NMFS News Release

Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930

New Gulf of Maine Cod Landing Limits

Date: June 12, 1998

Dear Multispecies Permit Holder:

This letter is to inform you that as of June 25, 1998, the Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod landing limit for vessels fishing under a multispecies day-at-sea (DAS), and not fishing in the cod exemption program*, is reduced from 700 lb/DAS to 400 lb/DAS, or any part of a DAS.

To help ensure that GOM cod landings remain within the target total allowable catch (TAC) of 1,783 MT established for the 1998 fishing year, the regulations implemented a mechanism to reduce the 700 lb/DAS landing limit to as low as 400 lb/DAS, based on the rate of catch and the risk of exceeding the target TAC. This mechanism is triggered when 50 percent (892 MT) of the target TAC is projected to be harvested. Based on the best available information, 892 MT of GOM cod is projected to be harvested on June 24, 1998. Given the rate at which this trigger amount was reached, I have determined that it is necessary to reduce the landing limit to the lowest authorized level, i.e., 400 lb/DAS.

Please note: vessels that exceed the GOM cod landing limit are required to remain in port until sufficient DAS have passed to equate to the cod landed. Further, 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 (978-281-9278) if the cod limit has been exceeded or the DAS call-out number (1-800-260-8204) if the cod limit has not been exceeded.

*Cod exemption: A vessel fishing under a multispecies DAS is exempt from the GOM cod landing limit if the vessel owner receives, and has on board the vessel, a NMFS-issued exemption certificate, obtained by calling 978-281-9278 (enrollment periods must be a minimum of 30 days). When fishing under a multispecies DAS, vessels enrolled in this exemption must fish south of the line connecting the following points:

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

NERO Home Page