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Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Limited Access 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 implemented through 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 2018 Days-At-Sea (DAS) Allocations

The following table includes final fishing year 2018 open area DAS allocations for full-time and part-time vessels. 

Scallop Open Area DAS Allocations

Permit Category

2018 DAS

Full-Time

24.00

Part-Time

9.60

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 on page 2)
  • **NEW AREA** Nantucket Lightship Hatchet (see image on page 2)

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

Full-time Access Area Allocations: The table below provides the limited access full-time allocations for all of the access areas, which can be taken in as many trips as needed, so long as you do not exceed the possession limit on each trip.

Access Area Full-Time Limited Access Vessel Allocations and Trip Possession Limits

Rotational Access Area

Possession Limit

Total Allocation

Closed Area 1

 

 

18,000 lb per trip

18,000 lb

Nantucket Lightship-South

18,000 lb

 Nantucket Lightship-West

36,000 lb

 Mid-Atlantic

36,000 lb

Total

108,000 lb

Part-time Access Area Allocations: The table below provides the limited access part-time allocations for three of the access areas, which can be taken in as many trips as needed, so long as you do not exceed the possession limit on each trip. Part-time vessels did not receive allocation in NLS-S. 

Access Area Part-Time Limited Access Vessel Allocations and Trip Possession Limits

Rotational access area

possession limit

Total Allocation

Closed Area 1

 

14,400 lb per trip

14,400 lb

 Nantucket Lightship-West

14,400 lb

 Mid-Atlantic

14,400 lb

Total

43,200 lb

2017 Access Area Carryover

  • Beginning April 1, 2018, and through the first 60 days of the fishing year, limited access vessels may fish their remaining unharvested 2017 access area scallop allocation in any of the 2017 areas (i.e., Closed Area 2, Nantucket Lightship, MAAA). These trips must begin no later than May 30, 2018. After that date, any unused 2017 access area allocation expires. You are still subject to the 18,000 lb possession limit on all access area trips.
  • Vessels can fish both MAAA and Elephant Trunk Flex Access Area (ETFA) carryover in the MAAA.
    • If a vessel has ETFA carryover, this allocation will be deducted from declared MAAA trips. Vessels can fish in the entire 2018 MAAA and will no longer be restricted to ETFA.
  • For instance, if a vessel has 2,000 lb of 2017 MAAA allocation and 3,000 lb of 2017 ETFA allocation and they make a MAAA trip for 18,000 lb. The first 2,000 lb would come off of the 2017 MAAA, the next 3,000 lb would come off the 2017 ETFA allocation, and the remaining 13,000 lb would come off of 2018 MAAA allocation.
  • CA2 is available for carryover only (we will have a VMS code for CA2 carryover).
  • 2017 NLS carryover (2017 area) will be available for carryover (we will have a VMS code for NLS carryover). If a vessel has NLS carryover they can fish it in two ways:
  1. They can declare a NLS carryover trip and fish in the 2017 NLS area.
    • If vessels want to fish in the 2017 area, they must make a NLS Carryover declaration and they cannot exceed their 2017 allocation on that trip.
  2. They can declare a NLS-South (NLS-S) trip and we will deduct NLS carryover from their trip.
    • For example, if a vessel has 200 lb of 2017 allocation remaining, they may choose to fish it in NLS-S (which is part of the 2017 NLS area). If the vessel landed 8,000 lb from NLS-S, the first 200 lb would come off the 2017 NLS allocation. The remaining 7,800 lb would come off the NLS-S allocation, leaving them with 10,200 lb to take on another trip.

Unharvested CA1 Allocation from Fishing Years 2012 and 2013

CA1 will open to 2018 trips, including 2012 and 2013 carryover.  Framework 25 allowed unharvested pounds associated with fishing years 2012 and 2013 CA1 trips to be harvested by those vessels in CA1 when it reopens in the future. Using the dealer records and broken trip data, Framework 29 allocates this unharvested allocation to those permits in fishing year 2018. 

  • All amounts of outstanding limited access unharvested CA1 allocation will be made available in addition to fishing year 2018 allocations to that access area.
    • For example, if a full-time limited access vessel has 2,000 lb of unharvested 2012/2013 CA1 allocation, and the CA1 trip limit is 18,000 lbs, the vessel will be allocated 20,000 lb in CA1 in fishing year 2018.
  • Vessels must still abide by the 18,000-lb possession limit. Therefore, the vessel in the example above would have to harvest its allocation in multiple trips (e.g., two 10,000-lb trips). Unharvested 2012/2013 CA1 allocation may only be harvested from CA1.
    • These allocations will not be eligible to carry over into future years (i.e., available only for fishing year 2018, plus the first 60 days of fishing year 2019).
  • Once this allocation is added to your vessel’s total CA1 account it will be treated like 2018 CA1 allocation.
    • No special declaration is needed to harvest carryover allocation.
      • Vessels should declare a CA1 trip.
    • Standard allocation exchange rules will apply.
      • One-for-one exchanges can be made in 18,000-lb increments.

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). 

                                   Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area

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

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.

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).

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.

Observer Set-Aside Compensation

The access area compensation rate for limited access vessels is 225 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 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. 

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.

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 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 here.

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;
  • 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; 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 lb 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 lb 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 lb of all species combined.
  • Yellowtail flounder - PROHIBITED.

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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.