NMFS News Release

Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930

Maine Mahogany Quahog ITQ Fishery

Date: December 5, 2000

Dear Dealer and Permit Holder:

This letter is to inform you of the regulations that apply to fishing for Maine mahogany quahogs now that the quota for vessels fishing without Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) allocation has been harvested. Only Federally permitted vessels that have been issued or acquired ITQ for ocean quahog may continue to harvest quahog in the area designated for the Maine Mahogany Quahog Fishery.

Vessels fishing for ocean quahogs in Federal waters and dealers issued a Federal permit must comply with all regulations promulgated under the Fishery Management Plan for the Atlantic Surf Clam and Ocean Quahog fisheries. The following summarizes some regulations you should be aware of:

1) The name of their vessel.

2) Federal permit number.

3) The expected date and time of departure.

4) The trip will be directed on ocean quahogs.

5) The expected date, time and location of landing.

6) The name of the individual providing notice.

dimensions of a standard cage are usually 3' wide, 4' long, and 5' high. A tag is required for each cage (60 cubic feet) or any portion thereof.

1) Hook a sling or wire from the vessel to the cage or container located on the dock.

2) You may then transfer clams or quahogs from the vessel to the cage using bags.

3) When the cage or container is full, you must record the transaction on both the vessel and dealer logbooks furnished by The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

4) You may then take the sling or wire off the cage. The shellfish are now considered offloaded.

This letter is only a summary of the measures in effect. I strongly encourage you to read the regulations found in 50 Code of Federal Regulations Part 648, Subpart E which can be view on the internet at http://www.nero.nmfs.gov/ro/doc/the648.htm. If you have questions about these provisions or wish to receive a copy of the full regulatory text, contact Walt Gardiner at (978)281-9326.

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

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