NMFS News Release





Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930




Important Multispecies Provisions

Date: August 22, 1997

Dear Multispecies Permit Holder:

This letter reminds/informs permit holders of four important provisions under the Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. These measures, outlined below, pertain to the haddock possession limit, the Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod trip limit reporting requirements, the GOM/GB dogfish and GOM/GB monkfish gillnet exemptions, and the regulated mesh requirements.

1) Haddock possession limit:

Beginning September 1, 1997, and until approximately 70% of the haddock target total allowable catch is reached, vessels may land up to 1,000 pounds of haddock per day, or any part of a day, up to a maximum of 10,000 pounds per trip.

2) Cod hail line reporting requirements:

Upon entering port, vessels subject to the cod trip limit that possess cod in amounts greater than the allowable limit, or vessels that have not exceeded the cod trip limit but plan to offload cod and not call-out of the multispecies DAS program, must call the cod hail line (508-281-9278) before offloading any cod and report all of the following information:

- Vessel name and permit number

- Owner and caller name

- Phone number

- Hail weight of cod on board

- Amount of cod to be offloaded

3) GOM/GB Dogfish and GOM/GB Monkfish Gillnet exemptions:

When fishing in the seasonal July 1 through August 31 GOM/GB Dogfish Gillnet exempted fishery, vessels are subject to a minimum mesh size of 6.5-inch diamond mesh throughout the net and may not fish for, possess on board, or land any species of fish other than dogfish and a bycatch of lobsters*. Similarly, when fishing in the seasonal July 1 through September 14 GOM/GB Monkfish Gillnet exempted fishery, vessels are subject to a minimum mesh size of 10-inch diamond mesh throughout the net and may not fish for, possess on board, or land any species of fish other than monkfish and a bycatch of lobsters*. Vessels may fish in these two exempted fisheries during the same time, provided that vessels land only dogfish and a bycatch of lobsters*, or land only monkfish and a bycatch of lobsters*. *Lobsters cannot exceed 10 percent by weight of the total catch on board, or 200 lobsters, whichever is less.

4) Regulated mesh requirements (diamond and square):

NMFS has recently become aware that some vessels are hanging their regulated mesh nets "cross-twine", which is constricting the mesh opening and causing the mesh to measure less than regulated size. As a reminder to fishers, diamond mesh must be hung with the "run of the twine" running parallel to the long axis of the net. Square mesh, which can be diamond mesh hung on a 45-degree angle, must be hung so that the horizontal bars of the mesh run perpendicular to the long axis of the net when the net is placed under a strain so that the mesh opens to a square-like shape. Any regulated net with mesh hung differently from these two examples listed above is prohibited.

If you have questions regarding these issues, call 508-218-9278.



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