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:
- Dealers or processors must have a valid Federal permit for ocean quahog to purchase from Federally permitted ocean
quahog fishing vessels. Dealers must report all purchases of Mahogany quahogs on the Shellfish Processor And Dealer
Report. Dealers must also retain the used tag(s) for 90 days and cut the ends so that the tag(s) can not be re-used
- Vessels fishing in Federal waters must have a valid Federal ocean quahog permit aboard the vessel, and the vessel may
only sell ocean quahogs to a Federally permitted ocean quahog dealer or processor. Vessels must continue to report
their fishing activity in the Shellfish Fishing Trip Log.
- Cage tags issued pursuant to § 648.75 may be transferred provided the application for such cage tag transfers may be
made at any time before December 10 of each year and the transfer is effective upon the receipt by the transferee of
written authorization from the Regional Administrator.
- Vessel owners or operators are required to provide the information described below prior to the departure of their vessel
from the dock to fish for quahogs by calling the Office of Law Enforcement nearest to the point of offloading
(Ellsworth, ME 207-664-0514).
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.
- Prior to offloading, all ocean quahogs must be placed in a cage. A cage is a container measuring 60 cubic feet. The
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.
- Prior to offloading, all cages that contain ocean quahogs must be tagged with tags acquired from ocean quahog
allocation owners. To acquire a complete list of allocation owners and transfer forms, please call 508-281-9326. Once a
transfer has been completed, the transferee and recipient will receive an Allocation Permit reflecting the transfer.
- The following can be used as a guide while offloading quahogs from Federally permitted vessels that do not have access
to heavy moving equipment and/or find it unsafe to carry cages on board. A cage or container of 60 cubic feet must be
located on the dock or wharf near the vessel's slip. While docked, you must:
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
NERO Home Page