NMFS News Release





Northeast Regional Office
One Blackburn Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930




Monkfish Regulations Approved

Date: October 6, 1999

Dear Permit Holder:

This letter is to inform you of new regulations implementing the Monkfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Some of these measures become effective on November 8, 1999, while some become effective on May 1, 2000. These regulations, which are designed to address the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), are extensive and include the following measures: Limited access permits; an effort reduction program; trip limits and incidental harvest allowances; a minimum fish size; a minimum mesh size; gear restrictions; spawning season closures; a framework adjustment process; and reporting requirements.

Because of the complexity of these regulations, we plan on following this permit holder letter up with a Question and Answer Fact Sheet based on the most asked monkfish questions that we receive. We encourage you to phone us with your questions and comments at 978-281-9278.

A detailed summary of these measures and their respective effective dates is provided below. Please read this letter carefully to determine specifically when each of the new requirements becomes effective.

MONKFISH FISHING YEAR -

Fishing year 1999 begins November 8, 1999, and ends April 30, 2000.

Fishing years 2000 and thereafter will begin May 1 and end April 30 of the following year.

MONKFISH VESSEL PERMITS - Effective November 8, 1999

Beginning November 8, 1999, any vessel that fishes for, possesses, or lands monkfish harvested in or from Federal waters, except recreational vessels, must have a Federal monkfish permit. There are two types of Federal monkfish permits: limited access (four permit categories) and open access (one permit category). On March 29, 1999, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) sent a letter to inform vessel owners of their monkfish qualification status, detailed instructions on how to apply for a permit, and information regarding limited access appeals. If you did not receive this information, please contact the Permit Office at 978-281-9370 for a monkfish permit application. Following is a summary of the Federal monkfish permit categories:

Limited Access Permits -

1. Category A Permit - This category is available for vessels without a multispecies or scallop limited access permit that landed at least 50,000 lb tail-weight or 166,000 lb whole weight of monkfish during the monkfish qualification period.*

2. Category B Permit - This category is available for vessels without a multispecies or scallop limited access permit that are less than 51 gross registered tons (GRT) and do not qualify for a category A permit. Vessels under this category must have landed at least 7,500 lb tail-weight or 24,900 lb whole weight of monkfish during the monkfish qualification period.*

3. Category C Permit - This category is available for vessels with a multispecies or scallop limited access permit that landed at least 50,000 lb tail-weight or 166,000 lb whole weight of monkfish during the monkfish qualification period.*

4. Category D Permit - This category is available for vessels with multispecies limited access permits and vessels less than 51 GRT with scallop limited access permits that do not qualify for a Category C permit. Vessels under this category must have landed at least 7,500 lb tail-weight or 24,900 lb whole weight of monkfish during the monkfish qualification period.*

Open Access Permit -

Category E (Incidental Catch)

A vessel that has not been issued a limited access monkfish permit is eligible for and may be issued a monkfish Incidental Catch permit to fish for, possess, or land monkfish. This permit will allow your vessel to retain a limited amount of monkfish depending on the fishing year, area and gear fished. Details of the Incidental Catch permit (Category E) landing restrictions can be found on pages 8-9.

*February 28, 1991 through February 27, 1995

NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN FISHERY MANAGEMENT AREAS - Effective November 8, 1999

Some of the monkfish regulations implemented by this FMP are broken down by management area. Following are the definitions of these areas:

Northern Fishery Management Area (NFMA) - The NFMA (see attached chart) is that area defined by a line beginning at the intersection of 70 W. longitude and the south-facing shoreline of Cape Cod, MA (point A), then southward along 70 W. longitude to 41 N. latitude, then eastward to the U.S.-Canada maritime boundary, north along the U.S.-Canada boundary until it intersects the Maine shoreline, and then following the coastline in a southerly direction until it intersects with point A.

Southern Fishery Management Area (SFMA) - The SFMA (see attached chart) is that area defined by a line beginning at point A, then following the coastline in a southerly direction to the NC-SC border; then due east to the 200-mile limit, then in a northerly direction along the 200-mile limit to the U.S.-Canada maritime boundary; then in a northwesterly direction along the U.S.-Canada maritime boundary to 41 N. latitude, and then westward to 70 W. longitude, and then north to the shoreline at Cape Cod, MA (point A).

