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Northeast Multispecies (Groundfish) - Fishing Year 2017 Recreational Regulations

Contact:
Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281 –9315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 27, 2017

Effective Date: July 27, 2017

We have approved new management measures for the remainder of the 2017 fishing year for the Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod and haddock recreational fishery.  These changes take effect on July 27, 2017. 

Gulf of Maine Cod Possession Prohibition

This action reinstates the prohibition on recreational possession of GOM cod.  In 2016, recreational catch was greater than predicted, and the cod recreational harvest limit was exceeded by 92 percent. Haddock catch exceeded the harvest limit by 15 percent.

New Recreational Measures for Fishing Year 2017

After consulting with the Council, we are implementing a prohibition on recreational possession of GOM cod. 
Additionally, we are reducing the bag limit, for GOM haddock, from 15 fish to 12 fish.  In addition to the existing spring closure (March 1 – April 14), a fall closure is being implemented from September 17 through October 31. The minimum size for GOM haddock is unchanged.  Recreational measures for cod and haddock outside the GOM Regulated Mesh Area remain unchanged.

Fishing Year 2017 Recreational Fishing Measures for GOM cod and haddock

Year

GOM Haddock

GOM Cod

Bag

Size

Open

Bag

Size

Open

Limit

Limit

Season

Limit

Limit

Season

2017

12

17 inches

May 1 – September 16

November 1 – February 28

and April 15 – April 30

 

 

Recreational GOM Cod Possession Prohibited

 

Bag limits are per person per day and size limits are minimum total length.

Additional information on the fishing year 2017 recreational measures can be found at: the Recreational Fisheries Regulations webpage

Whaleback Cod Spawning Protection Area

Recreational vessels remain subject to the Whaleback Cod Spawning Protection Area.

Whaleback Cod Spawning Protection Area

Gear Restrictions

From April 1 through June 30 of each year, all recreational vessels, including private recreational and charter/party vessels, may only use pelagic hook-and-line gear, as defined below, when fishing in the GOM Cod Spawning Protection Area.

Point

N. Latitude

W. Longitude

CSPA1

42° 50.95’

70° 32.22’

CSPA2

42° 47.65’

70° 35.64’

CSPA3

42° 54.91’

70° 41.88’

CSPA4

42° 58.27’

70° 38.64’

Pelagic hook-and-line gear is defined as handline or rod and reel gear that is designed to fish for, or that is being used to fish for, pelagic species.  No portion of this gear may be operated in contact with the bottom at any time.

Possession Restrictions

Any vessel fishing in the GOM Cod Spawning Protection Area, including pelagic hook-and-line gear by recreational vessels, is prohibited from possessing or retaining regulated species or ocean pout from April 1 through June 30 of each year. 

Transiting

Recreational and commercial vessels are allowed to transit the GOM Cod Spawning Protection Area, provided all gear is stowed in accordance with the regulations.

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.