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e-CFR data is current as of October 22, 2020

Title 50Chapter VIPart 648Subpart B → §648.26


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES
Subpart B—Management Measures for the Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries


§648.26   Mackerel, squid, and butterfish possession restrictions.

(a) Atlantic mackerel. (1) Initial possession limits. A vessel must be issued a valid limited access Atlantic mackerel permit to fish for, possess, or land more than 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel from or in the EEZ per trip, provided that the fishery has not been closed, as specified in §648.24(b)(1).

(i) A vessel issued a Tier 1 limited access Atlantic mackerel permit is authorized to fish for, possess, or land Atlantic mackerel with no possession restriction in the EEZ per trip, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours, provided that the fishery has not been closed because 90 percent of the DAH has been harvested, as specified in §648.24(b)(1)(i)(A).

(ii) A vessel issued a Tier 2 limited access Atlantic mackerel permit is authorized to fish for, possess, or land up to 135,000 lb (61.23 mt) of Atlantic mackerel in the EEZ per trip, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours, provided that the fishery has not been closed because 90 percent of the DAH has been harvested, as specified in §648.24(b)(1)(i)(A).

(iii) A vessel issued a Tier 3 limited access Atlantic mackerel permit is authorized to fish for, possess, or land up to 100,000 lb (45.36 mt) of Atlantic mackerel in the EEZ per trip, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours, provided that the fishery has not been closed because 90 percent of the DAH has been harvested, or 90 percent of the Tier 3 landings cap has been harvested, as specified in §648.24(b)(1)(i)(A) and (B), respectively.

(iv) A vessel issued an open access Atlantic mackerel permit may fish for, possess, or land up to 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel in the EEZ per trip, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours.

(v) Both vessels involved in a pair trawl operation must be issued a valid Atlantic mackerel permits to fish for, possess, or land Atlantic mackerel in the EEZ. Both vessels must be issued the Atlantic mackerel permit appropriate for the amount of Atlantic mackerel jointly possessed by both of the vessels participating in the pair trawl operation.

(2) Atlantic mackerel closure possession restrictions. Any Atlantic mackerel possession restrictions implemented under paragraph (a)(2) of this section will remain in place for the rest of the fishing year, unless further restricted by a subsequent action. If the entire commercial Atlantic mackerel fishery is closed due to harvesting the river herring/shad catch cap, as specified in §648.24(b)(6) before the fishery harvests 90 percent of the Atlantic mackerel DAH, then the Atlantic mackerel possession restrictions specified in paragraph (a)(2)(iii)(B) of this section shall remain in place for the rest of the fishing year unless further reduced by the possession restrictions specified in paragraph (a)(2)(iii)(A) of this section.

(i) Limited Access Fishery. (A) During a closure of the commercial Atlantic mackerel fishery pursuant to §648.24(b)(1)(i)(A), when 90 percent of the DAH is harvested, vessels issued a Tier 1, 2, or 3 limited access Atlantic mackerel permit, may not take and retain, possess, or land more than 40,000 lb (18.14 mt) of Atlantic mackerel per trip at any time, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours.

(B) During a closure of the Tier 3 commercial Atlantic mackerel fishery pursuant to §648.24(b)(1)(i)(B), when 90 percent of the Tier 3 landings cap is harvested, vessels issued a Tier 3 limited access Atlantic mackerel permit may not take and retain, possess, or land more than 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel per trip at any time, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours.

(ii) Open Access Fishery. During a closure of the Atlantic mackerel commercial sector pursuant to §648.24(b)(1)(i)(A), when 90 percent of the DAH is harvested, vessels issued an open access Atlantic mackerel permit may not take and retain, possess, or land more than 5,000 lb (2.27 mt) of Atlantic mackerel per trip at any time, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours.

(iii) Entire commercial fishery—(A) Commercial quota closure. During a closure of the entire commercial Atlantic mackerel fishery pursuant to §648.24(b)(1)(ii), when 98 percent of the DAH is harvested, vessels issued an open or limited access Atlantic mackerel permit may not take and retain, possess, or land more than 5,000 lb (2.27 mt) of Atlantic mackerel per trip at any time, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours.

