NMFS News Release





Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930




New Spiny Dogfish Regulations

Date: January 10, 2000

Dear Permit Holder:

This letter is to inform you of new regulations implementing the Spiny Dogfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). All of these requirements will become effective on February 10, 2000. Please read this letter carefully to determine how the new requirements may affect you.

ANNUAL SPINY DOGFISH COMMERCIAL QUOTA

A commercial quota is specified for the spiny dogfish fishery on an annual basis for a fishing year that extends May 1 - April 30. The annual commercial quota is allocated to two semi-annual periods: May 1-October 31 (57.9% of total) and November 1-April 30 (42.1% of total).

The commercial quota applies throughout the spiny dogfish management unit, in both state and federal waters. All spiny dogfish landed for sale in the states from Maine through Florida will be counted toward the commercial quota, regardless of where the spiny dogfish were harvested.

The initial commercial quota is implemented for the period November 1, 1999 - April 30, 2000 at a level of 9,286,935 pounds (4212.5 mt). The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will monitor the fishery to determine when the quota for a semi-annual quota period is reached. When NMFS projects that the quota will be attained, a notice will be published in the Federal Register and the industry will be notified of the date on which the the fishery will be closed. During a closure it is prohibited for any vessel issued a Federal commercial spiny dogfish permit to fish for, possess or land spiny dogfish. In addition, no one may purchase spiny dogfish from a vessel with a Federal spiny dogfish vessel permit during a closure.

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS



The owner or operator of a vessel issued a Federal commercial spiny dogfish permit must submit reports monthly for all fishing trips, regardless of harvest area, or species fished for or taken, using the Fishing Vessel Trip Reports supplied by the Northeast Region Fisheries Statistics Office. All fields on the form must be completed. A report of "no activity" is required if the vessel takes no fishing trips during any month.



Federally permitted dealers purchasing quota-managed species (including spiny dogfish) must submit the following information, and any other information required by the Regional Administrator, via the IVR system: Dealer permit number; dealer code; pounds purchased, by species; reporting week in which species were purchased; and state of landing for each species purchased. If no purchases of quota-managed species were made during the week, a report so stating must be submitted through the IVR system. The toll-free telephone number for the IVR system is 1-888-284-4904.



In addition to the Weekly IVR System Dealer Reports described above, Federally permitted dealers must submit a detailed report on forms supplied by the Northeast Region Fisheries Statistics Office. This report is to include all fish purchased from any vessel. Dealers must provide: dealer name and mailing address; dealer permit number; name and permit number or name and hull number (USCG documentation number or state registration number, whichever is applicable) of vessels from which fish are landed or received; trip identifier for trips from which fish are landed or received; dates of purchases; pounds by species for all species purchased (by market category, if applicable); price per pound by species (by market category, if applicable) or total value by species (by market category, if applicable); port landed; and any other information deemed necessary by the Regional Administrator. If no fish are purchased during a reporting month, a report so stating must be submitted.

SPINY DOGFISH VESSEL PERMITS

Any vessel that fishes for, possesses, or lands spiny dogfish harvested in or from Federal waters, except recreational vessels, must have a Federal commercial spiny dogfish vessel permit. The owner of a vessel issued a Federal spiny dogfish permit may only sell spiny dogfish to dealers issued a valid Federal dogfish dealer permit. On September 29, 1999, the NMFS sent a letter informing vessel owners how to apply for a Federal spiny dogfish vessel permit. If you did not receive this information and wish to apply for a spiny dogfish vessel permit, contact the Permit Office at 978-281-9370.

DEALER PERMITS

Anyone who purchases or receives spiny dogfish for a commercial purpose from the owner or operator of a vessel issued a Federal spiny dogfish permit (other than exclusively for transport on land) must be issued a Federal spiny dogfish dealer permit. Applications for Federal spiny dogfish dealer permits were sent on September 30, 1999. If you did not receive a Federal spiny dogfish dealer permit application and wish to apply for one, contact the Permit Office at 978-281-9370.

OPERATOR PERMITS

The current Northeast Region Operator Permit requirement is being extended to operators of vessels issued a Federal spiny dogfish permit. Any operator of a vessel issued a Federal commercial spiny dogfish vessel permit must be issued an operator permit and it must be carried on board. An application for an operator permit may be obtained by contacting the Permit Office at 978-281-9370.

5% SPINY DOGFISH FIN-TO-CARCASS RATIO

Vessels that land spiny dogfish must land fins in proportion to carcasses, with the weight of dogfish fins not to exceed 5 percent of the weight of dogfish carcasses. Fins may not be stored on board a vessel after a vessel lands spiny dogfish.

FRAMEWORK ADJUSTMENT PROCESS

Management measures for spiny dogfish may be revised or adjusted by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils (Councils) using a framework adjustment process. This procedure allows the Councils to change specific management measures using a streamlined public review process.

This letter is only a summary of the regulations. To read these regulations in their entirety you are encouraged to obtain a complete copy of the regulations by calling (978)281-9278, or by accessing the Northeast Regional Office's website at: http://www.wh.whoi.edu/ro/doc/nero.html

This notice is authorized by the Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service



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