NMFS News Release

Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930

Experimental Mahogany Quahog Fishery

Date: 10/8/96

Dear Experimental Fishery Certificate Holder:

The ocean quahog (mahogany) fishery in the area north of 4350' N. latitude is currently authorized under the regulations for Atlantic Surf Clams and Ocean Quahogs (50 CFR Part 648) as an experimental fishery to determine if the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's preferred alternative for Amendment 10 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Atlantic Surf Clam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries can be implemented efficiently and effectively utilizing the existing shellfish tagging program administered by the State of Maine. The enclosed Experimental Fishing Certificate (Certificate) is only valid for vessels enrolled in the Maine Sanitation Tag Program which possess a current Federal fishing vessel permit for ocean quahogs. This Certificate may be rendered null and void if regulations are promulgated that establish new criteria for entry into the mahogany fishery.

All mahogany quahogs taken by Certificate holders must be sold to a Maine Federally-permitted surf clam and ocean quahog dealer/processor, regardless of where the mahogany quahogs are harvested. All owners of vessels with Certificates and dealers with permits must meet the reporting requirements specified in 648.7 of the surf clam and ocean quahog regulations, which require participants to submit surf clam and ocean quahog logbooks. Allocation numbers requested in the log book may be left blank. All catch and effort information must be filled in including name of buyer and State tag number. The area fished must correspond to the following harvest areas:

Q777 - Maine State Waters

Q888 - Federal Waters

Q999 - State & Federal Waters

I encourage you to review your Certificate. Failure to meet any of the requirements specified in the Certificate may result in revocation of your permit and Certificate, and/or other civil penalties. If you are no longer active in this fishery, please return the Certificate to the above address.

If you are in need of logbooks or have additional questions, please call David Gouveia at (508) 281-9280.

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