NMFS News Release

Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930

Two Conditional Gulf of Maine Closed Areas Implemented for Cod Fishery

Date: September 5, 2000

Dear Permit Holder:

This is to notify you that NMFS has determined that at least 759 metric tons (mt) of Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod have been landed as of July 31, 2000. Therefore, pursuant to Framework Adjustment 33 of the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP), the two conditional GOM closure areas (see attached chart) identified in the FMP will be implemented. The Cashes Ledge Closure Area will be closed for an additional month from November 1, 2000, through November 30, 2000, and the area identified as Rolling Closure Area VI will be closed for an additional month from January 1, 2001, through January 31, 2001. Framework 33 included these conditional closure provisions to better ensure that GOM cod landings remain within the target Total Allowable Catch (TAC) of 1,918 mt established for the 2000 fishing year.

The coordinates for the Conditional Closure Areas are:

Cashes Ledge Closure Area (November 1 - 30, 2000)
Point N. Lat. W. Long.
CL1 43°07' 69°02'
CL2 42°49.5' 68°46'
CL3 42°46.5' 68°50.5'
CL4 42°43.5' 68°58.5'
CL5 42°42.5' 69°17.5'
CL6 42°49.5' 69°26'
CL1 43°07' 69°02'

Rolling Closure Area VI (January 1 - 31, 2001)
Point N. Lat. W. Long.(1)
GM1 42°00' (2)
GM2 42°00' (3)
GM3 42°00' (4)
GM4 42°00' 70°00'
GM8 42°30' 70°00'
GM9 42°30' (2)
1 Or other intersecting line
2 Massachusetts shoreline
3 Cape Cod shoreline on Cape Cod Bay
4 Cape Cod shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean

These conditional closure areas apply to all fishing vessels, and to all fishing gear capable of catching Northeast multispecies, except for vessels fishing with exempted gear or vessels possessing a GOM Charter/Party Letter of Authorization. Vessels may transit the conditional closure areas provided that all fishing gear is stowed in accordance with regulations. All other closure areas for the 2000 fishing year remain unchanged.

This letter is only a summary of the regulations that have been implemented. You are encouraged to obtain further information or a copy of the regulations by calling (978) 281-9278. This letter does not contain all of the regulatory provisions that pertain to the conditional closure areas, and consequently, has no legal force or effect. A copy of the regulations can also be obtained through the link to the Office of the Federal Register at the NMFS Northeast Regional Office's Web Site: http://www.nero.nmfs.gov/ro/doc/nero.html.

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

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