NMFS News Release

Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930

Attention Scallop Dredge Vessels

Date: July 6, 1998

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is seeking interested vessel operators for participation in an experimental fishery for scallops on Georges Bank.

The Center for Marine Science and Technology (CMAST) at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, has recently submitted a request to conduct an experimental fishery to develop an area management plan for scallops on Georges Bank. This request, which is currently under review, would involve gathering data to map high densities of scallops on Georges Bank, including within areas identified as Closed Area I, Closed Area II, and the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area.

To prepare for the experimental fishery, should it be approved, NMFS is soliciting interested vessel operators in advance. Vessels would need to be committed to this experiment for approximately one month. The time period is likely to be mid-August to mid-September. Also, vessels would need to have accommodations for two observers and have an operational Vessel Monitoring System on board the vessel. Additional criteria will be announced when the details are developed, including possible criteria specifying gear standardization. Vessels will be selected via a lottery system.

Vessel operators interested in participating in this experiment need to notify NMFS in writing (mail or fax) by July 20. Please include your name, vessel name and permit number, and telephone number.

National Marine Fisheries Service

Attn: Susan A. Murphy

1 Blackburn Drive

Gloucester, MA 01930

Fax: 978-281-9135

Should you have any questions, please call 978-281-9278.

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