DAYS-AT-SEA PROGRAM - Effective November 8, 1999

Category A and B vessels: To land greater than the allowed incidental bycatch of monkfish, Category A and B vessels must fish under a monkfish days-at-sea (DAS) and may only fish in areas where monkfish is an exempted species under the multispecies regulations. For fishing years 1999 through 2001, vessels fishing with a Category A or B permit category will be allocated 40 monkfish DAS. Note that for fishing year 1999, vessels will be allocated their full allotment of 40 monkfish DAS for the period November 8, 1999, through April 30, 2000.

Category C and D vessels: To land greater than the allowed incidental bycatch of monkfish, Category C and D vessels must be fishing under a multispecies, scallop and/or monkfish DAS depending on the fishing year, area fished, and gear being fished. The monkfish landing limit depends on the type of DAS program the vessel is fishing under for that trip. For fishing years 1999, vessels fishing with a Category C or D permit category will be allocated up to 40 monkfish DAS, provided the vessel has multispecies or scallop DAS remaining for the respective 1999 multispecies/scallop fishing years. For fishing years 2000 and 2001, vessels fishing with a Category C or D permit category will be allocated monkfish DAS up to 40 monkfish DAS. Category C and D vessels that have less than 40 multispecies and/or scallop DAS will be allocated this lesser amount of monkfish DAS.

When a vessel that holds both a limited access monkfish permit and a limited access multispecies or scallop permit (Category C and D vessels), fishes under the monkfish DAS program, that trip will also count against a multispecies or scallop DAS, whichever is applicable. A combination vessel, which holds both a limited access multispecies and scallop permit, could fish under a monkfish DAS during either a multispecies or scallop DAS, provided that unused multispecies or scallop DAS are available.

Category C and D vessels that are fishing under a monkfish and scallop DAS may only fish with and use a trawl net (see Minimum Mesh Size restrictions on pages 10-11). Scallop vessels are prohibited from using or possessing scallop dredge gear on board when fishing under a monkfish DAS.

Because the fishing year for sea scallops (March through February) and monkfish (May through April) differ, a vessel fishing under the monkfish DAS program that holds both a limited access monkfish and a limited access scallop permit will have its respective monkfish and scallop DAS deducted from two different fishing years. For example, for monkfish fishing year 1999, a limited access monkfish and scallop permitted vessel fishing under a monkfish DAS trip would have its scallop DAS deducted from the 1999 scallop fishing year (March 1, 2000 through February 28, 2000) and its monkfish DAS deducted from the 1999 monkfish fishing year (November 8, 1999, through April 30, 2000).

For fishing years 2002 and after, monkfish DAS will be set to zero unless the management program is revised before fishing year 2002.

DAS Carry-Over Allowance - With the exception of vessels that held a Confirmation of Permit History for the entire fishing year preceding the carry-over year, limited access monkfish vessels that have unused DAS on the last day of April of any year will automatically be credited with the amount of unused DAS remaining, up to a maximum of 10 DAS for the next fishing year. DAS sanctioned vessels will be credited with unused DAS minus total DAS sanctioned. DAS NOTIFICATION PROGRAM - Effective November 8, 1999

Call-in notification - Unless a vessel is required to, or chooses to, use the VMS notification system described below, all monkfish limited access vessels participating in the monkfish DAS program are subject to the following requirements:

The vessel owner or authorized representative must notify NMFS prior to leaving port,** and upon returning to port** that the vessel will be participating in the monkfish DAS program by calling (1-800-260-8204 or 978-281-9335) and providing the following information: Owner and caller name and phone number; the vessel's name and permit number; the type of trip to be taken; the port of departure or return; and whether the vessel is beginning or ending a trip.

Category C and D vessels fishing under a multispecies DAS in the NFMA and Category C and D vessels fishing under a scallop DAS with a dredge on board or under a net exemption in either the NFMA or the SFMA are not required to call into the monkfish DAS program.

A combination vessel (a vessel that holds both a multispecies and scallop permit) must declare whether to count DAS against the multispecies or scallop DAS at the time it calls into the monkfish DAS program.

A DAS begins or ends when the call has been received and confirmation given by NMFS (and is counted on an hourly basis, unless the vessel is fishing with gillnet gear).

