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Ocean Quahog (Arctica islandica)
Atlantic Surfclam (Spisula solidissima)

Atlantic Surfclam And Ocean Quahog

Implementing regulations are found at 50 CFR part 648 subpart E

The surfclam and ocean quahog fishery is managed under a fishery management plan (FMP) developed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. With the exception of the Maine mahogany quahog fishery, the fishery has operated under an individual transferable quota (ITQ) management system since 1990. The principal gear used in the fishery is the hydraulic clam dredge, which uses jets of water to dislodge ocean quahogs and surfclams from sediments. A smaller "dry" dredge (without hydraulic jets) is used in Maine waters to harvest Maine mahogany quahogs. The mahogany quahog fishery off Maine is managed under a relatively small quota that is separate from the quota used to manage the ITQ fishery.  Ocean quahogs off Maine are managed separately because of differences in biological, fishery, and market characteristics.

 

ITQ Allocation Holder Reports

A Guide for Commercial Maritime Industries - Munitions At Sea

The Army recognizes that munitions may inadvertently be encountered during commercial and recreational activities. To address this potential, the Army has developed an explosives safety guide to advise people who work in our Nation’s maritime industries of the potential hazards associated with munitions inadvertently recovered from the sea and the actions that should be taken to help ensure safety.

Current Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR)

What are other common names for the Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog fishery?
-Common names for Atlantic surfclam may include: Clam, hen clam, bar clam, and sea clam.
-Ocean quahogs can also be called: Quahogs, hard clams, mahogany clams/quahogs, and black clams.
*Note: Ocean quahogs (Artica islandica) are a different species of quahog than those that are found in intertidal zones (Mercenaria mercenaria), which are often referred to as cherry stones or little necks.

What time of year are surfclams and ocean quahogs most commonly found? The fishery occurs year-round.

What is the geographic extent of the fishery? Surfclams are distributed from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Cape Hatteras, NC. Commercial fisheries generally concentrate on the populations off the coasts of New Jersey and the Delmarva Peninsula.
Ocean quahogs are found from Newfoundland to Cape Hatteras, NC. Outside of Maine waters, the bulk of the landings and effort typically come from the Long Island region. From 2001-2008, there were no landings south of 38° N latitude, and landings were still centered in the Long Island region.

At what depths are Atlantic surfclams and ocean quahogs found? Surfclams are found from beach zones to about 150 ft.
Ocean quahogs are found at depths of 25 to 750 ft.  As one moves northward, quahogs inhabit waters closer to shore. Ocean quahogs are typically harvested in waters up to 300 ft deep in southern New England.

Are other species caught when fishing for surfclams or ocean quahogs? Not usually. In regards to bycatch, this is an extremely clean fishery, comprising well over 80 percent of total catch from surveys.  Commercial operations are typically also cleaner than the scientific surveys.

What gear types are authorized and what gears are primarily used in this fishery? Dredge and hand harvest are authorized in the commercial fishery, with hydraulic clam dredges being the primary gear type used. Recreational harvest is limited to hand harvest.

Who manages this fishery? Surfclam and ocean quahog are managed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, with the National Marine Fisheries Service serving as the implementing body for rules and regulations within the fishery.

How is the fishery managed? Since 1977, the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fishery has been managed under a fishery management plan (FMP) developed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. With the exception of the Maine mahogany quahog zone portion of the fishery, this fishery has operated under an individual transferable quota (ITQ) management system since 1990.

Minimum size limits may also be used to manage the surfclam fishery, although there are no size limits on ocean quahogs.

What is the fishing year for this fishery? January 1 – December 31

What are the different management areas for the surfclam/ocean quahog fisheries? The only distinct management zone in this fishery is the Maine mahogany quahog zone, which is north of 43°50' N. latitude.  This area has some different regulations than the rest of the EEZ. See the ‘Permits’ and 'Quotas' tabs for more information on the Maine mahogany quahog fishery.

