NMFS News Release

Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930

Maine Mahogany Quahog Closure

Date: November 17, 2000

Dear Maine Mahogany Quahog Dealer and Commercial Vessel Permit Holder:

This letter is to inform you that the Maine mahogany quahog commercial quota available for the calendar year 2000 has been harvested.

Effective November 25, 2000, fishing vessels issued a Federal moratorium permit for the Maine mahogany quahog fishery may no longer land Maine mahogany quahogs in Maine for the remainder of the 2000 calendar year, unless fishing for an individual ocean quahog allocation under 50 CFR 648.70. Vessel owners issued Federal permits are also reminded that they must continue to complete and submit fishing trip records for shellfish (surf clams and ocean quahogs). Additionally, dealers issued Federal dealer permits for Maine mahogany quahog are advised that they may not purchase Maine mahogany quahogs from federally permitted vessels that land in the state of Maine for the remainder of the calendar year, unless the vessel is fishing for an individual ocean quahog allocation. Federally permitted dealers must also continue to report all surf clam and ocean quahog purchases from any vessel.

The Maine mahogany quahog zone is closed to fishing for ocean quahogs except in those areas that are tested by the State of Maine and deemed to be within the requirements of the National Shellfish Sanitation Program and adopted by the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference as acceptable limits for the toxin responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning. Harvesting of ocean quahogs is allowed only in the areas and during the time periods specified by the Maine Department of Marine Resources as being safe for human consumption.

Vessel owners needing additional information about fishing with individual ocean quahog allocation should contact Walter Gardiner at 978-281-9326. Vessel owners are also reminded that Maine mahogany quahogs and individual ocean quahog allocation are measured in different units. A bushel in the Maine mahogany quahog fishery equals 1.2445 cubic feet (the U.S. standard bushel), while a bushel under an individual ocean quahog allocation equals 1.88 cubic feet (the unit of measurement adopted by the industrial fishery and used in the fishery management plan). As a result, a cage (60 cubic feet) represents 48 Maine bushels and 32 individual allocation bushels.

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

NERO Home Page