(B) River herring/shad catch cap closure. During a closure of the limited access commercial Atlantic mackerel fishery pursuant to §648.24(b)(6), when 95 percent of the river herring/shad catch cap has been harvested, vessels issued an open or limited access Atlantic mackerel permit may not take and retain, possess, or land more than 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of Atlantic mackerel per trip at any time, and may only land Atlantic mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours.

(b) Longfin squid—(1) Directed fishery. A vessel must be issued a valid longfin squid moratorium permit to fish for, possess, or land more than 250 lb (113 kg) of longfin squid from or in the EEZ per trip. Unless the directed fishery is closed pursuant to paragraph §648.24(a)(1), the following longfin squid possession limits apply:

(i) Tier 1 moratorium permits. A vessel issued a Tier 1 longfin squid moratorium permit may possess an unlimited amount of longfin squid per trip.

(ii) Tier 2 moratorium permits. A vessel issued a Tier 2 longfin squid moratorium permit may not fish for, possess, or land more than 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) of longfin squid per trip, and may only land longfin squid once on any calendar day.

(iii) Tier 3 moratorium permits. A vessel issued a Tier 3 longfin squid moratorium permit may not fish for, possess, or land more than 2,500 lb (1,134 kg) of longfin squid per trip, and may only land longfin squid once on any calendar day.

(2) Incidental fishery. (i) A vessel issued an open access squid/butterfish incidental catch permit may not fish for, possess, or land more than 250 lb (113 kg) of longfin squid from or in the EEZ per trip, and may only land longfin squid once on any calendar day.

(ii) During a closure of the directed longfin squid fishery in either Trimester I or III pursuant to paragraph §648.24(a)(1), a vessel may not fish for, possess, or land more than 2,500 lb (1,134 kg) of longfin squid at any time per trip, and may only land longfin squid once on any calendar day.

(iii) Unless otherwise specified in paragraph (b)(2)(iv) of this section, during a closure of the directed longfin squid fishery in Trimester II pursuant to §648.24(a)(1), a vessel may not fish for, possess, or land more than 250 lb (113 kg) of longfin squid at any time per trip, and may only land longfin squid once on any calendar day.

(iv) During a closure of the directed longfin squid fishery in Trimester II, a vessel issued either a Tier 1 or Tier 2 longfin squid moratorium permit may possess more than 250 lb (113 kg) of longfin squid per trip, provided the following conditions are met:

(A) The vessel operator has declared into the directed Illex squid fishery via VMS, as specified in §648.10;

(B) The vessel is seaward of the coordinates specified at §648.23(a)(5);

(C) The vessel possesses more than 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) of Illex squid on board;

(D) The vessel possesses less than 15,000 lb (6,803 kg) of longfin squid if issued a Tier 1 longfin squid moratorium permit or 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) of longfin squid if issued a Tier 2 longfin squid moratorium permit; and

(E) All fishing gear is stowed and rendered not available for immediate use, as defined in §648.2, once the vessel is landward of the coordinates specified at §648.23(a)(5).

(c) Illex squid—(1) Directed fishery. A vessel must be issued a valid Illex squid moratorium permit to fish for, possess, or land more than 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) of Illex squid from or in the EEZ per trip. Unless the directed fishery is closed pursuant to §648.24(a)(2), a vessel issued an Illex moratorium permit may possess an unlimited amount of Illex squid per trip.

(2) Incidental fishery. A vessel may not fish for, possess, or land more than 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) of Illex squid per trip at any time, and may only land Illex squid once on any calendar day if:

(i) A vessel is issued an open access squid/butterfish incidental catch permit; or

(ii) A vessel is issued an Illex moratorium permit and the directed fishery is closed pursuant to §648.24(a)(2).

(d) Butterfish. Any vessel issued a butterfish permit under this part may only land butterfish once on any calendar day.

(1) Directed fishery. A vessel must be issued a butterfish moratorium permit to fish for, possess, or land more than 600 lb (272 kg) of butterfish per trip.