**For purposes of the notification system: Prior to leaving port means prior to departing from the last dock or mooring in a port to engage in fishing, including the transport of fish to another port. Upon returning to port means the first point when a vessel ties up at the dock or mooring in a port at the end of a fishing trip.

VMS notification - Owners of monkfish vessels fishing under a monkfish DAS that are either required by the Regional Administrator to have an operational VMS unit (full-time and part-time scallop vessels and combination multispecies vessels) or vessels whose owners elect to fish under the VMS notification, are subject to the following:

The vessel must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria as specified in the regulations.

The vessel must declare into the monkfish fishery prior to the vessel leaving port by notifying the Regional Administrator through the VMS.

DAS for vessels that are under the VMS monitoring program are counted beginning with the first location signal received (on an hourly basis) after the vessel crosses the VMS Demarcation Line leaving port and ending with the first location signal received (on an hourly basis) after the vessel crosses the VMS Demarcation Line returning to port.

MONKFISH POSSESSION AND LANDING RESTRICTIONS (see table attached) -

Monkfish may be possessed or landed either as tails only, or in whole form, or any combination of the two. When both tails and whole fish are possessed or landed, the possession or landing limit for monkfish tails shall be the whole weight limit minus the landing of whole monkfish, divided by 3.32. For example, a 996 lb whole weight trip limit and a 600 lb landing of whole fish shall allow for a maximum landing of tails of 119.3 lb tail weight ((996- 600) 3.32 = 119.3).

1. MONKFISH LIMITED ACCESS PERMITTED VESSELS (CATEGORY A, B, C, D)

(A) Monkfish landing limit restrictions when fishing under a DAS: Vessels fishing under a multispecies, scallop and/or monkfish DAS may or may not be subject to a monkfish trip limit depending on the fishing year, the area the vessel is fishing in, the vessel's limited access monkfish permit category, the DAS program the vessel is fishing under, and the gear the vessel is fishing with. Following is a breakdown of the monkfish landing limit restrictions when fishing under either a monkfish DAS (I), a multispecies DAS (II), or a scallop DAS (III):

I. Vessels fishing under the Monkfish DAS Program (Fishing years 1999 through 2001) -

Reminder for Category C and D vessels: When fishing under the monkfish DAS program, an equal number of DAS will be deducted from the vessels monkfish DAS allocation and from its scallop or multispecies DAS allocation, whichever is applicable.

When fishing in the NFMA:

Effective November 8, 1999, through April 30, 2002 - Category A and B vessels, and Category C and D vessels that hold a limited access scallop permit and that does not use or possess a scallop dredge on board, that are fishing under the monkfish DAS program in the NFMA are not subject to a monkfish landing limit.

When fishing in the SFMA:

Effective November 8, 1999, through April 30, 2000 - Category A and B vessels, and Category C and D vessels that hold a limited access multispecies permit or a limited access scallop permit and that does not use or possess a scallop dredge on board, that are fishing under the monkfish DAS program in the SFMA are not subject to a monkfish landing limit.

Trawl-Gear Only -

Effective May 1, 2000 through April 30, 2002 - Category A vessels, and Category C vessels that hold a limited access multispecies permit or a limited access scallop permit and that do not use or possess a scallop dredge on board, that are fishing under the monkfish DAS program in the SFMA may land up to 1,500 lb tail-weight or 4,980 lb whole weight of monkfish per monkfish DAS (or any prorated combination of tail-weight and whole weight based on the conversion factor), if trawl gear is used exclusively during the trip.

Effective May 1, 2000 through April 30, 2002 - Category B vessels, and Category D vessels that hold a limited access multispecies permit or a limited access scallop permit and that do not use or possess a scallop dredge on board, that are fishing under the monkfish DAS program in the SFMA may land up to 1,000 lb tail-weight or 3,320 lb whole weight of monkfish per monkfish DAS (or any prorated combination of tail-weight and whole weight based on the conversion factor), if trawl gear is used exclusively during the trip.

Non-Trawl Gear (except dredge gear, which is prohibited under a monkfish DAS)-

Effective May 1, 2000 through April 30, 2002 - Category A, B, C and D vessels that are using gear other than trawl gear and fishing under the monkfish DAS program in the SFMA may land up to 300 lb tail-weight or 996 lb whole weight of monkfish per monkfish DAS (or any prorated combination of tail-weight and whole weight based on the conversion factor).