1977 – Original FMP for Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog approved 

1979 – Amendment 1 extended the moratorium in surfclam fishery through 1979

1979Amendment 2 extended the FMP through 1981, divided the surfclam portion of the management unit into the New England and Mid-Atlantic Area, and introduced a “bad weather make up day” 

1981 – Amendment 3 extended the FMP indefinitely; also imposed a 5.5-inch minimum size limit, expanded fishing week, and put quota setting on a framework basis 

1984 – Amendment 4 increased maximum clam quotas and altered allocation distribution methods. It was implemented on an emergency basis for 180 days beginning 1 July 1984, but was subsequently determined structurally complete for review

1985 – Amendment 5 extended size limit and required that cages be tagged

1986Amendment 6 divided the New England Area into the Nantucket Shoals and Georges Bank Areas, the dividing line being 69° N. longitude

1987Amendment 7 changed the quota distribution on Georges Bank to equal quarterly quotas

1988 – Amendment 8 established an ITQ system; also allowed minimum size to be suspended from year to year, merged the New England and Mid-Atlantic areas into one management area, and authorized an experimental fishery for information purposes

1991 – Size limit suspended for the year's fishing season due to the relatively low abundance of pre-recruit-sized clams (less than 4.3 inches) and the likely incentive under Amendment 8 to target beds of larger surfclams

1996 – Amendment 9 revised overfishing definitions in response to scientific review by NMFS

1998 – Amendment 10 placed a moratorium on entry to the Maine EEZ fishery

1998Amendment 11 achieved consistency among Mid-Atlantic and New England FMPs on vessel replacement and upgrade provisions, permit history transfer and splitting and renewal regulations for fishing vessels issued Northeast Limited Access Federal Fishery permits

1999 – Amendment 12 (FR Notice) established new overfishing definitions, identified and described essential fish habitat, added framework adjustment procedure, and implemented operator permits

2004 – Amendment 13 (FR Notice) revised surfclam overfishing definition, addressed gear impacts to EFH, allowed for multi-year quotas, provided for a reversal of the suspension of the surfclam size limit, and allowed implementation of a mandatory vessel monitoring system (VMS)

2005 – Industry has lowest harvest since 2000, at 2.744 million bushels of surfclams, 81% of the 3.4 million bushel quota, due to market conditions

2008Amendment 14 (FR Notice) implemented standardized bycatch reporting methodology across Mid-Atlantic fisheries 

2008 – Framework 1 (FR Notice) requires a vessel monitoring system (VMS) for vessels participating in the surfclam fishery to monitor closed areas and borders between state and Federal jurisdiction

2011Amendment 16 (FR Notice) specified mechanisms to set acceptable biological catch (ABC), annual catch limits (ACLs), and accountability measures (AMs)

2013Regulatory Amendment (FR Notice) reopened a portion of the George Bank paralytic shellfish poisoning closed area to Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog harvesting.  To harvest in the reopened area vessels must follow a paralytic shellfish poisoning protocol.

2015Amendment 15 (FR Notice) implemented Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology

2015Amendment 18 (FR Notice) eliminated the requirement for vessel owners to submit "did not fish" reports for the time periods when their vessel was not fishing; removed some restrictions for vessel listings on Federal fishing permits

2016Amendment 17 (FR Notice) established a cost recovery program for the ITQ fishery; changes how biological reference points are incorporated into the FMP

2017Amendment 19 (FR Notice) implemented management measures to prevent the development of new, and the expansion of existing, commercial fisheries on certain forage species in the Mid-Atlantic

What are the primary markets for the Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog fishery? Surfclams and ocean quahogs are generally processed for human consumption in soups, chowders, and stews. A small portion of landings are also sold in the bait market.

What are the recent landings and value of the commercial fishery?  In 2015, the ocean quahog average price was $0.79/lb, and the fishery landed 30.0 million pounds worth $23.7 million.

Also in 2015, the average Atlantic surfclam price was $0.75/lb, and the fishery landed 40.7 million pounds worth $30.5 million.

What are the top Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog landing ports? The top ports for this fishery are: Atlantic City, NJ; Pt. Pleasant, NJ; Ocean City, MD; Oceanside, NY; and Wildwood, NJ.

Northeast Fisheries Science Center Stock Assessments – click here.

