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Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Limited Access General Category (Lagc) Scallop Vessels; Updated Allocations for the Remainder of the 2018 Fishing Year and Other New Measures

Contact:
Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281 –9315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 18, 2018

Effective Date:  April 19, 2018

The following information describes new measures implementing Framework 29 and a summary of how they may affect your fishing plans and activities for the remainder of the 2018 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 here.

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 here.

Updated Fishing Year 2018 Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Allocations: The table below includes the LAGC fleet IFQ allocations effective April 19, 2018, through the remainder of fishing year 2018 (through March 31, 2019). We will send you a separate letter that specifies your vessel’s updated 2018 IFQ, which we set based on the following allocations.

        LAGC Fleet Allocations

LAGC IFQ only

1,273 mt (2,806,485 lb)

LAGC IFQ with limited access scallop permit

 

127 mt (279,987 lb)

IFQ Overage Payback (accountability measure): Please remember that you are prohibited from exceeding your IFQ allocation at any time during the fishing year. If you have exceeded your IFQ, you can balance an overage through temporary IFQ leases and/or permanent allocation transfers, and must do so prior to any additional fishing activity. However, even if you balance an IFQ overage, it does not negate any potential violation related to exceeding your IFQ. If you exceed your yearly IFQ allocation we will deduct any unresolved overages that remain at the end of the fishing year from the following year’s IFQ allocation on a pound-for-pound basis.

2018 Access Area Closures

The following areas are closed for scallop fishing year 2018 (see attached map and coordinates):

  • Closed Area 2 (CA2)
    • PROHIBITON: Vessels are prohibited from transiting CA2 when on a declared scallop trip.
  • **NEW AREA** Nantucket Lightship North (see image below)
  • **NEW AREA** Nantucket Lightship Hatchet (see image below)

Fishing Year 2018 Access Area Allocations

  • Framework 29 allocates effort into four rotational access areas. All of the available access areas for fishing year 2018 have new boundaries (see below for details and see the attached map for coordinates).
  • There are no seasonal closures in any of the available access areas in 2018.

New boundaries for the four rotational access areas:

  • Nantucket Lightship-South (NLS-S)
  • Nantucket Lightship-West (NLS-W)
    • This area contains new areas that became available to scallop fishing through the Omnibus Habitat Amendment
  • Mid-Atlantic Access Area (MAAA)
    • The MAAA no longer contains the Delmarva Access Area. The Delmarva Access Area has reverted back to open area.
  • Closed Area 1 (CA1)
    • This area contains new areas that became available to scallop fishing through the Omnibus Habitat Amendment

Fishing Year 2018 LAGC IFQ Trip Allocations for Scallop Access Areas

Access Area

Number of trips

CA1

571

NLS-S

571

NLS-W

1,142

MAAA

1,142

Total

 3,426

LAGC Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) Management Area Scallop Possession Limit and Total Allowable Catch (TAC): 

Vessels issued an LAGC NGOM scallop permit and IFQ vessels fishing in the NGOM are restricted to 200 lb shucked or 25 U.S. bu in-shell scallops per trip. On April 1, 2018, NMFS implemented the portion of Framework 29 that allocated 135,000 lb to the LAGC IFQ/NGOM fleet for fishing year 2018.

**REMINDER** For IFQ vessels, all scallop harvest counts against your IFQ, regardless of where it is caught, including state waters and the NGOM.

LAGC Incidental Scallop Target TAC:

The incidental scallop target TAC for fishing year 2018 is 50,000 lb. Vessels issued an LAGC Incidental Catch scallop permit may only land up to 40 lb shucked or 5 U.S. bu of in-shell scallops per trip.

Changes to Flatfish Accountability Measures

Framework 29 adjusts the scallop fleet’s accountability measures for two different flatfish stocks (Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic (SNE/MA) yellowtail flounder and Georges Bank yellowtail flounder) and develops an accountability measure for northern windowpane flounder. This action changes the existing Georges Bank yellowtail flounder and the SNE/MA yellowtail flounder accountability measures from closed areas to gear restricted areas, and it develops a gear restricted area accountability measure for northern windowpane flounder.