II. Vessels fishing under the Multispecies DAS Program (and not under the monkfish DAS program) -

When fishing in the NFMA:

Effective November 8, 1999, through April 30, 2002 - Category C and D vessels that are fishing under the multispecies DAS program in the NFMA are not subject to a monkfish landing limit.

Effective May 1, 2002 and thereafter - Category C and D vessels that are fishing under the multispecies DAS program in the NFMA may land up to 300 lb tail-weight or 996 whole weight of monkfish per multispecies DAS, or 25 percent of the total weight of fish on board, whichever is less.

When fishing in the SFMA:

Trawl-Gear Only -

Effective November 8, 1999, through April 30, 2002 - Category C and D vessels that are fishing under the multispecies DAS program in the SFMA may land up to 300 lb tail-weight or 996 lb whole weight of monkfish per multispecies DAS if trawl gear is used exclusively during the trip.

Effective May 1, 2002 and thereafter - Category C and D vessels that are fishing under the multispecies DAS program in the SFMA may land up to 300 lb tail-weight or 996 lb whole weight of monkfish per multispecies DAS, or 25 percent of the total weight of fish on board, whichever is less, if trawl gear is used exclusively during the trip.

Non-Trawl Gear (except dredge gear, which is prohibited under a monkfish DAS) -

Effective November 8, 1999, through April 30, 2002 - Category C and D vessels that are fishing under the multispecies DAS program in the SFMA may land up to 50 lb tail-weight or 166 lb whole weight of monkfish per multispecies DAS when fishing with gear other than trawl gear during the trip.

Effective May 1, 2002 and thereafter - Category C and D vessels that are fishing under the multispecies DAS program in the SFMA may land up to 50 lb tail-weight or 166 lb whole weight of monkfish per multispecies DAS, or 25 percent of the total weight of fish on board, whichever is less, when fishing with gear other than trawl gear during the trip.

III. Vessels fishing under the Scallop DAS Program -

Vessels fishing under a scallop DAS are subject to the following monkfish trip limit, regardless of whether they are fishing in the NFMA or the SFMA:

With Dredge Gear or Net Exemption -

Effective November 8, 1999, through April 30, 2002 - Category C or D vessels and that are fishing under the scallop DAS program with a dredge on board, or under a net exemption provision, may land up to 300 lb tail-weight or 996 lb whole weight of monkfish per scallop DAS (or any prorated combination of tail-weight and whole weight on the conversion factor), when fishing in either the NFMA or the SFMA.

Effective May 1, 2002 and thereafter - Category C or D vessels that are fishing under the scallop DAS program with a dredge on board, or under a net exemption provision, may land up to 200 lb tail-weight or 664 lb whole weight of monkfish per scallop DAS (or any prorated combination of tail-weight and whole weight on the conversion factor), when fishing in either the NFMA or the SFMA.

(B) Monkfish landing limit restrictions when not fishing under any DAS program:

Effective November 8, 1999, and thereafter - Category A, B, C, and D vessels not fishing under any DAS program and fishing with large mesh (mesh that is no smaller than the regulated mesh specified by the Northeast multispecies regulations) may retain and land monkfish (whole or tails) up to 5 percent of the total weight of fish on board.

Effective November 8, 1999, and thereafter - Category A, B, C, and D vessels not fishing under any DAS program and fishing with small mesh (mesh smaller than the minimum regulated multispecies mesh size) may retain and land up to 50 lb tail-weight or 166 lb whole weight of monkfish per trip.

Effective November 8, 1999, and thereafter - Category A, B, C, and D vessels not fishing under any DAS program and that are less than or equal to 30 feet in length may retain and land up to 50 lb tail-weight or 166 lb whole weight of monkfish per trip, regardless of the weight of other fish on board.

2. MONKFISH INCIDENTAL CATCH PERMITTED VESSELS (CATEGORY E)

The following monkfish incidental landing limits apply to vessels issued an open access monkfish incidental catch permit.

(A) Monkfish landing limit restrictions when fishing under a DAS:

I. Category E vessels fishing under a multispecies DAS

When fishing in the NFMA:

Effective November 8, 1999 - Category E vessels fishing under a multispecies DAS may land up to 300 lb tail-weight or 996 lb whole weight of monkfish per multispecies DAS (or any prorated combination of tail-weight and whole weight based on the conversion factor), or 25 percent of the total weight of fish on board, whichever is less.

