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Northeast Multispecies Common Pool Vessels Closure of the Witch Flounder Trimester Total Allowable Catch Area

Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281 –9315
April 12, 2019

Effective Date: April 12, 2019, through April 30, 2019


Effective at 0845 hours on April 12, 2019, statistical areas 512, 513, 514, 515, 521, 522, and 525 are closed for the remainder of Trimester 3, through April 30, 2019. During this closure, common pool vessels fishing with trawl gear may not fish for, harvest, land, or possess regulated multispecies in or from this area.  The closure is required because 90 percent of the Trimester 3 Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for witch flounder is projected to have been caught.  This area will reopen at the beginning of fishing year 2019, at 0001 hours, May 1, 2019. 

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. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this action being taken?

We are required to close the Trimester TAC Area for a stock when 90 percent of the Trimester TAC is projected to be caught.

How much of the quota has been caught?

Based on data through March 29, 90 percent (4.05 mt) of the Trimester 3 quota

(4.5 mt) for witch flounder is projected to have been caught. Quota monitoring reports are available at:

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 2018 fishing year quota is exceeded, the amount of the overage will be deducted from the common pool’s quota for fishing year 2019.

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.

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