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Mid-Atlantic Monkfish Exempted Gillnet Fishery

Exemption: A vessel may fish for monkfish with gillnets in the Mid-Atlantic Exemption Area without also fishing on a Northeast (NE) multispecies day-at-sea (DAS), provided that the vessel complies with the requirements below.

Mid-Atlantic Exemption Area Map

Area: The Mid-Atlantic Exemption Area (EA) is defined as the entire managed Mid-Atlantic region west of the Southern New England (SNE) EA (see map above). Thus, it is bounded on the east by the western boundary of the SNE EA: Which is a line running from the Rhode Island shoreline at 41°18.2′ N. lat. and 71°51.5′ W. long. (Watch Hill, RI), southwesterly through Fishers Island, NY, to Race Point, Fishers Island, NY. 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 72°30′ W. long.; and south along that line to the intersection of the outer boundary of the EEZ.

Season: All year.

Gear: Vessels fishing under this exemption are restricted to using only gillnet gear with a minimum mesh size of 5 inches. In addition, vessels are limited to 50 stand-up gillnets.

Requirements: To participate in this exempted fishery, vessels must be on a Monkfish DAS, and no NE multispecies may be retained while participating in the exemption.

Vessels fishing in this exempted fishery may not fish for, possess, or land any species of fish other than the following:

1 Incidental species allowed for retention when fishing in the Mid-Atlantic EA include: Conger eels; sea robins; black sea bass; red hake; tautog (blackfish); blowfish; cunner; John Dory; mullet; bluefish; tilefish; longhorn sculpin; fourspot flounder; alewife; hickory shad; American shad; blueback herring; sea raven; Atlantic croaker; spot; swordfish; skate and skate parts (except for barndoor skate and other prohibited skate species)–up to 10%, by weight, of all other species on board up to 500 lb wing weight; and American lobster–up to 10%, by weight, of all other species on board up to 100 lobsters per day for trips of 24 hours or less; or 200 lobsters for trips longer than 24 hours, whichever is less.

Note: Unless fishing exclusively in state waters, to land and possess monkfish, vessels are required to obtain a Federal monkfish permit and adhere to any applicable monkfish regulations.