When fishing in the SFMA:

Effective November 8, 1999 - Category E vessels fishing under a multispecies DAS may land up to 50 lb tail-weight or 166 lb whole weight of monkfish per DAS (or any prorated combination of tail-weight and whole weight based on the conversion factor).

II. Category E vessels fishing under a scallop DAS

Category E vessels fishing under a scallop DAS are subject to the following monkfish trip limits, regardless of whether they are fishing in the NFMA or the SMFA.

Effective November 8, 1999, through April 30, 2002 - Category E vessels fishing under a scallop DAS with dredge gear on board may land up to 300 lb tail-weight or 996 lb whole weight of monkfish per scallop DAS (or any prorated combination of tail-weight and whole weight based on the conversion factor).

Effective May 1, 2002 -Category E vessels fishing under a scallop DAS with dredge gear on board may land up to 200 lb tail-weight or 664 lb whole weight of monkfish per scallop DAS (or any prorated combination of tail-weight and whole weight based on the conversion factor).

(B) Monkfish landing limit restrictions when not fishing under a DAS:

I. Category E vessels fishing with gear other than handgear

Effective November 8, 1999 - Category E vessels fishing with large mesh (mesh that is no smaller than the regulated mesh specified by the Northeast multispecies regulations) when not fishing under any DAS program, may retain and land monkfish (whole or tails) up to 5 percent of the total weight of fish on board.

Effective November 8, 1999 -Category E vessels fishing with small mesh (mesh smaller than the minimum regulated multispecies mesh size), when not fishing under any DAS program, may retain and land up to 50 lb tail-weight or 166 lb whole weight of monkfish per trip.

Effective November 8, 1999 - Category E vessels that are less than or equal to 30 feet in length, when not fishing under any DAS program, may retain and land up to 50 lb tail-weight or 166 lb whole weight of monkfish per trip, regardless of the weight of other fish on board.

II. Category E vessels fishing with handgear

Effective November 8, 1999 - Category E vessels fishing with rod and reel or handlines with no other fishing gear on board, when not fishing under any DAS program, may retain and land up to 50 lb tail-weight or 166 lb whole weight of monkfish per trip, regardless of the weight of other fish on board.

MONKFISH LIVER LANDINGS - Effective November 8, 1999

A vessel authorized to land monkfish may possess or land monkfish livers up to 25 percent of the tail-weight of monkfish on board, or up to 10 percent of the whole weight of monkfish on board per trip.

If a vessel possesses or lands both monkfish tails and whole monkfish, the vessel may land monkfish livers up to 10 percent of the weight of monkfish on board per trip using the following ratio: (0.10) x [ (tail weight x 3.32) + (whole fish x 1)]

NOTE: The value of 3.32 is the live weight conversion for tails and the value of 1 is the live weight conversion for fish landed in a whole condition.

GILLNET RESTRICTIONS - Effective November 8, 1999

Net limitations - A vessel fishing under a monkfish DAS may not fish with, haul, possess, or deploy more than 160 gillnets. A vessel issued a multispecies limited access permit and a limited access monkfish permit and that is fishing under a monkfish DAS, may fish any combination of monkfish, roundfish, and flatfish gillnets, up to 160 nets total, provided that the number of monkfish, roundfish, and flatfish gillnets is consistent with the multispecies limitations and that the nets are tagged in accordance with the multispecies regulations. Nets may not be longer than 300 feet, or 50 fathoms, in length.

Method of counting DAS - A vessel fishing with gillnet gear under a monkfish DAS will accrue 15 hours monkfish DAS for each trip greater than 3 hours but less than or equal to 15 hours. Vessels will accrue actual monkfish DAS hours for trips less than or equal to 3 hours or greater than 15 hours.

GILLNET TAGGING REQUIREMENTS - Effective May 1, 2000

Beginning May 1, 2000, all gillnets fished, hauled, possessed, or deployed by a vessel fishing for monkfish under a monkfish DAS must have one monkfish tag per net, with one tag secured to every other bridle of every net within a string of nets. Tags must be obtained by May 1, 2000. NMFS will provide a gillnet tag application along with instructions to all limited access monkfish vessels prior to fishing year 2000.

