Dear Vessel Permit Holder:
This letter is to inform you of some important changes in the Northeast Region Federal vessel permit program. Recent amendments to the fishery management plans for sea scallops and Northeast multispecies revised those two fishery permit years and provided us with a total of three different permit years for fisheries. These renewal changes are being made to simplify the permit process currently complicated because of those different fishing permit years.
Beginning with 1998, the dates of issuance for all fishing permits, with the exception of the limited access scallop fishery, will be May 1 - April 30. The limited access scallop permit (only) will continue to be effective from March 1 through February. To bridge the gap between the current fishing year and the new fishing year, instead of the vessel renewal package you usually receive, you will be automatically issued vessel permits to renew those permits you currently have for your vessel that will be expiring on December 31, 1997. This automatic issuance of permits is scheduled to be mailed in the next week to 10 days. Be sure to watch for their arrival. Holders of scallop vessel permits in the general category will also receive a renewed permit at this time. These permits will be valid from January 1, 1998 through April 30, 1998.
You must retain your current Northeast multispecies permit as it is valid until April 30, 1998. Therefore, it will not be included with this issuance.
If you are a scallop vessel permit holder in a limited access category, you must retain your current permit as it remains valid through February 28, 1998. Limited access scallop vessels will be sent a package for renewal of this permit during the month of January, 1998.
The renewal package for all remaining vessel permits will be mailed later in the year.
The one important thing that you, as a current vessel permit holder, need to do at the present time
is to make certain that your address is current and valid as it appears on this mailing to insure
timely receipt of your automatic issuance of permits. Contact the Permit Office immediately at
978/281-9370, if the address requires updating.
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