Get Email Updates
whitebox.jpg

Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery: Limited Access Scallop Vessels; Updated Allocations for the Remainder of the 2017 Fishing Year and Other New Measures

Contact:
Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281 –9315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 22, 2017

Effective Date: March 23, 2017 at  4:15 p.m

The following information describes new measures implemented through Framework 28 and a summary of how they may affect your fishing plans and activities for the remainder of the 2017 fishing year.  We have also included reminders of some current requirements.  Please read through each section carefully, and distribute this letter to your vessel operators.  This summary is not a substitute for the actual regulations, and we encourage you to review the full text of the regulations, available at http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov.

If you would like to learn more about these and other measures, or details about recent actions, we have posted additional information on our website at: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/species/scallop.

**NEW PROHIBITION**

All limited access vessels are now prohibited from possessing greater than 50 bushels of shell stock inshore of the Days-at-Sea (DAS) demarcation line fishery wide.

Framework 28 extends the existing prohibition on possessing greater than 50 bushels of shell stock inshore of the DAS demarcation line for limited access vessels to waters north of 42° 20’ N. lat. to prevent limited access vessels from shucking scallops off the DAS clock. 

REMINDER: The 2017 fishing year will be 13 months (March 1, 2017-March 31, 2018).  The 2018 fishing year will start on April 1, 2018.

Updated 2017 DAS Allocations

The following table includes final fishing year 2017 open area DAS allocations for full-time and part-time vessels. 

Scallop Open Area DAS Allocations

Permit Category

2017 DAS

Full-Time

30.41

Part-Time

12.16

2017 Access Area Closures

  • Closed Area I and the Closed Area II Extension Access Areas are closed for fishing year 2017. (see attached map and coordinates)
    • PROHIBITON: Vessels are prohibited from transiting the Closed Area II Extension Access Area when on a declared scallop trip.

Fishing Year 2017 Access Area Allocations

  • The Mid-Atlantic Access Area (MAAA), Nantucket Lightship Access Area (NLS), and Closed Area 2 Access Area (CA2) are open to scallop fishing in fishing year 2017. In addition, the Elephant Trunk Closed Area will open and be renamed the Elephant Trunk Flex Access Area (ETFA).  (see attached map and coordinates)
    • PROHIBITION: Vessels are prohibited from transiting the ETFA when on a declared DAS trip or trip to another access area.
  • The MAAA and NLS will be open for the remainder of the 2017 fishing year (i.e., there are no seasonal closures).
  • Seasonal Closures
    • CA2 will be closed from August 15 through November 15.
    • ETFA will be closed from July 1 through September 30.

 Table 1.  Scallop Access Area Full-Time Limited Access Vessel Poundage Allocations and Trip Possession Limits for 2017.

Rotational Access Area

Possession Limit

Seasonal Closure

2017 Allocation

CA2

18,000 lb

August 15 – November 15

18,000 lb

NLS

None

18,000 lb

MAAA

None

18,000 lb

ETFA

July 1 – September 30

18,000 lb *

Total

 

 

72,000 lb

* ETFA allocation can be landed from either the ETFA or the MAAA but a vessel may not fish in both areas on the same trip.

  • Full-time vessels are allocated 18,000 lb in each available access area (CA2, NLS, MAAA, and ETFA), which can be landed on as many or as few trips as needed, so long as you do not exceed the 18,000-lb possession limit on any one trip.
    • ETFA Allocation: Each full-time vessel will be allocated 18,000 lb of ETFA allocation (flex allocation). This flex allocation may be landed from either the ETFA or the MAAA.  For example, if a vessel lands 8,000 lb of scallops from the ETFA, it may land its remaining 10,000 lb of flex allocation from either the ETFA or the MAAA.
      • You may only fish in either the ETFA or the MAAA on a single trip. Once you declare into an access area, you must fish exclusively in that area for the remainder of your trip.
  • Part-time vessels are allocated a total of 28,800 lb with a trip possession limit of 14,400 lb per trip. Of the 28,800-lb allocation, 14,400 lb is allocated exclusively to the MAAA.  The remaining 14,400 lb may be harvested and landed either from the MAAA or any one other available access area (CA2, NLS, or ETFA). 
    • Once a part-time vessel chooses to fish in an access area, 14,400 lb will be allocated exclusively to that area. For example, if a vessel elects to fish in the NLS and only harvests 10,000 lb on its first trip, the vessel can only harvest the remaining 4,400 lb from the NLS.
    • ETFA Allocation: If a part-time vessel chooses to fish in the ETFA and does not harvest up to the full allocation on a trip, it is only allowed to land the remaining pounds either from the ETFA or the MAAA on a subsequent trip. For example, if a vessel lands 10,000 lb of scallops from the ETFA, it may only land its remaining 4,400 lb of allocation from either the ETFA or the MAAA.
      • You may only fish in either the ETFA or the MAAA on a single trip. Once you declare into an access area, you must fish exclusively in that area for the remainder of your trip.

