NMFS News Release

Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930

Surf Clam/Ocean Quahog Voluntary Program

Date: April 23, 1997

Dear Surf Clam and Ocean Quahog Allocation Holders:

This letter is to inform you that a notice will be published in the Federal Register within the next few weeks that may be of interest to you. The notice will describe an opportunity for members of the surf clam and ocean quahog industry to participate in a voluntary program. Volunteers in the study will employ their vessels and gear to aid in the calibration of the surf clam dredge used by the NOAA Research Vessel Delaware II. Please be advised that the shellfish harvested in the study will be subject to the cage-tagging requirements stipulated in the Atlantic Surf Clam and Ocean Quahog Fishery Management Plan and will be counted against the 1997 quotas for each species.

The study will involve the use of three surf clam dredge vessels working with the Delaware II on or about May 12-23, 1997, in a circumscribed area off the coast of northern New Jersey. Vessels selected to participate in the program will be required to carry a scientific observer and meet other requirements described in the Federal Register notice. If you do not have access to the Federal Register you may request to have a copy of the notice faxed to you by calling 508- 281-9315.

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