NMFS News Release





Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930




OBSERVER PROTOCOL UPDATE

Date: July 30, 1999

Dear Permit Holder:

Beginning with each Georges Bank Sea Scallop Exemption Program (Exemption Program) trip that ends July 30, 1999, and thereafter, vessels declared and accepted into the Exemption Program and carrying a National Marine Fisheries Service approved observer on board the vessel must comply with the observer payment protocol outlined below.

TRIP LIMIT INCREASE:

Vessels selected to carry an observer while participating in the Exemption Program are authorized to possess and to land an additional 200 pounds of scallop meats for each day the vessel is gone from port for six or more hours. This extra poundage, above and beyond the 10,000 pound scallop possession limit allowed for all non-observed Exemption Program trips, is to be used to reimburse the cost of the observer as well as to compensate the vessel and its crew. For example, a vessel that has declared and been accepted into the Exemption Program and selected to carry an observer for that trip, and which is gone from port for 5 days, starting from the time the vessel left port, would be authorized to possess and land up to 11,200 pounds of scallop meats for that trip (10,000 pound trip limit + 1,200 pounds for the 5 observer days).

PAY DISTRIBUTION:

Vessels selected to carry an observer while participating in the Exemption Program are required to pay $425.00 per day for the observer coverage. If the average scallop price is $5.00 per pound, 200 pounds would yield $1,000.00 per day (for a total of $6,000.00 for 5 days). Using the example above, a vessel that declared into the Exemption Program for 5 days while carrying an observer on board would be allowed to possess up to 11,200 pounds of scallop meats, and would be required to compensate the observer $2,550.00 ($425.00 x 6 days). The remaining money, in this case $3,450.00 (1,200 pounds x $5.00 = $6,000 - $2,550.00) would go to the vessel and crew.

OBSERVER PAYMENT:

Bank or cashiers checks for the cost of the observer must be made out to the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation and received within one week of the date landed, unless the vessel receives other instructions in writing. Please mail your check, along with a note containing the following information: "Sea Scallop Observer Fund 99-295", vessel name, permit number, owner or operator name, time and date of departure, and time and date of return, to:


National Fish & Wildlife Foundation

Attn.: Gris Batchelder, Suite 900

1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20036



If you have any questions, please call the Fisheries Information Line at (978) 281-9278.



This notice is authorized by the Regional Administrator of the

National Marine Fisheries Service


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