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Northeast Multispecies Common Pool Vessels; Closure of the Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area and Possession and Trip Limit Reduction for Georges Bank Cod

Contact:
Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281-9315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 15, 2016

Effective Date:  November 15, 2016, through December 31, 2016

Effective at 1615 hours on November 15, 2016, statistical areas 521, 522, 525, and 561 are closed for the remainder of Trimester 2 through December 31, 2016, to all common pool vessels on a groundfish trip fishing with trawl, sink gillnet, or longline/hook gear.  This closure is required because 90 percent of the Trimester 2 Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for Georges Bank (GB) cod is projected to be caught.  This area will reopen at the beginning of Trimester 3, at 0001 hours, January 1, 2017. 

Effective November 15, the possession and trip limits for GB cod are reduced for common pool vessels as shown below.  The possession and trip limits for GB cod will return to the initial 2016 limits on January 1, 2017.

Permit/Program

Initial 2016 Limits

Reduced Limits

A DAS* (outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area) 500 lb/DAS up to 2,500 lb/trip 25 lb/DAS up to 50 lb/trip
A DAS (Eastern U.S./Canada Area) 100 lb/DAS up to 500 lb/trip 25 lb/DAS up to 50 lb/trip
A DAS (Special Access Programs) 1,000 lb/trip 50 lb/trip
Handgear A 300 lb/trip 25 lb/trip
Handgear B 25 lb/trip 25 lb/trip (unchanged)
Regular B DAS Program 100 lb/DAS up to 1,000 lb/trip 25 lb/DAS up to 50 lb/trip
*DAS = Day-at-sea

Map of Current Common Pool Closures, by Gear Type


Download Larger Image

 

 

 

Applies to all common pool vessels on a groundfish trip.  Effective November 15, 2016, through December 31, 2016.

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 newly closed areas.  Vessels that have set gillnet gear prior to 1615 hours on November 15, 2016, may complete their trip by hauling such gear.  Additionally, you are not be subject to the new possession and trip limits for your trip. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this action being taken? To avoid quota overages, we are required to close the Trimester TAC Area to gear capable of catching a stock when we project that 90 percent of the Trimester TAC is caught.  Because catch of GB cod is occurring outside the area affected by the closure, we are also reducing the possession and trip limits to prevent the common pool from exceeding its quota.
How much of the quota has been caught? Based on recent data, we project 90 percent of the Trimester 2 quota for GB cod was harvested
by November 7, 2016.  Quota monitoring reports are updated on the internet at:  http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/.
What happens if the Trimester TAC is exceeded? Underharvested? If the Trimester 1 or Trimester 2 TAC for a stock is exceeded, the overage is deducted from the Trimester 3 TAC.  Any unused portion of the Trimester 1 or Trimester 2 TAC for the stock is carried forward to the following Trimester.  No unused portion of the Total TAC is carried over to the following fishing year.
What happens if the annual quota is exceeded? If the 2016 fishing year quota is exceeded, the amount of the overage will be deducted from the common pool’s quota next year (i.e., fishing year 2017).
Does this closure affect handgear vessels? Yes, this closure applies to groundfish vessels, including those fishing with a Handgear A (limited access) or Handgear B (open access) permit.