Stock Atlantic Surfclam Ocean Quahog
Overfishing? No No
Overfishing Definition Overfishing occurs when F > FMSY; where FMSY = M (natural mortality rate) Overfishing occurs when F > FMSY; where FMSY = F45%
Overfished? No No
Overfished Definition The stock is overfished when B < ½ BMSY The stock is overfished when B < 2/5 of B1978 (virgin biomass)
Rebuilding Program Progress None, declared rebuilt None, declared rebuilt
F/FThreshold 0.295 0.246
Fishing Mortality Rate (F) 0.009 (2015) 0.005 (2016)
SSB/SSBThreshold 2.54 2.04
Spawning Stock Biomass (SSB) 46.355 million mt (2015) 3.287 million mt (2016)

Most Recent Environmental Impact Statement: Amendment 13; 2004

Most Recent Biological Opinion: None necessary

Most Recent Stock Assessment: SAW 61 (2016) for Atlantic surfclam; and SAW 63 (2017) for ocean quahog

Next Stock Assessment: Not yet scheduled for either species at this time

Quota Monitoring - click here

2018 Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Specifications (January 1-December 31)

Stock Atlantic Surfclam Ocean Quahog
Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) 29,363 mt 44,695 mt
Annual Catch Limit (ACL) 29,363 mt 44,695 mt
Annual Catch Target (ACT) 29,363 mt 25,924 mt
Commercial Quota 3.4 million bushels (bu) Maine quota: 100,000 Maine bu; Non-Maine quota: 5.33 million bu

Maine Mahogany Quahog Fishery
The annual quota for harvest of mahogany quahogs from within the Maine mahogany quahog zone is 100,000 Maine bushels (1 Maine bushel = 1.2445 ft3). This quota may be revised annually. 

Conversions
1 metric ton (mt) = 2,204.622 pounds (lb)
1 Maine bushel = 11 lb
1 Atlantic surfclam bushel = 17 lb
1 ocean quahog bushel = 10 lb

Research Set-Aside: Not applicable

How often do the quotas change for this fishery? Quotas may be set for up to 3 years, unless otherwise specified.

What if specifications are not in place at the start of the fishing year? The existing specifications roll over. 

Are there in-season adjustments (changes mid-fishing year) in this fishery? There are provisions for the closing or opening of areas, and for the suspension of the surfclam minimum size limit.

Accountability Measures: If the ACL for surfclam or ocean quahog is exceeded, and the overage can be attributed to one or more ITQ allocation holder(s), the full amount of the overage will be deducted from the appropriate ITQ allocation in the following fishing year. Any amount of an ACL overage that cannot be otherwise attributed to an ITQ allocation holder will be deducted from the appropriate ACL (surfclam or ocean quahog) in the following fishing year.

If the Maine mahogany quahog ACL is exceeded, and the Maine mahogany quahog fishery is responsible for the overage, then the Maine fishery ACT shall be reduced in the following year by an amount equal to the ACL overage.

Permit Categories

Permit Category Type Description Catch Limit Permits Issued in 2017 Number of Permits in Confirmation of Permit History*
Category 1   Commercial Surfclam (Open Access) For commercial harvest and sale of surfclams Dependent upon IFQ allocation held 617 Not applicable
Category 6 Commercial Ocean Quahog (Open Access) For commercial harvest and sale of quahogs Dependent upon IFQ allocation held 614 Not applicable
Category 7 Commercial Maine Mahogany Quahog (Limited Access) For commercial harvest and sale of Maine mahogany quahogs 100,000 Maine bushels annually 24 14

*A Confirmation of Permit History allows a vessel owner to retain permit eligibility in the event the vessel has been destroyed or sold, but the owner retains the permit eligibility. The permit in Confirmation of Permit History may then be placed on a vessel at a later date.

Control Date: There are no control dates for this fishery.

Other permit information: There are three categories of permits in this fishery. Two are open access permits: one for surfclam and one for ocean quahog. These two permits, although open access, are individual fishing quota (IFQ), or individual transferable quota (ITQ), permits for their respective species. To fish under these open access ITQ permits, a permit holder must have previously received an allocation of quota or must obtain allocation through a quota transfer from an ITQ holder. 

