Date: April 21, 1998
The following responds to recent inquiries regarding the use of "twisted links" on scallop dredges in the Atlantic sea scallop fishery.
Recent reports from the U.S. Coast Guard indicate that some scallopers are constructing their dredges with double links that are bent and attached to the rings in a manner that obstructs the passage of scallops out of the dredge. The use of such gear is a violation of 50 CFR 648.14(h)(16), which prohibits the use of links that obstruct the openings in or between the rings. Individuals found to be violating dredge vessel gear restrictions may be assessed large civil penalties and lengthy permit sanctions. In addition, both the catch on board and the vessel itself are subject to seizure as a result of such activity.
This notice is authorized by the Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Region
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