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Northeast Multispecies Common Pool Vessels; Possession and Trip Limit Modifications for Georges Bank Cod and Southern New England/Mid Atlantic Yellowtail Flounder

Contact:
Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281-9315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 22, 2016

Effective Date for SNE/MA Yellowtail:  December 22, 2016, through April 30, 2017
Effective Date for GB Cod:  January 1, 2017, through April 30, 2017

Effective December 22, 2016, the possession and trip limits for Southern New England/Mid Atlantic (SNE/MA) yellowtail flounder is increased for all common pool vessels to 500 lb per day at sea, and 1,000 lb per trip for the remainder of the 2016 fishing year.  If you are currently at sea, you may land the increased limit of SNE/MA yellowtail flounder. 

Effective January 1, 2017, the possession and trip limits for Georges Bank (GB) cod in Trimester 3 for common pool vessels are as follows:

Permit GB Cod Trimester 3 Limits (effective January 1, 2017)
A DAS* (outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area) 25 lb per DAS up to 50 lb per trip (unchanged)
A DAS (Eastern U.S./Canada Area) 25 lb per DAS up to 50 lb per trip (unchanged)
A DAS (Special Access Programs) 50 lb per trip (unchanged)
Handgear A 25 lb per trip (unchanged)
Handgear B 25 lb per trip (unchanged)
Regular B DAS Program 25 lb per DAS up to 50 lb per trip (unchanged)
Small Vessel Category (<30 ft) 300 lb of cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder combined
Maximum of 25 lb of cod and 200 lb of GOM haddock within the 300-lb combined trip limit

.*Day-at-sea (DAS)

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are these actions being taken?

As of December 1, 76% of the annual quota for GB cod has been caught.  We are modifying the Trimester 3 trip limits to prevent an area closure or a quota overage for this stock.

Less than 5% of the annual quota for SNE/MA yellowtail flounder has been caught. We are increasing the trip limit to increase fishing opportunities for the SNE/MA yellowtail flounder stock

Is there a chance that the trip limits will change again? If the quota for either stock is projected to be caught, we would consider closures to prevent quota overages.  Quota monitoring reports are updated on the internet at: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/.
What will happen with the area closures in Trimester 3? All common pool closures will re-open at the beginning of Trimester 3, effective 0001 hours, January 1, 2017. 
Will GB cod limits increase at the start of Trimester 3? No, this action overrides the previously scheduled possession and trip limit increases for GB cod.  This action is necessary to keep the common pool from exceeding the annual quota for the stock.
For small entity compliance guides, this bulletin complies with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996.  This notice is authorized by the Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, Greater Atlantic Region.