing year from 1,000 to 500 DAS, increase the number of Incidental Catch TACs by including GB winter flounder and GB yellowtail flounder, and provide a process for approval of the use of additional gear types.
  • FW 42 renews the DAS Leasing Program as implemented by Amendment 13 and modified by FW 40-B.
  • FW 42 renews the DAS Transfer Program with modifications to allow additional flexibility. Currently, the transferor (seller of DAS) must exit all state and Federal fisheries. This action revises the measure to allow vessels the opportunity to maintain their other fishing permits. In addition, the conservation tax applies to the lower of the two DAS allocations involved in the DAS transfer, since it is likely that vessel owners would have conducted the necessary transactions (i.e., permit transfers) to achieve the same result. Also, rules regarding specific aspects of the program are clarified.

RENEWAL AND MODIFICATION OF THE EASTERN U.S./CANADA HADDOCK SAP

  • FW 42 renews of the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP, with a modification in the start date to August 1 (in order to reduce the bycatch of cod), and develops a process for approval of the use of additional gear types.
  • FW 42 implements a formula for the calculation of future haddock TACs for the SAP, based upon the stock size of haddock.
 
     

Last Updated: October 19, 2006

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