NMFS News Release

Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930

Special Instructions to Gillnet Vessel Owners

Date: March 13, 1998

This is to remind you of the requirements for limited access multispecies permit holders intending to fish for multispecies using gillnet gear during the 1998 - 1999 fishing year.

You must declare into a gillnet category, "Day" or "Trip", before May 1, 1998, to participate in the multispecies gillnet fishery during any part of the 1998 - 1999 fishing year.

You must carry your gillnet category designation on board the vessel at all times.

If you select the Day gillnet category, you must purchase gillnet tags through the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Please submit your tag order by April 1, 1998.

Gillnet Categories - There are two gillnet categories from which you can select: "Day" or "Trip". The measures that apply to each category are summarized below. You must select one of these categories by May 1, 1998, to participate in the 1998 - 99 multispecies fishery using gillnets, and you must remain in the category for the entire fishing year. To select a category, fill out and return to NMFS the enclosed "Multispecies Gillnet Category Designation & Tag Program Application Form". A gillnet category designation certificate will be mailed to you shortly thereafter.

Trip Category
Day Category
Gillnet gear must be removed from water before calling out of a DAS (nets are "tended") Gillnet gear may continue to fish between DAS trips
Vessels may not fish more than 80 roundfish nets or 160 flatfish nets
All gillnet gear must be tagged with tags purchased through NMFS
A total of 120 days must be taken out of the multispecies gillnet fishery in minimum blocks of 7 days, and 21 days must be taken between June 1-September 30 of each fishing year
A trip greater than 3 hours but less than 15 hours is counted as a 15-hour trip
Gillnet gear must be removed from water prior to fishing in an exempted fishery

Gillnet Tagging - (For Day gillnet category only) You must purchase new 1998 tags and attach two tags to each roundfish gillnet (for up to a total of 80 roundfish gillnets), or one tag to each flatfish gillnet (for up to a total of 160 flatfish gillnets). You may purchase up to 160 tags through the NMFS Regional Office by completing the enclosed "Category Designation and Tag Program Application Form".

Tags must be secured to roundfish nets at each bridle of every net within a string of nets. Tags must be secured to flatfish nets at every other bridle of every net within a string of nets. Nets may not exceed 300 feet (50 fathoms) in length.

A roundfish gillnet is one constructed with floats on the float line and that has no tie-down twine between the float line and the lead line. A flatfish gillnet is either constructed with no floats on the float line, or constructed with floats on the float line and that has tie-down twine between the float line and the lead line not more than 48 inches in length and spaced not more than 15 feet apart. You can fish any combination of roundfish and flatfish tagged nets at the same time, not to exceed 160 nets. You can fish for species other than multispecies when fishing with gillnet gear under a multispecies DAS. All gillnets must be tagged when fishing under a DAS.

Lost Tag Reporting & Replacement - You must report lost, destroyed, or missing tags by letter to: Permit Office, NMFS, One Blackburn Dr., Gloucester, MA, 01938, or by fax to (978-281-9135). The vessel operator is accountable for all tags and must produce for inspection all issued tags (or a confirmation letter issued by the Regional Administrator indicating missing tag numbers) upon request by an authorized officer.

You may request replacement tags by letter or fax as described above provided that you also submit a check for the cost of the replacement tags. You may use the "Missing and Replacement Tag Order Form" enclosed for these purposes. You cannot fish for multispecies with a net that has lost a tag until a replacement tag is secured to the net.

To Order Tags - To order your initial tags, please submit the attached order form along with a check or money order payable to National Band and Tag Company in the amount necessary for the number of tags that you wish to purchase as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to process your application and send a gillnet category confirmation letter and tags to you by May 1, 1998. You are encouraged to submit your order for tags by April 1, 1998.

If you have any questions regarding the gillnet tagging program, please call the Northeast Fisheries Information Hotline at (978) 281-9278.


PRIVACY ACT STATEMENT: Under the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-579), no agency shall disclose any record which is contained in a system of records by any means of communication to any person, or to another agency, except pursuant to a written request by, or with the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the record pertains.


BURDEN STATEMENT: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 5 minutes per response, including time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or suggestions for reducing this burden to: Andrew A. Rosenberg, Ph.D., Regional Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS, 1 Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930-2298; and to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503.

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