(i) Vessels fishing with larger mesh. A vessel issued a butterfish moratorium permit fishing with a minimum mesh size of 3 inches (76 mm) is authorized to fish for, possess, or land butterfish with no possession restriction in the EEZ per trip, provided that directed butterfish fishery has not been closed and the reduced possession limit has not been implemented, as specified in §648.24(c)(1). When butterfish harvest is projected to reach the threshold for the butterfish fishery, as specified in §648.24(c)(1), these vessels may not fish for, possess, or land more than 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) of butterfish per trip at any time. When butterfish harvest is projected to reach the DAH limit, as specified in §648.24(c)(1), these vessels may not fish for, possess, or land more than 600 lb (272 kg) of butterfish per trip at any time.

(ii) Vessels fishing with smaller mesh. A vessel issued a butterfish moratorium permit fishing with mesh less than 3 inches (76 mm) may not fish for, possess, or land more than 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) of butterfish per trip at any time, provided that butterfish harvest has not reached the DAH limit and the reduced possession limit has not been implemented, as described in §648.24(c)(1). When butterfish harvest is projected to reach the DAH limit, as described in §648.24(c)(1), these vessels may not fish for, possess, or land more than 600 lb (272 kg) of butterfish per trip at any time.

(2) Incidental fishery. A vessel issued a squid/butterfish incidental catch permit, regardless of mesh size used, may not fish for, possess, or land more than 600 lb (272 kg) of butterfish per trip at any.

(e) Atlantic chub mackerel. A vessel must be issued a valid Atlantic mackerel, Illex squid, longfin squid, or butterfish permit to fish for, possess, or land any Atlantic chub mackerel from or in the Atlantic Chub Mackerel Management Unit within the EEZ per trip. A vessel not issued a valid Atlantic mackerel, Illex squid, longfin squid, or butterfish permit in accordance with §648.4 that is fishing exclusively in state waters or in the EEZ outside of the Atlantic Chub Mackerel Management Unit is exempt from the possession limits specified in this section.

(1) Initial commercial possession limits. A vessel issued a valid commercial Atlantic mackerel, Illex squid, longfin squid, or butterfish permit is authorized to fish for, possess, and land an unlimited amount of Atlantic chub mackerel per trip from the EEZ portion of the Atlantic Chub Mackerel Management Unit, provided that the fishery has not been closed, as specified in §648.24(e)(1).

(2) Commercial fishery closure possession limits. Once the commercial fishery is closed in accordance with §648.24(e)(1), the possession limits specified in this paragraph (e)(2) will apply. A vessel not issued a Federal commercial Atlantic mackerel, Illex squid, longfin squid, or butterfish permit in accordance with §648.4 that fished exclusively in state waters or a vessel that fished in Federal waters outside of the Atlantic Chub Mackerel Management Unit that is transiting the area with gear that is stowed and not available for immediate use is exempt from the possession limits specified in this paragraph (e)(2).

(i) When the Regional Administrator projects that 90 percent of the commercial Atlantic chub mackerel TAL has been landed, a vessel issued a commercial Atlantic mackerel, Illex squid, longfin squid, or butterfish permit may not fish for, possess, or land more than 40,000 lb (18.14 mt) of Atlantic chub mackerel at any time per trip in the EEZ portion of the Atlantic Chub Mackerel Management Unit.

(ii) When the Regional Administrator projects that 100 percent of the commercial Atlantic chub mackerel TAL has been landed, a vessel issued a commercial Atlantic mackerel, Illex squid, longfin squid, or butterfish permit fish for, possess, or land more than 10,000 lb (4.54 mt) of Atlantic chub mackerel at any time per trip in the EEZ portion of the Atlantic Chub Mackerel Management Unit.

[76 FR 60621, Sept. 29, 2011, as amended at 76 FR 68656, Nov. 7, 2011; 77 FR 16480, Mar. 21, 2012; 77 FR 23636, Apr. 20, 2012; 78 FR 3354, Jan. 16, 2013; 79 FR 18843, Apr. 4, 2014; 80 FR 14875, Mar. 20, 2015; 81 FR 24509, Apr. 26, 2016; 83 FR 64268, Dec. 14, 2018; 83 FR 65315, Dec. 20, 2018; 84 FR 58059, Oct. 30, 2019; 85 FR 47116, Aug. 4, 2020]

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