NMFS News Release

Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930

Summer Flounder Amendment 10

Date: December 3, 1997

Dear Summer Flounder Vessel and Dealer Permit Holder:

This letter is to inform you that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has partially approved Amendment 10 (amendment) to the Fishery Management Plan for the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fisheries (FMP). The effective date of Amendment 10 is January 1, 1998, except that the minimum mesh regulation becomes effective on June 3, 1998 to allow time for vessels to obtain net construction materials, and the baseline date against which vessel specification changes shall be measured is January 2, 1998.

The following regulations become effective on January 1, 1998:

NMFS has disapproved as inconsistent with national standard 7 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the provision that would grant de minimis status to states that harvest less than 0.1 percent of the overall annual quota.

During the development of Amendment 10, the Council also considered alternatives to the current state-by-state commercial quota allocation system. After receiving public comments, the Council voted to maintain the existing commercial quota allocation system because it allows states the most flexibility to manage their quotas through the implementation of state subquotas and trip limits.

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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