NMFS News Release

Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930

Scup Regulatory Amendment

Coastwide Commercial Quota

May 20, 1997

Dear Scup Vessel and Dealer Permit Holder:

This letter is to inform you that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has partially approved the scup (porgy) regulatory amendment (amendment) to the Fishery Management Plan for the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fisheries (FMP). NMFS has disapproved as inconsistent with national standard 7 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the provision that would grant de minimis status to states that harvest less than 0.1 percent of the summer (May-October) season's quota.

As a result of this amendment, and effective from May 20 until October 31, 1997, the States of New Hampshire and Delaware are closed to commercial scup landings by federally permitted vessels. Federally permitted dealers may not purchase scup from federally permitted vessels that land scup in those states during that time. Landings in these states may resume on November 1, 1997, under the 1997 Winter II coastwide quota.

This amendment is effective May 20 , 1997. The amendment modifies the coastwide commercial quota that was implemented beginning January 1, 1997, to account for the seasonality of the commercial landings. Specifically, the quota will be divided into three unequal periods:

Winter I (January - April) with 45.11 percent of the quota,

Summer (May - October) with 38.95 percent, and

Winter II (November - December) with 15.94 percent.

During the two winter periods, coastwide landing limits implemented by the states are in effect. During the 1997 Winter II period, a landings limit of 12,000 pounds (5,443 kg) of scup is in effect for vessels with a Federal scup moratorium permit until the quota is harvested and the EEZ closed to fishing, or January 1, 1998, which ever comes first. States will enact complimentary measures for their licensed vessels. Future notices of landings limits, changes to landings limits, and closures will be provided by your state fishery agency. During the Summer period, the quota is distributed among the states based on the percentage shares specified in the amendment. The states are responsible for the management of their respective quotas. Each state's percent allocation for the summer period is shown below:

State Share (Percent) 1997 Quota (Pounds)
Maine 0.13042 3,048
New Hampshire 0.00004 1
Massachusetts 15.49120 362,029
Rhode Island 60.56589 1,415,425
Connecticut 3.39884 79,431
New York 17.05295 398,527
New Jersey 3.14307 73,453
Delaware 0.00000 0
Maryland 0.01286 301
Virginia 0.17789 4,157
North Carolina 0.02690 628
Total 100.00000 2,337,000

This letter is only a summary of the major measures of the amendment, and has no legal force or effect. There are other measures contained in the amendment which may not be mentioned. To read the requirements in their entirety, you are urged to obtain a complete copy of the regulations by calling (508)281-9315, or by accessing the NMFS Northeast Regional Office Homepage at http://www.wh.whoi.edu/ro/doc/nero.html.

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