The third permit category is a limited access permit, and is only for harvesting Maine mahogany quahogs north of 43°50' N. latitude. A vessel issued a limited access Maine mahogany quahog permit and fishing for or possessing ocean quahogs within the Maine mahogany quahog zone (north of 43°50' N. latitude) must land its catch in the State of Maine. Catch from vessels with IFQ permits fishing in the Maine mahogany quahog zone will be counted against their respective surfclam or ocean quahog allocation. All mahogany quahogs landed for sale in Maine by vessels issued a Maine mahogany quahog permit and not fishing for an IFQ allocation are applied against the Maine mahogany quahog quota, regardless of where the mahogany quahogs are harvested.

Commercial operator permit:  Operator cards are required for any operator of a charter/party boat or a commercial vessel (including carrier and processor vessels) issued a vessel permit from the Greater Atlantic Region and fishing for or in possession of fish.

Commercial dealer/processor permit:  Surfclam and ocean quahogs may only be sold to persons possessing a valid Federal surfclam and ocean quahog dealer permit.

How to obtain a Federal fishing permit:  Anyone with a valid vessel operator’s permit can obtain a Federal surfclam or ocean quahog permit by submitting a permit application and supporting documentation to the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office Permit Division. More information can be found here.

Other Administrative Information

How to apply to shuck Atlantic surfclams and ocean quahogs at sea: A vessel owner may apply to NMFS to shuck surfclams or ocean quahogs at sea. If approved, NMFS will determine whether such trips will require an at-sea observer. Additionally, NMFS will publish notification in the Federal Register to determine a conversion factor for shucked meats to accurately calculate the amount of surfclams or ocean quahogs harvested in the shell. The shuck at sea form can be obtained by calling (978) 282-8438 or online, here.

How to request an ITQ allocation or cage tag transfer: An ITQ permit holder who owns an allocation may transfer part or all of his/her allocation to any qualified entity. There are two types of transfers available: 1) Permanent ITQ allocation transfers and 2) Temporary cage tag transfers. There is no limit on the number of transfers permitted per year. An application for transfer may not be made between October 15 and December 31 of each year. The cage tag transfer form can be obtained by calling (978) 282-8438 or online, here.

Possession Limits and Fish Size Requirements

Possession Limits: There are no specified possession or trip limits in the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fishery. Instead, catch is limited on an annual basis according to each IFQ holder’s annual allocation. Each permit holder essentially has their own personal quota/limit for the year, and the rate at which they harvest it is up to them.

Fish size Limits:

Minimum size: The minimum length for surfclams is 4.75 inches. Length is measured at the longest dimension of the surfclam shell. No more than 50 surfclams in any cage may be less than the minimum size limit. If more than 50 surfclams in any inspected cage of surfclams are less than 4.75 inches in length, all cages landed on that trip are deemed to be in violation of the minimum size restriction. However, the minimum size limit is considered on an annual basis, and may be suspended. To determine if there is currently a minimum size limit for Atlantic surfclams, you may call the Sustainable Fisheries Division at 978-281-9315.

There is no Federal minimum size limit for ocean quahogs.

Maximum size: None.

Gear Requirements

There are no specific gear requirements in the Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog fishery. However, all vessels issued a Federal fishing permit for the fishery and using cages, must tag all cages that contain surfclams or ocean quahogs before offloading with a valid tag.

Federal Cage Tags

At the beginning of each fishing year, the approved vendor for cage tags is announced, and each allocation permit is issued with instructions for ordering the appropriate cage tags. The number of tags authorized for each permit holder is based on the owner's initial allocation and any allocation received through transfers. Each tag represents 32 bushels of clams.

A tag must be fixed on or as near as possible to the upper crossbar of the cage, and is required for every 60 ft3 (1,700 L) of cage volume, or portion thereof. The tag or tags must not be removed until the cage is emptied by the processor; at which time the processor must promptly remove and retain the tag(s) for 60 days beyond the end of the calendar year, unless otherwise directed by authorized law enforcement agents. If a vessel fishing under an IFQ allocation is not a capable of carrying cages, it must offload unshucked surfclams or ocean quahogs into properly tagged cages.

