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Small Mesh Exemption Areas 1 & 2

Area: These Exemption Areas (EAs) are designed for small-mesh multispecies, but spiny dogfish can be retained incidentally. Small Mesh Areas 1 and 2 are defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated below:

Small Mesh Area 1
N. Latitude W. Longitude
43°03’ 70°27’
42°57’ 70°22’
42°47’ 70°32’
42°45’ 70°29’
42°43’ 70°32’
42°44’ 70°39’
42°49’ 70°43’
42°50’ 70°41’
42°53’ 70°43’
42°55’ 70°40’
42°59’ 70°32’

Note: Portions of Small Mesh Area 1 fall within the state jurisdictions of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. When fishing in state waters, a Federally permitted vessel is subject to the more restrictive of Federal or state regulations.


Small Mesh Area 2
N. Latitude W. Longitude
43°05.6’ 69°55’
43°10.1’ 69°43.3’
42°49.5’ 69°40’
42°41.5’ 69°40’
42°36.6’ 69°55’
43°05.6’ 69°55’

Note: Portions of Small Mesh Area 2 are affected by Inshore Closure Areas and are thus closed during these time periods.


Small Mesh Area 1 Season: July 15 – November 15.

Small Mesh Area 2 Season: January 1 – June 30.

Gear: A trawl vessel is required to use a raised footrope trawl when fishing in Small Mesh Areas 1 and 2, depending on the species of fish targeted. A description of the raised footrope trawl can be found in the NE Multispecies Small Mesh Fishery Exemptions information sheet.

Requirements: While fishing in these EAs, vessels may not fish for, possess on board, or land any species of fish other than dogfish and the following species:

Transiting: When transiting the GOM or GB RMAs, any nets with a mesh size smaller than the RMA minimum mesh size must be stowed and unavailable for immediate use.