NMFS News Release





Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930




Spiny Dogfish FMP Now in Effect

Date: April 13, 2000

Dear Permit Holder:

This letter is to inform you of recent developments regarding implementation of the Spiny Dogfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The FMP was originally scheduled to become effective on February 11, 2000. The effective date was then delayed, through a series of actions, until April 3, 2000. As a result, the Spiny Dogfish FMP is currently in effect.

All permit holders received a description of the spiny dogfish regulations in January, 2000. For your convenience, the principal management measures are summarized again in this letter. In addition, the regulations and specifications for the 2000 fishing year, which begins on May 1, 2000, are provided below. Please read this letter carefully to determine how the new requirements may affect you.

FISHING YEAR 2000 SPINY DOGFISH COMMERCIAL QUOTA AND TRIP LIMIT

The Spiny Dogfish FMP requires the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils (Councils) to annually recommend a commercial quota and, possibly, other measures, to assure that the fishing mortality rate specified in the FMP will not be exceeded. The commercial quota is to be specified on an annual basis for the fishing year that extends from May 1 - April 30. The quota is then allocated to two semi-annual periods: May 1-October 31 (57.9% of total) and November 1-April 30 (42.1% of total).

The Councils originally submitted two different quota and trip limit alternatives for the 2000 fishing year. After a review of the two alternatives, NOAA Fisheries will implement management measures, beginning on May 1, 2000, which specify an annual quota of 4,500,000 lbs. (2041 mt), of which 4,000,000 lbs. (1814 mt) will be allocated to the commercial fishery, and 500,000 lbs. (228 mt) will be set aside for spiny dogfish research projects, including an experimental fishery to minimize bycatch and reduce harvests of mature female dogfish. The quota allocations and trip limits for the two semi-annual periods in fishing year 2000 are as follows:

5/1/00 - 10/31/00 11/1/00 - 4/30/01
Quota Allocation 2,316,000 lbs.

(1050 mt)

1,684,000 lbs.

(764 mt)

Trip Limit 600 lbs. 300 lbs.

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 towards the commercial quota, regardless of where the spiny dogfish are harvested.

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 industry will be notified of the date on which the dogfish 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 fishery closure period.

5% SPINY DOGFISH FIN-TO-CARCASS RATIO (EFFECTIVE APRIL 3, 2000)

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.

SPINY DOGFISH VESSEL PERMITS (EFFECTIVE APRIL 3, 2000)

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 Federal spiny dogfish vessel permit, contact the Permit Office at 978-281-9370.

DEALER PERMITS (EFFECTIVE APRIL 3, 2000)

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.

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS (EFFECTIVE APRIL 3, 2000)

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.

This letter is only a summary of the regulations. To read these regulations in their entirety you may obtain a complete copy of the regulations by calling (978)281-9278, or by accessing the Northeast Regional Office's website: 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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