One-for-One Access Area Allocation Exchanges

Vessels may exchange unharvested scallop pounds allocated into one access area for another vessel's unharvested scallop pounds allocated into another access area.  These exchanges may only be made for the amount of the current trip possession limit (full-time: 18,000-lb and part-time: 14,400 lb).  In addition, these exchanges may be made only between vessels with the same permit category: A full-time vessel may not exchange allocations with a part-time vessel, and vice versa.

In fishing year 2017, each limited access full-time vessel will be allocated 18,000 lb that may be landed from either the ETFA or the MAAA (flex allocation).  You may exchange flex allocation in full only for another access area allocation, but only the flex allocation can be landed from the ETFA. 

Example: Vessel A exchanges 18,000 lb of flex allocation for 18,000 lb of MAAA allocation with Vessel B, Vessel A would no longer be allowed to land allocation from the ETFA based on its MAAA allocation, but Vessel B could land up to 36,000 lb from the ETFA and/or the MAAA, combined.

Important Access Area Program Reminders

Crew Limits: Limited access vessels are restricted to eight individuals, including the captain.  Limited access vessels fishing in the small dredge program are limited to six individuals, including the captain.  Crew limits for vessels on open area DAS trips remain at seven individuals for both full-time and part-time vessels and five individuals for small dredge vessels.

Reporting Requirements for Access Area Trips:  You need to submit a scallop pre-landing notification form through your Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) unit prior to returning to port at the end of each access area trip, including trips where no scallops are landed (more details in the Reminders section below).

Declaration Instructions:  

  • To declare a ETFA trip, please use the Elephant Trunk SAA declaration (SES-SAA-ETSXXX).
    • We are currently in the process of updating our VMS software. The new software update will change the Elephant Trunk declaration to an Elephant Trunk Flex declaration.
  • To declare a MAAA trip, please use the Mid-Atlantic SAA declaration (SES-SAA-MASXXX).
    • NOTE: Do not declare a Hudson Canyon, Elephant Trunk, or Delmarva access area trip.

Automatic Access Area Carryover:  Your limited access vessel automatically carries over unharvested scallop access area allocation from one fishing year to another.  Access area carryover must still be harvested in the first 60 days of the subsequent fishing year and can only be harvested from an area if that area is open for scallop fishing.

This carryover will be effective for this fishing year (2017) into 2018.  All access areas will be open for carryover harvesting in 2018 from April 1, 2018, through May 30, 2018.

Access Area Allocation Monitoring:  Although vessel owners are ultimately responsible for tracking their own scallop access area landings and ensuring they do not exceed their annual allocations, NMFS will compile dealer-reported scallop landing records with access area trip declarations.  The information will be available on the web-based allocation monitoring tool, Fish-On-Line, which each vessel owner can access and review.  You can access Fish-On-Line here: https://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/apps/login/login

Observer Set-Aside Compensation

The access area compensation rate for limited access vessels is 200 pounds per day, in addition to the vessel’s possession limit for each day or part of a day an observer is on board.  The open area compensation rate for limited access vessels fishing under DAS is 0.12 DAS per DAS fished (the vessel is charged 0.88 DAS for each DAS fished with an observer onboard).  We monitor the compensation rates and the observer set-aside use in each area very closely throughout the year.  If information suggests that a different rate is necessary to account for unexpected fishery conditions, we will change the compensation rate as appropriate and necessary. 

Fishing Year 2017 Groundfish Annual Catch Limits (ACL) in the Scallop Fishery:

Stock

Scallop sub-ACL

Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder

32 mt (70,548 lb)

SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder

34 mt (74,957 lb)

Southern Windowpane Flounder

209 mt (460,766 lb)

Northern Windowpane Flounder

38 mt (83,776 lb)

 These limits apply to both the limited access and limited access general category fleets.  For more information about yellowtail flounder and windowpane flounder catch limits in the scallop fishery, go to http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/regs/info.html

Other Reminders

Shell Stock Restrictions:

  • Vessels may not possess more than 50 bu of in-shell scallops shoreward of the VMS demarcation line, unless fishing under the state waters exemption program.
  • A vessel declared into the Sea Scallop Access Area Program may not possess more than 50 bu of in-shell scallops outside of the access area.
  • Vessels fishing in the Georges Bank paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) closure area may not retain in-shell

Scallop Access Area Pre-Landing Notification:  You must send a VMS Scallop Pre-Landing Notification form on any access area trip at least 6 hours before arrival on the way back to port, or immediately after fishing ends if less than 6 hours before arrival.  Forms must include the:

  • Operator’s permit number;
  • VTR serial number recorded from that trip's VTR;
  • Estimated amount of scallop meats and/or bushels to be landed;
  • Estimated time and date of arrival in port; and
  • Port City and State at which the scallops will be

Daily Scallop Catch Reports:  Scallop catch reports are required to be submitted daily for vessels that fish for, possess, or retain scallops and not also fishing under a Northeast multispecies DAS or sector allocation.  These reports must be submitted in 24-hour intervals for each day of fishing that begins at 0000 hours and ends at 2400 hours.  The reports must be submitted before 9:00 a.m. local time each day for the previous day’s catch.  Each report must include the:

  • Operator’s permit number;
  • VTR serial number;
  • Date fish were caught;
  • Total pounds of scallop meets kept; and
  • Total pounds of all other fish kept.

Groundfish Possession Limits on Access Area Trips:  Unless otherwise prohibited, limited access scallop vessels, also issued a valid Northeast multispecies permit, that have declared into a trip and that are fishing within the Sea Scallop Access Areas, may possess and land, per trip, up to a maximum of 1,000 pounds of all groundfish combined.  Additionally, the restrictions for Atlantic cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder are as follows:

  • Atlantic cod - Vessels may possess up to 100 pounds of Atlantic cod per trip, provided such fish is for personal use only (you cannot sell, trade, or barter cod caught from access areas).
  • Haddock - Vessels may possess and land haddock up to the overall possession limit of all NE multispecies combined, except that vessels cannot possess or land haddock from January 1 through June 30.
  • Yellowtail flounder - PROHIBITED

Groundfish Possession Limits on Scallop DAS Trips:  Unless otherwise prohibited, limited access scallop vessels also issued a valid groundfish permit that have declared into the scallop DAS program may possess and land, per trip:

  • Groundfish - A maximum of 300 pounds of all species combined.
  • Yellowtail flounder - PROHIBITED.
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.

Industry-Funded Scallop Observer Program Call-In Guide

All scallop vessels must call (508) 495-2100 to notify the observer program of their intent to fish.

Limited Access (LA) Vessels MUST provide 72 hours’ notice before the intended sail date. Notice should be no more than 10 days prior to sail date. Date requests within the 72 hours’ notice window will not be granted.

LA General Category Vessels (LAGC) MUST notify by Thursday for the upcoming calendar week (Sunday through Saturday). Only one call per calendar week is required. Calls will not be back-dated if received after the calendar week has begun.

STEP I – Call the Automated IVR System at (508) 495-2100

  1. Press 1 to report a trip and follow the telephone message prompts.
  2. Gear type:
    • Press 1 for Scallop Dredge
    • Press 2 for Scallop Trawl
  1. Permit type: Press 1 for Limited Access
    • Press 2 for Limited Access General Category
  1. Fishing area:
    • Press 0 for Elephant Trunk Flex Access Area
    • Press 1 for Nantucket Lightship Access Area
    • Press 2 for Closed Area II Access Area
    • Press 4 for Mid Atlantic Open Area
    • Press 5 for Georges Bank Open Area
    • Press 9 for Mid Atlantic Access Area           

5. Phone Number: Enter your 10 digit phone number (DO NOT use ‘1’ before the area code)

  1. Permit number: Enter your 6 digit permit number
  2. Name: Please speak clearly, first and last name, then press # key
  3. Sailing Port: Please speak city and state you intend to sail from, then press # key
  4. Date of sailing: Please speak clearly the month, day, and year, then press # key
    *** Please note that 72 hours’  notice is REQUIRED for all sail dates

You will receive a confirmation number which MUST be retained.

A waiver or observer selection email from NMFS will be sent to your VMS unit within 24 hours.

***If you do not receive VMS notification within 24 hours, contact the Vessel Call-in Coordinator at (508) 495–2188

If you are issued a waiver, you may begin your trip.

If you receive an observer notice, please follow the instructions in Step II. 

STEP II – When selected to carry an observer

If selected for observer coverage you MUST provide at least 48 hours’ notice to the observer providers. 

You are required to call all three of the observer providers in an attempt to obtain coverage, but you may choose to hire any provider that is available.

Current Industry Funded Scallop Observer Providers

A.I.S. Inc. (774) 200-1688

East West Technical Services Inc. (860) 910-4957

Fathom Research LLC. (508) 990 - 0997

Please call the Vessel Call-in Coordinator at (508) 495-2188 or (508) 560-3550 (after-hours cell) if: there are no observers available from any of the providers and you would like to request a waiver, or if you are cancelling or delaying your trip more than 48 hours beyond the intended sail date.