Tags expire at the end of the fishing year for which they are issued. If your tags are lost or stolen, you must notify NMFS, with the number of the lost/stolen tags, by telephone at (978) 281-9177 as soon as the loss or theft is discovered and in writing within 24 hours. After a report is received, the reported tags are no longer valid for use. Lost or stolen tags may be replaced if the proper notice was provided. Replacement tags may be purchased from the vendor with a written authorization from NMFS.

Regulated, Closed, and Access Areas

Maine Mahogany Quahog Zone

U.S. waters north of 43°50' N. latitude is defined in the surfclam/ocean quahog fishery as the Maine mahogany quahog zone. This is the area designated for the Maine Mahogany Quahog Fishery, which operates under a separate limited access permit, and has some additional and different regulations than the rest of the EEZ. See the ‘Permits’ and 'Quotas' tabs for more information on the Maine mahogany quahog fishery.

Maine Mahogany Quahog Zone Map

Closed Areas

There are a number of areas closed to the harvesting of surfclams/ocean quahogs. Such areas are closed either due to environmental degradation, concentrations of undersized surfclams, or due to toxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). See below for charts and coordinates of closure areas.

Boston Foul Ground

The Boston Foul Ground is closed to all surfclam or ocean quahog fishing. It is located at 42°25'36" N. lat., 70°35'00" W. long., with a radius of 1 nautical mile in every direction from that point.


New York Bight and 106 Dumpsite

  The New York Bight (also see below for detailed map and coordinates) and 106 dumpsite are closed to all surfclam or ocean quahog fishing. The 106 Dumpsite is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

106 Dump Site
Point 1 39º 00’ 72º 30’
Point 2 39º 00’ 72º 00’
Point 3 38º 40’ 72º 00’
Point 4 38º 40’ 72º 30’
Point 1 39º 00’ 72º 30’

New York Bight

The New York Bight Closure Area is closed to all surfclam or ocean quahog harvesting; and is located at 40°25'04" N. lat., 73°42'38" W. long., with a radius of 6 nm in every direction from that point, extending further northwestward, westward, and southwestward between a line from a point on the arc at 40°31'00" N. lat., 73°43'38" W. long., directly northward toward Atlantic Beach Light in New York to the limit of the state territorial waters of New York; and a line from the point on the arc at 40°19'48" N. lat., 73°45'42" W. long., to a point at the limit of the state territorial waters of New Jersey at 40°14'00" N. lat., 73°55'42" W. See chart below for a more detailed description, or above for a more general location.

Georges Bank Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) Closure Area

The Georges Bank PSP contaminated area, is closed to all bivalve molluscan shellfish fishing (including surfclams and ocean quahogs), and is located east of 69° W. longitude, and south of 42°20' N. latitude, extending to the boundary of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).


Reopened Portion of the Georges Bank PSP Closure Area

A portion of the Georges Bank Closed Area is reopened for Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog harvesting, provided specified PSP testing requirements are followed (see below).

Reopened Portion of the GB PSP Closure Area

Point

Latitude

Longitude

1

42°00’

68°50’

2

42°00’

67°20’

3

41°00’

67°20’

4

41°00’

67°10’

5

40°40’

67°10’

6

40°40’

68°30’

7

41°30’

68°30’

8

41°30’

68°50’

1

42°00’

68°50’

In addition to the requirements of the traditional Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog fishery, to fish in the reopened area (above), a vessel must also do all of the following:

1. Obtain a letter of authorization (LOA) from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The LOA must be carried onboard for all trips into the area. The LOA application will be sent out annually in your permit renewal package or it can be obtained by calling the Permits Division at (978) 282-8438;

2. The vessel must adhere to the terms and conditions of the testing protocol (as adopted into the National Shellfish Sanitation Program by the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference). All surfclams and ocean quahogs harvested from the area must be handled in accordance with the terms and conditions of the protocol from the first point of harvest through completion of testing and release by the State Shellfish Control Authority (SSCA). Click here for the protocol, if needed;

