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Northeast Multispecies Common Pool Vessels; Closure of the Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area for Witch Flounder

Contact:
Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281-9315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 9, 2016

Effective Date:  November 9, 2016, through December 31, 2016

Effective at 0845 hours on November 9, 2016, statistical areas 512, 513, 514, 515, 521, 522, and 525 are closed for the remainder of Trimester 2 through December 31, 2016, to all common pool vessels on a groundfish trip fishing with trawl gear.  This closure is required because 90 percent of the Trimester 2 Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for witch flounder is projected to be caught.  This area will reopen at the beginning of Trimester 3, at 0001 hours, January 1, 2017. 

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 area. 


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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.
How much of the quota has been caught? Based on recent data, we project 90 percent of the Trimester 2 quota for witch flounder was caught by November 6.  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).