Accountability Measure Areas: For SNE/MA yellowtail flounder this action adopts the same gear restricted area that is already in place for southern windowpane flounder, i.e., the area west of 71° W. Long., and creates the Mid-Atlantic Accountability Measure Area.  For Georges Bank yellowtail flounder and northern windowpane flounder this action creates the Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area (see attachment for coordinates). 

Accountability Measure Gear: When the fleet is subject to any of the flatfish accountability measures in a gear restricted area, vessels will be required to fish with scallop dredge gear that conforms to the restrictions already in place for the southern windowpane flounder accountability measure (see diagram below):

(1) No more than 5 rows of rings in the apron of the dredge;

(2) A maximum hanging ratio of 1.5 meshes per 1 ring overall; and

(3) A prohibition on the use of trawl gear.

Dredge gear configuration required in an accountability measure area if an accountability measure is in place.

Accountability Measure Duration: For Georges Bank yellowtail and northern windowpane flounder, the requirement to use this gear in the Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area would remain in effect for the period of time based on the corresponding percent overage of the respective sub-annual catch limit (ACL), as follows:

Georges Bank Yellowtail and Northern Windowpane Flounder Accountability Measure Duration

Percent overage of sub-ACL

Duration of Gear Restriction

20 or less

November 15 through December 31

Greater than 20

April through March (year round)

For SNE/MA yellowtail flounder the requirement to use this gear in the Mid-Atlantic Accountability Measure Area would remain in effect for the period of time based on the corresponding percent overage of the SNE/MA yellowtail flounder sub-ACL, as follows:

SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder Accountability Measure Duration

Percent overage of sub-ACL

Duration of Gear Restriction

20 or less

April

Greater than 20

April through May

Fishing Year 2018 Groundfish ACL in the Scallop Fishery:

Stock

Scallop sub-ACL

Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder

33.1 mt (72,973 lb)

SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder

4 mt (8,818 lb)

Northern Windowpane Flounder

18 mt (36,683 lb)

Southern Windowpane Flounder

158 mt (348,330 lb)

These limits are for both the LAGC fleet and limited access fleet combined. For more information about yellowtail flounder and windowpane flounder catch limits in the scallop fishery, go to our website

Important LAGC Program Reminders

Observer Set-Aside Compensation:  LAGC IFQ vessel owners must call in weekly to the NMFS’s Northeast Fisheries Observer Program (see attachment for call-in instructions) to report scallop IFQ trips you expect to take during the week. Vessel operators must call by Thursday if they expect to make any open area (or access area) trips from Sunday through Saturday of the following week. Observer service providers should charge dock-to-dock, where a “day” is considered a 24-hr period and portions of other days should be pro-rated at an hourly charge.

If NMFS selects your IFQ vessel for an open area or access area observed trip, you will receive observer compensation credit of 225 lb per trip if the observer set-aside has not been fully harvested. You can fish those additional pounds on the observed IFQ trip above the regular possession limit or on a subsequent trip that fishing year (but you must harvest these pounds within the current possession limit if you fish them on a future trip).

NMFS monitors the compensation rates and the observer set-aside use closely throughout the year. If information suggests that a different rate is necessary to account for unexpected fishery conditions, NMFS will change the compensation rate as appropriate.

Industry Funded Call-in System: The Industry Funded Call-in System will be temporarily unable to be updated for the additional scallop access areas opening with the implementation of Scallop Framework 29. These areas are CA1, NLS-W, and NLS-S. In order for the scallop industry to properly notify for these trips please refer to the Temporary Scallop Call-In Guide, (See attachment or go here).

If a vessel is trying to notify for the newly opened areas, (CA1, NLS-W, or NLS-S) select option “5” for Georges Bank Open Area for the Area Fished. When prompted to record your name please state your first and last name followed by the new access area to be fished. For example: “John Doe, Closed Area I”. 

We expect the Scallop Call-In System to be updated in mid-May 2018. We apologize for the inconvenience. If you have any questions please contact Chad Keith (508) 495-2067, Lacey Bluemel (508) 495-2188 or Tyler Staples (508) 495-2129.  The Scallop Vessel Call-In Coordinator after hours phone is also available at (508) 560-3550.

