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Cultivator Shoal Whiting Fishery Exemption Area

Area: This exemption area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

N. Latitude W. Longitude
42°10’ 68°10’
41°30’ 68°41’
41°30’ 68°30’
41°12.8’ 68°30’
41°05’ 68°20’
41°55’ 67°40’
42°10’ 68°10’

Season: June 15 – October 31, unless otherwise specified by notification in the Federal Register.

Gear: A minimum mesh size of 3-inch square or diamond mesh, applied to the first 100 meshes (200 bars in case of square mesh) for a vessel greater than 60 feet in length, or 50 meshes (100 bars in case of square mesh) for a vessel less than or equal to 60 feet in length, counted from the terminus of the net.

Possession Limits:

Note: Possession limits may be reduced to 2,000 lb for whiting and 400 lb for red hake if the in-season possession limit triggers are reached.

Additional Incidental Species Allowed: While fishing in this exemption area, vessels may not fish for, possess on board, or land any species of fish other than small-mesh multispecies (hakes) and the following species as incidental catch:

Additional Requirements: Participating vessels must carry a Letter of Authorization (LOA) issued by the Regional Administrator, valid for a minimum of 7 days. Participating vessels may withdraw from the program no earlier than 7 days from the date of enrollment. LOAs, and withdrawals, may be obtained from the Northeast Region Permit Office at (978) 281-9370. For more information, click here.

Small mesh may not be used outside the Cultivator Shoal Exemption Area in either the Western or Eastern US/Canada Areas or elsewhere on GB except in the SNE Exemption Area. When transiting the Gulf of Maine (GOM) or Georges Bank (GB) Regulated Mesh Areas (RMAs), any nets with a mesh size smaller than the RMA minimum mesh size must be stowed and unavailable for immediate use.