This summary is not a substitute for the actual regulations. The full text of the regulations is available at http://www.nero.noaa.gov or call the Northeast Regional Office at (978) 281-9315.
OMB Control No: 0648-0593, Expires:  October 31, 2018.  Notwithstanding any provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number
Northeast Fisheries Observer Program, March 21, 2017

Appendix B: Scallop Area Coordinates

Closed Areas

Closed Area 1 Closed Area

Point

Latitude

Longitude

Note

CAIA1

41°26′ N.

68°30′ W.

CAIA2

40°58′ N.

68°30′ W.

CAIA3

40°54.95′ N.

68°53.37′ W.

(1)

CAIA4

41°04′ N.

69°01′ W.

(1)

CAIA1

41°26′ N.

68°30′ W.

1From Point CAIA3 to Point CAIA4 along the western boundary of Closed Area I, defined in § 648.81(a)(1).

Closed Area 2 Extension Closed Area

Point

Latitude

Longitude

Note

CAIIE1

40°30'N

67°20′ W.

 

CAIIE2

41°00′ N.

67°20′ W.

 

CAIIE3

41°00′ N.

66°35.8′ W.

 

CAIIE4

41°18.45′ N.

(1)

(2)

CAIIE5

40°30′ N.

(3)

(2)

CAIIE1

40°30'N

67°20′ W.

 

1The intersection of  41°18.45′ N. lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately  41°18.45′ N. lat. and 66°24.89′ W. long.

2From Point CAIIE4 to Point CAIIE5 following the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

3The intersection of 40°30′ N. lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately, 65°44.34'W. long.

Scallop Access Areas

Closed Area 2 Access Area

Point

Latitude

Longitude

Note

CAIIA1

41°00′ N.

67°20′ W.

CAIIA2

41°00′ N.

66°35.8′ W.

CAIIA3

41°18.45' N.

(1)

(2)

CAIIA4

41°30′ N.

(3)

(2)

CAIIA5

41°30′ N.

67°20′ W.

CAIIA1

41°00′ N.

67°20′ W.

1The intersection of 41°18.45' N. lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41°18.45' N. lat. and 66°24.89' W. long.

2From Point CAIIA3 connected to Point CAIIA4 along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

3The intersection of 41°30′ N. lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41°30′ N. lat., 66°34.73′ W. long.

Nantucket Lightship Access Area

Point

Latitude

Longitude

NLAA1

40°50′ N.

69°30′ W.

NLAA2

40°50′ N.

69°00′ W.

NLAA3

40°33’ N.

69°00’ W

NLAA4

40°33’ N.

68°48’ W

NLAA5

40°20’ N.

68°48’ W

NLAA6

40°20′ N.

69°30′ W.

NLAA1

40°50′ N.

69°30′ W.

Elephant Trunk Flex Access Area

Point

Latitude

Longitude

ETCA 1

38°50’ N.

74°20’ W.

ETCA 2

38°50’ N.

73°40’ W.

ETCA 3

38°40’ N.

73°40’ W.

ETCA 4

38°40’ N.

73°50’ W.

ETCA 5

38°30’ N.

73°50’ W.

ETCA 6

38°30’ N.

74°20’ W.

ETCA 1

38°50’ N.

74°20’ W.

The Mid-Atlantic Access Area is the combination of these three areas:

Delmarva Scallop Rotational Area

Point

Latitude

Longitude

DMV1

38°10′ N.

74°50′ W.

DMV2

38°10′ N.

74°00′ W.

DMV3

37°15′ N.

74°00′ W.

DMV4

37°15′ N.

74°50′ W.

DMV1

38°10′ N.

74°50′ W.

Hudson Canyon Scallop Rotational Area

Point

Latitude

Longitude

H1

39°30′ N.

73°10′ W.

H2

39°30′ N.

72°30′ W.

H3

38°30′ N.

73°30′ W.

H4

38°50′ N.

73°30′ W.

H5

38°50′ N.

73°42′ W.

H1

39°30′ N.

73°10′ W.

Elephant Trunk Scallop Rotational Area

Point

Latitude

Longitude

ETAA1

38°30’ N.

74°20’ W.

ETAA2

38°30’ N.

73°50’ W.

ETAA3

38°40’ N.

73°50’ W.

ETAA4

38°40′ N.

73°40′ W.

ETAA5

38°50′ N.

73°40′ W.

ETAA6

38°50′ N.

73°30′ W.

ETAA7

38°10′ N.

73°30′ W.

ETAA8

38°10′ N.

74°20′ W.

ETAA1

38°30′ N.

74°20′ W.

Atlantic Sea Scallop Managed Waters Map; Fishing Year 2017

Click Image for Larger View