LAGC Calendar Day Landing Restriction:  LAGC vessels may not land scallops more than once per calendar day. For example, an LAGC vessel that lands scallops on Monday may depart on a second trip on the same day it landed scallops (Monday), but cannot land scallops again until Tuesday or later.

Scallop Pre-Landing Notification:  LAGC IFQ and NGOM vessels must send a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Scallop Pre-Landing Notification form at least 6 hours before arrival on the way back to port, or immediately after fishing ends if less than 6 hours before arrival.  In addition, you must submit this form on trips that are not declared as scallop trips, but on which scallops are kept incidentally.  

Forms must include the:

  • Operator’s permit number;
  • Vessel trip report (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;
  • Port city and state at which the scallops will be landed; and
  • Whether any scallops were caught in the NGOM.

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 days-at-sea 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.

Shell Stock Restrictions:

  • Vessels fishing in the Georges Bank paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) closure area may not retain in-shell
  • Vessels may possess no more than 75 bu of in-shell scallops shoreward of the VMS demarcation
  • A vessel declared into the Sea Scallop Area Access Program may not possess more than

75 bu of in-shell scallops outside of the access area.

  • Vessels issued an LAGC NGOM scallop permit and IFQ vessels fishing in the NGOM may possess no more than 25 bu in-shell scallops shoreward of the VMS demarcation line.

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Access Areas for Fishing Year 2018

Closed Area I

Point

Latitude

Longitude

CAIA1

41°30’ N

68°30’ W

CAIA2

40°58’ N

68°30’ W

CAIA3

40°54.95’ N

68°53.37’ W

CAIA4

41°04’ N

69°01’ W

CAIA5

41°30’ N

69°23’ W

CAIA1

41°30’ N

68°30’ W

 Nantucket Lightship-South

Point

Latitude

Longitude

NLSS1

40°20’ N

69°30’ W

NLSS2

40°33’ N

69°30’ W

NLSS3

40°33’ N

69°00’ W

NLSS4

40°20’ N

69°00’ W

NLSS1

40°20’ N

69°30’ W

 Nantucket Lightship-West

Point

Latitude

Longitude

NLSW1

40°20’ N

70°00’ W

NLSW2

40°43.44’ N

70°00’ W

NLSW3

40°43.44’ N

69°30’ W

NLSW4

40°20’ N

69°30’ W

NLSW1

40°20’ N

70°00’ W

Mid-Atlantic Access Area

Point

Latitude

Longitude

MAAA1

39°30’ N

73°10’ W

MAAA2

39°30’ N

72°30’ W

MAAA3

38°30’ N

73°30’ W

MAAA4

38°10’ N

73°30’ W

MAAA5

38°10’ N

74°20’ W

MAAA6

38°50’ N

74°20’ W

MAAA7

38°50’ N

73°42’ W

MAAA1

39°30’ N

73°10’ W

Closed Areas for Fishing Year 2018

Nantucket Lightship North

Point

Latitude

Longitude

NLSN1

40°50’ N

69°30’ W

NLSH2

40°50’ N

69°00’ W

NLSN3

40°33’ N

69°00’ W

NLSN4

40° 33’ N

69°30’ W

NLSN1

40°50’ N

69°30’ W

 Nantucket Lightship Hatchet

Point

Latitude

Longitude

NLSH1

40° 50’ N

69° 30’ W

NLSH2

40° 43.44’ N

69° 30’ W

NLSH3

40° 43.44’ N

70° 00’ W

NLSH4

40° 20’ N

70° 00’ W

NLSH5

40° 20’ N

70° 20’ W

NLSH6

40° 50’ N

70° 20’ W

NLSH1

40 50’ N

69 30’ W

Accountability Measure Areas

Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area

Point

Latitude

Longitude

Note

GBAM1

41°30’ N

67°20’ W

GBAM2

41°30’ N

(1)

(2)

GBAM3

40°30’ N

(3)

(2)

GBAM4

40°30’ N

67°20’ W

 

GBAM1

41°30’ N

67°20’ W

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

2From Point GBAM2 connected to Point GBAM3 along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

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

Mid-Atlantic Accountability Measure Area

All waters west of 71° W. Long.

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.