NMFS News Release

Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930

Scup Winter II Period (November through December) Projected To Be Harvested By November 3, 2000

Date: October 6, 2000

Dear Scup Dealer and Commercial Vessel Permit Holder:

This letter is to inform you that the Winter II period (November through December) commercial quota for the scup fishery is projected to be harvested.

Although the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has taken action to reduce the rate of scup harvest by implementing an emergency rule that adopts a 500-lb possession limit in state waters, based upon the limited Winter II quota allocation and historic landings information, I have determined that the 2000 Winter II quota will be harvested within 48 hours. Therefore, effective 0001 hours November 3, 2000, fishing vessels issued a Federal moratorium permit for the scup fishery may no longer land scup in any state for the remainder of the Winter II period. This prohibition applies to federally permitted vessels whether they fish in Federal or state waters. Vessel owners issued Federal permits are reminded that they must continue to complete and submit vessel logbooks. Additionally, dealers issued Federal dealer permits for scup are advised that they may not purchase scup from federally permitted vessels that land scup for the remainder of the Winter II period. Federally permitted dealers must continue to report all fish purchases from any vessel.

Should the Winter II period quota not be harvested due to poor weather or other factors, the scup fishery may reopen at a later time to allow attainment of the quota. However, in order to prevent 2000 Winter II scup overages which would be subtracted from the 2001 Winter II period, it is necessary to implement a closure of the scup fishery. The scup commercial fishery will reopen on a coastwide quota basis on January 1, 2001, which is the first day of the Winter I period (January 1, 2001, through April 1, 2001).

Vessel owners issued Federal limited access scup permits are reminded that regulations at 50 CFR 648.4(a)(1)(i)(K) state that if a vessel's limited access permit history for a particular fishery is voluntarily surrendered to the Regional Administrator, no limited access permit for that fishery may be reissued or renewed based on that vessel's history. Accordingly, once you obtain or renew a Federal limited access permit in any given year, you may not relinquish that permit during that same year (for purposes of fishing for scup in state waters, for example) or you will lose your right to renew your limited access permit the following year.

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

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