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Atlantic Sea Scallop Vessels: Southern Windowpane Accountability Measure Effective in February West of 71° W. Long.

Contact:
Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281 –9315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 19, 2018

Effective Date: February 1, 2018, through February 28, 2018

**ATTENTION**

You are required to comply with the gear restrictions described below for the month of February 2018.  In fishing year 2015, the scallop fleet exceeded its sub-annual catch limit (ACL) for Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic (SNE/MA) windowpane flounder by 15.1%.  

Because the scallop fleet exceeded its windowpane flounder sub-ACL in fishing year 2015, the area west of 71° W. Long., excluding Mid-Atlantic Access Area, will become a SNE/MA windowpane flounder gear restricted area in February of 2018.  Dredge gear must meet the description below in the gear restricted area.  In addition, vessels may not fish for scallops with trawl gear in the gear restricted area when the accountability measure is in effect.

Gear Restriction

When a vessel is subject to this gear restricted area, the vessel will be required to fish with dredges as follows:

  • The maximum number of rows of rings in the apron of the topside does not exceed five rows; and
  • The maximum hanging ratio for a net on the top of a scallop dredge (twine top) does not exceed 1.5:1 overall.
Diagram of the required gear

Dredge gear configuration required west of 71° W. Long. In February 2018. (Credit: Coonamessett Farm Foundation)

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.