SPAWNING SEASON RESTRICTIONS - Effective January 1, 2000

A vessel issued a Category A or B limited access monkfish permit must declare and be out of the monkfish DAS program for a 20-day period between April 1 and June 30 of each calender year. If a vessel owner has not declared and been out for a 20-day period between April 1 and June 30 of each calender year on or before June 11 of each year, the vessel is prohibited from fishing, possessing, or landing any monkfish during the period June 11 through June 30, inclusive. A vessel must declare its block of time out of the fishery by way of the DAS notification program (1-800-260-8204 or 978-281-9335).

MINIMUM MESH SIZE - Effective November 8, 1999

1. Trawl Nets -

a) Trawl nets when fishing under a monkfish DAS only (Category A and B vessels) or when fishing under a monkfish and scallop DAS (Category C and D vessels): The minimum mesh size for any trawl net, including beam trawl nets, is 10-inch square or 12-inch diamond mesh throughout the codend for at least 45 continuous meshes forward of the terminus of the net. The remainder of the trawl net may contain mesh that is no smaller than the regulated mesh specified by the Northeast multispecies regulations, depending upon the multispecies regulated mesh area being fished.(1)

b) Trawl nets when fishing under a monkfish and multispecies DAS (Category C and D vessels): The minimum mesh size for any trawl net, including beam trawl nets, may be no smaller than the regulated mesh specified by the Northeast multispecies regulations, depending upon the multispecies regulated mesh area being fished.1

2. Gillnets -

The minimum mesh size for any gillnets used by a vessel fishing under a monkfish DAS is 10-inch diamond.

DREDGE GEAR PROHIBITION - Effective November 8, 1999

A vessel may not fish with dredges or have dredges on board while fishing under a monkfish DAS.

MINIMUM FISH SIZES -

1. Northern Fishery Management Area (NMFA) -

Effective November 8, 1999, and thereafter - When fishing in the NFMA, the minimum fish size limit is 17 inches total length or 11 inches tail length.

2. Southern Fishery Management Area (SFMA) -

Effective November 8, 1999 - When fishing in the SFMA, the minimum fish size limit is 17 inches total length or 11 inches tail length.

Effective May 1, 2000, and thereafter - Unless otherwise notified, when fishing in the SFMA, or when not declared into the NFMA, the minimum fish size limit is 21 inches total length or 14 inches tail length.

AREA DECLARATION - Effective May 1, 2000

Beginning May 1, 2000, when the increased minimum fish size limits in the SFMA become effective, a vessel intending to fish for or catch monkfish under a monkfish DAS only in the NFMA must declare into that area for a period not less than 30 days when calling in under the DAS program. A vessel that has not declared into the NFMA will be presumed to have fished in the SFMA and will be subject to the more restrictive requirements of that area, regardless of where the fish are caught or landed. Such restrictions will apply to the entire trip. A vessel that has declared its intent to fish in the NFMA may transit the SFMA, provided the vessel does not harvest or possess monkfish from the SFMA and that the vessel's fishing gear is properly stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with the regulations.

OPERATOR PERMITS - Effective November 8, 1999

Any operator of a vessel issued a Federal monkfish permit must obtain an operator permit in order to land monkfish. The operator permit must be carried on board. For vessel owners without a permit, an operator permit application may be obtained by contacting the Permit Office at 978-281-9370.

DEALER PERMITS - Effective November 8, 1999

Anyone who receives monkfish for a commercial purpose from the owner or operator of a vessel issued a Federal monkfish permit, other than exclusively for transport on land, must obtain a Federal dealer permit. Call the Permit Office at 978-281-9370 for dealer permit applications. Any owner of a Federal monkfish permit may sell only to dealers with a valid Federal dealer permit.

VESSEL TRIP REPORTS - Effective November 8, 1999

If you have a Federal monkfish permit you must submit reports for all fishing trips, regardless of species fished for or taken, on forms supplied by or approved by the Regional Administrator. At least the following information and any other information required by the Regional Administrator must be provided: Vessel name; USCG documentation number (or state registration number, if undocumented); permit number; date/time sailed; date/time landed; trip type; number of crew; number of anglers (if a charter or party boat); gear fished; quantity and size of gear; mesh/ring size; chart area fished; average depth; latitude/longitude (or loran station and bearings); total hauls per area fished; average tow time duration; pounds by species (or count, if a party or charter vessel) of all species landed or discarded; dealer permit number; dealer name; date sold; port and state landed; and vessel operator's name, signature, and operator permit number (if applicable). If no fish are landed or no fishing trip is taken during a month, a report so stating must be submitted.

