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Northeast Multispecies Common Pool Vessels; Possession and Trip Limit Decrease for Georges Bank Cod

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

Effective Date: September 28, 2017, through April 30, 2018

Effective at 1615 hours on September 28, 2017, the possession and trip limits for Georges Bank (GB) cod is decreased for all common pool vessels to 25 pounds per day, and up to 50 pounds per trip for the remainder of the 2017 fishing year.

Recent catch data reported through September 19, 2017, indicates that the common pool fishery has already caught 2.4 metric tons, or 65.7 percent, of the Trimester 2 GB cod Total Allowable Catch (TAC) since the second trimester began on September 1, 2017. The current GB cod possession and trip limit for GB cod is 250 pounds per DAS, and up to 500 pounds per trip.

Under these possession limits, the common pool fishery caught its Trimester 1 TAC and triggered an area closure for GB cod on July 27, 2017. We project that, at its current trajectory, the common pool will catch its Trimester 2 TAC well before the end of the second trimester, and is also at risk of exceeding its annual 2017 quota.

An adjustment decreasing the common pool possession and trip limits is necessary to prevent the common pool from exceeding its GB cod allocation for fishing year 2017.

Table 1.  New Possession and Trip Limits for GB Cod

 Permit Type

Current Possession / Trip Limits

 New Possession/Trip Limits

Days-At-Sea (A DAS)

250 lb (113.4  kg) per DAS, up to 500 lb (226.8  kg) per trip

25 lb (11.3  kg) per DAS, up to 50 lb (22.6 kg) per trip


Handgear A


250 lb (113.4  kg) per trip


25 lb (11.3  kg) per trip


Handgear B


25 lb (11.3  kg) per trip



Small Vessel Category

25 lb (11.3  kg) per trip, within combined 300 lb (136.1 kg) trip limit  for cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder



If you have declared your trip through the vessel monitoring system (VMS) or interactive voice response system, and crossed the VMS demarcation line prior to 1615 hours on September 28, 2017, you are not subject to the new trip limits  for that trip.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this action being taken?

We are adjusting the possession and trip limits to help prevent an overage of the common pool’s annual quota allocation for GB cod.

How much of the quota has been caught?

As of September 19, 2017, 65.7 percent of the Trimester 2 GB cod TAC has been caught.

Quota monitoring reports are updated and posted on our website.

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.