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Northeast Multispecies Common Pool Vessels - Closure of the Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area for Georges Bank Cod

Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281 –9315
July 28, 2017

Effective Date: July 28, 2017, through August 31, 2017

Effective at 0845 hours on July 28, 2017, statistical areas 521, 522, 525, and 561 are closed for the remainder of Trimester 1, through August 31, 2017, to all common pool vessels fishing on a groundfish trip with trawl, sink gillnet, or longline/hook gear, including handgear vessels.  This closure is required because 90 percent of the Trimester 1 Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for Georges Bank cod has been caught.  This area will reopen at the beginning of Trimester 2, at 0001 hours, September 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 closed areas.  If you have set gillnet gear prior to July 28, 2017, you may complete your trip to retrieve that gear.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this action being taken?

To avoid quota overages we are required to close the Trimester TAC Area for a stock when 90 percent of the Trimester TAC is caught.

How much of the quota has been caught?

As of July 27, it is projected that 90 percent of the quota for GB cod has been caught.  Quota monitoring reports are updated on the internet at:

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 annual quota may be carried over to the following fishing year.

What happens if the annual quota is exceeded?

If the 2017 fishing year quota is exceeded, the amount of the overage will be deducted from the common pool’s quota for fishing year 2018.

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.