NMFS News Release





Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930




Multispecies Framework 24 Regulations Approved

Date: March 9, 1998

Dear Permit Holder:

This letter is to inform you that new regulations implementing Framework Adjustment 24 to the Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) will go into effect on April 9, 1998; following are the new measures:

CHANGES TO THE GULF OF MAINE (GOM) COD LANDING LIMIT PROVISION:

Vessels that have exceeded the GOM cod landing limit (1,000 lb of cod per day, or any part of a day, for each of the first 4 days of a trip, and up to 1,500 lb of cod per day, or any part of a day, in excess of 4 days) are required to remain in port until sufficient DAS have passed to equate to the cod landed. In addition, vessels are required to come into port no later than 14 DAS after starting a trip and report to NMFS by calling either the cod hail line (978-291-9278) if the cod limit has been exceeded or the DAS call-out number (1-800-260-8204) if the cod landing limit has not been exceeded. Please note, that Framework Adjustment 25, if approved, would change the GOM cod landing limit to 700 lb of cod per day, starting May 1, 1998. Vessels exceeding the cod trip limit, and thus, required to remain in port, may transit to another port, provided the operator or owner calls the cod hail line before leaving the dock to transit and reports: 1) the vessel name and permit number; 2) time of departure; 3) destination port; and 4) estimated time of arrival at destination port. Transiting vessels are required to stow all nets and are prohibited from having fish on board the vessel. To better represent the stock boundary between GOM and Georges Bank cod, this framework modifies the current GOM cod landing limit boundary. A vessel fishing under a NE multispecies DAS is exempt from the GOM cod landing limit provided that the vessel owner receives, and has on board the vessel, a NMFS-issued exemption certificate by calling (978)281-9278 (enrollment periods must be a minimum of 30 days). Vessels enrolled in this exemption must fish south of the line connecting the following points (please see chart below):

LATITUDE LONGITUDE
4200' N Cape Cod Coastline
4200' N 6930' W
4220' N 6930' W
4220' N 6720' W
U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary 6720' W

DAYS-AT-SEA (DAS) CARRY OVER ALLOWANCE:

This framework allows active vessels to carry-over unused multispecies DAS from one fishing year to the next. Limited access vessels that have unused DAS on the last day of April of any year will automatically be credited with the amount of unused DAS remaining, up to a maximum of 10 DAS. DAS sanctioned vessels will be credited with unused DAS based on their DAS allocation minus total DAS sanctioned.

VESSEL EXEMPTIONS WHEN FISHING IN THE NAFO REGULATORY AREA:

This framework implements a measure to exempt multispecies vessels that possess a High Seas Fishing Compliance permit and that are fishing exclusively in the NAFO Regulatory Area from DAS, minimum mesh size, and possession limit requirements of the multispecies FMP. Participating vessels are required to obtain, and have on board the vessel, a letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator. To obtain an authorization letter, please call 978-281-9278.

CORRECTION TO REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING AMENDMENT 7

This rule also corrects an omission to the regulations implementing Amendment 7. That rule specifically prohibited vessels from fishing for, or possessing, regulated species when fishing with exempted gear in the closed areas.

This framework clarifies that this includes all vessels, whether fishing under a DAS or outside of the DAS program, unless stated otherwise in the regulations. For example, a vessel fishing with lobster pot gear in a closed area under a multispecies DAS is prohibited from fishing for, or possessing regulated multispecies. This letter is a summary only of the approved regulations. To read these regulations in their entirety, you are encouraged to obtain a complete copy of the regulations by calling (978) 281-9278, or by accessing the Northeast Regional Office's website at: http://www.wh.whoi.edu/ro/doc/nero.html.





NERO Home Page