VESSEL UPGRADES AND REPLACEMENTS -

Any vessel, to remain eligible to retain or renew a limited access monkfish permit, may be upgraded (whether through reconstruction or replacement) only if the length, gross registered tonnage, or net tonnage is not increased by more than 10%; horsepower is not increased by more than 20%; and such upgrading occurs not more than once. A horsepower upgrade may be done separately from upgrades of length or tonnage.

CONSOLIDATION RESTRICTION -

Monkfish limited access permits and DAS allocations may not be combined or consolidated.

ABANDONMENT OR VOLUNTARY RELINQUISHMENT OF PERMITS

If a vessel's limited access monkfish permit is voluntarily surrendered to the Regional Administrator, or is abandoned by failing to renew it, a limited access permit for the monkfish fishery will not be reissued or renewed for the vessel in question.

RESTRICTION ON PERMIT SPLITTING -

A limited access monkfish permit may not be issued to a vessel or to its replacement, or remain valid if the vessel's permit or fishing history has been used to qualify another vessel for another Federal fishery.

This letter is only a summary of the regulations. To read these regulations in their entirety you are encouraged to obtain a complete copy of the regulations by calling (978)281-9278, or by accessing the Northeast Regional Office's website at:

http://www.wh.whoi.edu/ro/doc/nero.html

This notice is authorized by the Regional Administrator of the

National Marine Fisheries Service


The following table is a breakdown of the monkfish trip limits for vessels that hold a monkfish limited access permit. This table has been organized by what DAS Program the vessel is fishing under. Please note that monkfish DAS used by a limited access multispecies or scallop vessel holding a Category C or D limited access monkfish permit will also be counted as a multispecies or scallop DAS, as applicable.
MONKFISH TRIP LIMITS

FOR MONKFISH LIMITED ACCESS VESSELS

WHEN FISHING UNDER A DAS



Effective Date


Permit Category
DAS Program Area

Area


Gear*


Trip Limit per DAS**
Prior to

May 1, 2002

Category A & B, and Category C & D with LA*** scallop



Monkfish


NFMA


All Gear


No trip limit
Prior to

May 1, 2000

Category A, B, C, D Monkfish SFMA All Gear No trip limit
May 1, 2000 Category A or C Monkfish SFMA Trawl 1,500 lb of tail-weight
May 1, 2000 Category B or D Monkfish SFMA Trawl 1,000 lb of tail-weight
May 1, 2000 Category A, B, C, D Monkfish SFMA Non-Trawl 300 lb tail-weight
Prior to

May 1, 2002

Category C and D Multispecies NFMA All Gear No trip limit



May 1, 2002


Category C and D


Multispecies


NFMA


All Gear
300 lb tail-weight, or 25% of total weight of fish on board, whichever is less
Prior to

May 1, 2002

Category C and D Multispecies SFMA Trawl 300 lb tail-weight



May 1, 2002


Category C and D


Multispecies


SFMA


Trawl
300 lb tail-weight, or 25% of total weight of fish on board, whichever is less
Prior to

May 1, 2002

Category C and D Multispecies SFMA Non-Trawl 50 lb tail-weight



May 1, 2002


Category C and D


Multispecies


SFMA


Non-Trawl
50 lb tail-weight, or 25% of total weight of fish on board, whichever is less
Prior to

May 1, 2002



Category C and D


Scallop
SFMA and NFMA Dredge or net exemption

300 lb tail-weight


May 1, 2002


Category C and D


Scallop
SFMA and NFMA Dredge or net exemption

200 lb tail-weight

*Dredge gear is prohibited when fishing under a monkfish or multispecies DAS

**Or the whole-weight equivalent (tail weight x 3.32)

***LA = Limited access









The following table is a breakdown of the monkfish trip limits for vessels that hold a monkfish limited access permit and that are not fishing under any DAS program.



