NMFS News Release





Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930




Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery Approved

Date: August 18, 2000

Dear Permit Holder:

This letter announces that a seasonal small mesh silver hake (whiting) fishery has been approved as an exempted fishery in the Gulf of Maine. The fishery, known as the "Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery" is authorized in an area near Provincetown, Massachusetts, (see attached coordinates and chart) for a season of September 1, through November 20, of each year. In addition, the raised footrope trawl gear description for Small Mesh Areas 1 and 2 has been slightly modified to accurately reflect the gear specifications.

The following is a summary of the restrictions and provisions of the exempted fishery.

RESTRICTIONS AND PROVISIONS OF THE RAISED FOOTROPE TRAWL EXEMPTED WHITING FISHERY

Area: (see coordinates and chart, Attachment, side 1)

Season: September 1 through November 20

Permit Requirements: Participating vessels must be issued either a valid limited access Northeast multispecies permit (Categories A through G) or "Open Access Multispecies Permit" (Category K).

Enrollment Requirements: Participating vessels must carry a Letter of Authorization issued by the Regional Administrator, valid for a minimum of 7 days. Participating vessels may withdraw from the program no earlier than 7 days from the date of enrollment. Letters of authorization, and withdrawals, may be obtained from the Northeast Region Permit Office at (978) 281-9370.

GEAR REQUIREMENTS

Participating vessels must use a raised footrope trawl. Vessels are presumed to be fishing with raised footrope trawl gear if their trawl gear is designed as specified in the attached description of a raised footrope trawl.

For your convenience, I have attached a description of the raised footrope trawl (Attachment, side 2).

Participating vessels are subject to minimum mesh size and other gear restrictions as described below.

Minimum Mesh Size

Vessels participating in this Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery are subject to a minimum codend mesh size of 2.5 inches applied as follows:

For a vessel less than or equal to 60 feet in length overall, the minimum mesh to retain small mesh multispecies (i.e., 2.5 inches) must be applied to a minimum of the first 50 meshes (100 bars in the case of square mesh) from the terminus of the net. For a vessel greater than 60 feet in length overall, the minimum mesh to retain small mesh multispecies (i.e., 2.5 inches) must be applied to a minimum of the first 100 meshes (200 bars in the case of square mesh) from the terminus of the net.

Prohibition on the Use of Net Strengtheners

The use of liners, codend covers, and/or outside net strengtheners is prohibited when participating in the Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS AND RESTRICTIONS

Catch Restrictions

Participating vessels may possess, retain and land whiting and offshore hake subject to possession restrictions based on mesh size used.

Participating vessels may also possess, retain and land red hake, butterfish, dogfish, herring, mackerel, scup, and squid provided the vessel has been issued necessary federal permits for such species. In addition, participating vessels may only possess up to the allowed possession limit for any allowed species as well as comply with all other existing rules and regulations. Species of fish that are not included above are prohibited from being possessed or landed.

Participation Restriction

When participating in the Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery vessels may fish in other fisheries, including other small mesh exempted fisheries during the same trip. Such vessels would automatically be subject to the most restrictive measures of the fishery in which they are participating regardless of where they fish.

Gulf of Maine Rolling Closure Area V

Vessels authorized to fish in the Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery may fish in the Gulf of Maine Rolling Closure Area V (see Attachment, side 1) but only in the Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery Area. Vessels must properly stow all gear in accordance with the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan while transitting to and from the exemption area through the closed area.

Any vessel owner wishing to participate in the Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery must obtain a Letter of Authorization by calling the Northeast Region Permit Office at (978) 281-9370. Any other questions regarding the fishery may be directed to Peter Christopher in the Office of Sustainable Fisheries, at (978)-281-9288.

This letter is only a summary of the regulations that have been implemented. 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


Attachment, side 1

Coordinates and Chart for Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery Area

LATITUDE LONGITUDE
POINT NUMBER Degrees Minutes Degrees Minutes
1 42 01.900 70 14.750
2 41 59.450 70 23.650
3 42 07.850 70 30.100
4 42 14.050 70 08.800
5 42 08.350 70 04.050
6 42 04.750 70 16.950
1 42 01.900 70 14.750

Attachment, side 2

RAISED FOOTROPE TRAWL GEAR SPECIFICATIONS

Vessels fishing in the Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery must configure the trawl gear in such a way that, when towed, the gear is not in contact with the ocean bottom. Vessels are presumed to be fishing in such a manner if their trawl gear is designed as specified below.

Headrope

Floats with a minimum diameter of eight inches must be attached along the entire length of the headrope with a maximum spacing between each float of four feet.

Ground Gear

Ground gear must be all bare wire not larger than 1/2-inch in diameter for the top leg, not larger than 5/8-inch in diameter for the bottom leg, and not larger than 3/4-inch in diameter for the ground cables.

The top legs must be at least as long as the bottom legs.

The total length of the ground cables must not be greater than forty fathoms from the doors to the wing ends.

Footrope

The footrope must be longer than the headrope, but not more than twenty feet longer than the headrope, and must be rigged so that it does not contact the bottom while fishing.

Drop Chains

Drop chains must be used with or without a chain sweep (see below)

Drop chains must be 42-inches in length or greater.

The maximum size drop chain stock when used with a sweep is 5/16-inch. Drop chains may be a maximum of 3/8-inch stock when no sweep is used.

Only bare chain may be used; cookies or additional weights on the drop chains are prohibited.

Drop chains must be hung from the center of the footrope and each corner (the quarter, or the junction of the bottom wing to the belly at the footrope).

Drop chains must be hung at eight foot intervals along the footrope from the corners to the wing ends.

Sweep Specifications and Optional Sweepless Trawl

The raised footrope trawl may be used with a chain sweep or without a chain sweep. The sweep, if used, must be rigged in the following manner:

The sweep must be bare chain the same length as the footrope. (Note: The required drop chains at the wing ends of the footrope effectively makes the sweep seven feet longer than the footrope.)

The maximum size of the sweep is 5/16-inch stock chain.

The sweep must be attached to the ends of the drop chains.

The center of the sweep must be attached to the drop chain from the center of the footrope.

The attachment points of each drop chain on the sweep and the footrope must be the same distance from the center drop chain attachments.

The ends of the sweep must be attached to the drop chains at the end of the footrope.




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