3. Submit to NMFS a document from the SSCA detailing that the state will accept your vessel’s landings. Please note that the SSCA may also require you to develop an agreement of understanding with the state, outlining any additional requirements the state may have;

4. Develop and submit to NMFS a written onboard lot segregation plan. The SSCA in the intended state of landing and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must approve the proposed lot segregation plan. The plan must also be maintained onboard the vessel conducting the harvesting; and

5. Prior to leaving port at the start of a fishing trip, the vessel’s owner or operator must declare the intent to fish in the area by calling the Northeast Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Team at (978) 281-9274. The vessel's owner or operator must also declare either an Atlantic surfclam or ocean quahog trip through the vessel’s VMS unit. In the future, VMS codes will be developed that are specific to the Reopened Portion of the GB Closed Area. In the meantime, vessels will have to declare their intent to fish in the area by calling the Northeast VMS Team at the start of a trip as well as declaring an Atlantic surfclam or ocean quahog trip on their VMS unit.

Days-At-Sea (DAS) Requirements

The Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog fishery is not managed by a DAS system. Please see the "Quotas" and "Limits/Sizes" tabs for more information on effort control in the Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog fishery.

Exempted Fisheries

What is an Exempted Fishery?

Exempted fisheries allow fishing vessels to fish for specific species without being subject to certain Northeast multispecies regulations, including days-at-sea, provided the bycatch of regulated species is minimal. To be approved and implemented, exemption programs must have demonstrated that incidental catch of NE multispecies is less than 5 percent of the total catch, by weight, and that the exemption will not jeopardize fishing mortality objectives.

How to Request Fishery Exemptions

An exempted fishery may be added, deleted, or modified pursuant to the procedure described below:

  1. Applicants must submit a written request to the Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930-2298. The request should describe the area in which the fishery would operate, the period in which it would operate, the gear it would use, the approximate number of vessels likely to participate, and the species it would target, retain, and land.
  2. Those proposing that a fishery should be exempt should describe the fishery and present all information possible that helps determine that the fishery meets the bycatch standard. The Regional Administrator will investigate NMFS data sources, but proposals for exemptions should be complete and clear to facilitate the process. State agencies and universities, for example, may have additional data available and applicants may contact them for assistance.
  3. When a request for an exempted fishery is submitted, the request and any accompanying data are reviewed by the Regional Administrator to determine whether such a fishery would meet the exemption qualifying criteria.  The Regional Administrator will also consult with the New England Fishery Management Council on any exemptions requested. This process may take several months to complete.

Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Fishery Exemptions

There are no exemption areas or exempted fisheries for the Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog fishery.

Protected Resource and Marine Mammal Regulations

It is illegal to harvest or possess protected species unless otherwise specified under the regulations implementing the Endangered Species Act or Marine Mammal Protection Act.  Please see links below for more information or contact NMFS, Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office Protected Resources Division at (978) 281-9328.

Protected Fish Species

Marine Mammals

Sea Turtles

Charter/Party or Recreational Rules and Regulations

This section is not applicable. The Federal Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries do not have charter/party or recreational components.

Commercial Reporting

Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Requirements: Any vessel issued an Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog permit is required to have an operational VMS. More information on VMS position reporting for this fishery can be found here.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System Requirements: The Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog fishery does not have any IVR requirements.

Catch Reporting and Vessel Trip Reports (VTRs): The owner or operator of any vessel issued an Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog permit must maintain on board the vessel and submit to NMFS an accurate Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog report for all fishing trips. Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog reports must be postmarked or received within 3 days after the end of each reporting week. More information on Fishery Trip Reporting can be found here.

Additionally, if species other than Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog are being retained, an additional VTR must be submitted to NMFS as well. More information and instructions for completing VTRs can be found here.

Observer Requirements: The Atlantic surfclam/ocean quahog fishery does not have any specific observer requirements, however all federally permitted vessels are obligated to carry an observer if randomly selected by the National Observer Program.

Charter/Party and Recreational Reporting

This section is not applicable. The Federal Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries do not have charter/party or recreational components that require reporting.

Please see the "Commercial Reporting" tab for reporting information about these commercial fisheries.