MONKFISH TRIP LIMITS

FOR MONKFISH LIMITED ACCESS VESSELS

WHEN NOT FISHING UNDER A DAS

Effective Date Permit Category Gear Trip Limit*
November 8, 1999 Category A, B, C or D Large Mesh

(minimum regulated multispecies mesh size)

Up to 5% (whole or tail) of total weight of fish on board/trip
November 8, 1999 Category A, B, C or D Small Mesh

(Less than regulated multispecies mesh size)

50 lb/trip
November 8, 1999 Category A, B, C or D vessels that are 30 feet All Gear 50 lb/trip

*Or the whole-weight equivalent (tail weight x 3.32)




NORTHEAST MULTISPECIES

MINIMUM MESH SIZE REGULATIONS



Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank (GOM/GB) Regulated Mesh Area:

The minimum mesh size, unless fishing under the Large Mesh Days-at-Sea (DAS) program**, is 6 inch diamond mesh or 6 inch square mesh throughout the entire net. For further information or for exemptions to this area mesh requirement, refer to NMFS's Northeast Region Information Sheets Number 1, 2 and 3.

Southern New England (SNE) Regulated Mesh Area:

The minimum mesh size, unless fishing under the Large Mesh DAS program**, is 6 inch diamond mesh or 6 inch square mesh throughout the entire net. For further information or for exemptions to this area mesh requirement, refer to NMFS's Northeast Region Information Sheets Number 1, 2 and 3.

Mid-Atlantic (MA) Regulated Mesh Area:

The minimum mesh size, unless fishing under the Large Mesh DAS program**, is 5 inch diamond mesh or 6 inch square mesh applied throughout the codend for at least 75 continuous meshes forward of the terminus of the net, or, for codends with less than 75 meshes, the minimum mesh size codend must be a minimum of one-third of the net, measured from the terminus of the codend to the head rope, excluding any turtle excluder devise extension. Vessels fishing in the MA regulated mesh area are exempt from the 5% bycatch criteria specifications and may, therefore, fish in a fishery outside of a DAS, provided that they do not possess or land regulated multispecies finfish.

The GOM/GB regulated mesh area is defined according to the following coordinates:

Latitude Longitude

(1) (2)

4358' N. 6722' W.

4253.1' N. 6744.4' W.

4231' N. 6728.1' W.

4118.6' N. 6624.8' W.

4055.5' N. 6638' W.

4045.5' N. 6800' W.

4037' N. 6800' W.

4030' N. 6900' W.

4022.7' N. 6900' W.

4018.7' N. 6940' W.

4050' N. 6940' W.

4050' N. 7000' W.

7000' W. (2)

(1)The intersection of the shoreline and the U.S.-Canada maritime Boundary [southward along the irregular U.S.-Canada maritime Boundary]. (2) Northward to its intersection with the shoreline of mainland Massachusetts.

The SNE regulated mesh area is defined according to the following coordinates:

Latitude Longitude

4118.6' N. 6624.8' W.

4055.5' N. 6638' W.

4045.5' N. 6800' W.

4037' N. 6800' W.

4030.5' N. 6900' W.

4022.7' N. 6900' W.

4018.7' N. 6940' W.

4050' N. 6940' W.

4050' N. 7000' W.

7000' W(1)

(1) Northward to its intersection with the shoreline of mainland Massachusetts; and on the west by the eastern boundary of the Mid-Atlantic regulated mesh area.

The Mid-Atlantic regulated mesh area is that area bounded on the east by a line running from the Rhode Island shoreline at 4118.2' N. and 7151.5' W. (Watch Hill, RI) southwesterly through Fishers Island, NY, to Race Point, Fishers Island, NY, and from Race Point, Fishers Island, NY, southeasterly to the intersection of the 3 nautical mile line east of Montauk Point, southwesterly along the 3 nautical mile line to the intersection of 7230' W. Longitude and south along that line to the intersection of the outer boundary of the EEZ.

**LARGE MESH DAS PROGRAM

For vessels fishing under a groundfish DAS with a Large Mesh Individual or Large Mesh Fleet DAS category permit, the minimum mesh size for sink gillnet gear is 7 inch diamond mesh throughout the entire net and the minimum mesh size for trawl gear is 8 inch diamond mesh throughout the entire net, regardless of area fished.



NERO Home Page