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

Contact:
Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281 –9315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 11, 2017

Georges Bank Cod Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area

Effective at 1615 hours on October 11, 2017, statistical areas 521, 522, 525, and 561 are closed for the remainder of Trimester 2, through December 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 2 Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for Georges Bank cod has been caught.  This area will reopen at the beginning of Trimester 3, at 0001 hours, January 1, 2018. 

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 October 11, 2017, you may complete your trip to retrieve that gear.

Effective October 11, 2017, all common pool vessels are prohibited from possessing GB cod.  This includes inshore and offshore Georges Bank as well as Southern New England:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the TAC area being closed?

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 October 3, we project that 123 percent of the Trimester 2 quota for GB cod has been caught.  See the latest quota monitoring reports.

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.  In fishing year 2016, the common pool exceeded its Georges Bank cod quota by 2.8 metric tons. As a result, we were required to reduce the 2017 common pool GB cod quota by the amount of the overage.