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Northeast Multispecies (Groundfish) Fishing Year 2017 Regulations

Contact:
Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281 –9315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 31, 2017

Effective Date: August 31, 2017

We approved Framework Adjustment 56 to the groundfish plan and are announcing final fishing year 2017 management measures for the groundfish fishery.  Detailed information can be found at:  http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/species/multispecies/.

Framework Adjustment 56

Fishing Year 2017 Catch Limits 

This action increases the 2017 catch limit for Eastern Georges Bank (GB) cod (+6%), Eastern GB haddock (+94%), and witch flounder (+91%), but decreases the catch limit for GB yellowtail flounder (-23 percent).  The 2017 catch limits are provided in Tables 1 and 2.

Allocation of Northern Windowpane Flounder to the Scallop Fishery

This action allocates northern windowpane flounder to the scallop fishery.  The scallop fishery allocation is 21 percent of the overall quota for northern windowpane flounder.  Any overage of the 2017 scallop fishery allocation will be subject to an accountability measure (AM) in a future year.

Increase to Georges Bank Haddock Allocation for the Midwater Trawl Fishery

This action increases the GB haddock allocation for the Atlantic herring midwater trawl fishery from 1 percent of the overall quota to 1.5 percent. 

Common Pool Measures and Trip Limits

This action increases the trip limit for witch flounder and decreases the trip limit for American plaice (Table 3).  All other trip limits implemented on May 1, 2017, remain the same.  The 2017 common pool catch limits for each trimester are included in Table 4.

Windowpane Flounder Accountability Measure

Effective August 1, 2017, through August 31, 2017, all trawl vessels on a groundfish trip must use selective trawl gear (Haddock separator trawl, rope separator trawl, or Ruhle trawl) when fishing in the large AM areas for northern and southern windowpane flounder.  There are no restrictions on common pool or sector vessels fishing with hook or gillnet gear. 

Fishing year 2015 catch exceeded the total quota for northern and southern windowpane flounder.  Due to these overages, we must implement the large AM areas for both stocks.  However, because 2016 catch of northern and southern windowpane flounder did not exceed the overall quota, the gear-restricted areas will only be required for 1 month in 2017.  On September 1, 2017, groundfish vessels may fish in the AM areas without selective gear.

More information on windowpane flounder AMs can be found here:  http://www.nero.noaa.gov/regs/infodocs/windowpaneaminfosheet.pdf.

Table 1.  Fishing Year 2017 Catch Limits (mt, live weight)

Stock

Total Annual Catch Limit

Total

Groundfish

Fishery

Sector

Common Pool

Recreational Fishery

Midwater Trawl Fishery

Scallop Fishery

Small-Mesh Fisheries

State Waters
sub-component

Other
sub-component

GB Cod

637

531

521

10

 

 

 

 

20

86

GOM Cod

473

437

271

9

157

 

 

 

27

10

GB Haddock

54,568

52,620

52,253

367

 

801

 

 

574

574

GOM Haddock

4,285

4,177

2,985

33

1,160

42

 

 

33

33

GB Yellowtail Flounder

201

163

160

2

 

 

32

4

0

2.1

SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder

256

187

151

36

 

 

34

 

5

29

CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder

409

341

326

15

 

 

 

 

43

26

American Plaice

1,272

1,218

1,196

23

 

 

 

 

27

27

Witch Flounder

839

734

718

16

 

 

 

 

35

70

GB Winter Flounder

683

620

615

5

 

 

 

 

0

63

GOM Winter Flounder

776

639

607

32

 

 

 

 

122

16

SNE/MA Winter Flounder

749

585

515

70

 

 

 

 

70

94

Redfish

10,514

10,183

10,126

56

 

 

 

 

111

221

White Hake

3,467

3,358

3,331

27

 

 

 

 

36

73

Pollock

20,374

17,817

17,704

113

 

 

 

 

1,279

1,279

N. Windowpane Flounder

170

129

na

129

 

 

36

 

2

4

S. Windowpane Flounder

599

104

na

104

 

 

209

 

37

249

Ocean Pout

155

130

na

130

 

 

 

 

2

23

Atlantic Halibut

119

91

na

91

 

 

 

 

25

4

Atlantic Wolffish

77

72

na

72

 

 

 

 

1

3


Table 2.  2017 Fishing Year U.S./Canada Quotas (mt, live weight) and Percent of Quota Allocated to Each Country

Quota

Eastern GB Cod

Eastern GB Haddock

GB Yellowtail Flounder

Total Shared Quota

730

50,000

300

U.S. Quota

146 (20%)

29,500 (59%)

207 (69%)

Canada Quota

584 (80%)

20,500 (41%)

93 (31%)

Table 3Fishing Year 2017 Common Pool Trip Limits for Witch Flounder and American Plaice

Stock

2017 Trip Limit

American plaice

500 lb per trip

Witch Flounder

400 lb per trip

Table 4.  Fishing Year 2017 Trimester Total Allowable Catches (mt)*

Stock

2017

Trimester 1

(May 1 – Aug 31)

Trimester 2

(Sep 1 – Dec 31)

Trimester 3

(Jan 1 – Apr 30)

GB Cod

2.5

3.6

3.7

GOM Cod

2.5

3.3

3.4

GB Haddock

99.0

120.9

146.6

GOM Haddock

8.8

8.5

15.4

GB Yellowtail Flounder

0.5

0.7

1.3

SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder

7.6

13.4

15.2

CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder

5.2

5.2

4.5

American Plaice

5.5

8.2

9.1

Witch Flounder

4.4

5.1

6.9

GB Winter Flounder

0.4

1.2

3.5

GOM Winter Flounder

11.7

12.0

7.9

Redfish

14.0

17.4

24.7

White Hake

10.2

8.3

8.3

Pollock

31.6

39.5

41.8

* SNE Winter Flounder is not managed under a trimester quota

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.