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e-CFR data is current as of July 10, 2020

Title 50Chapter VIPart 648Subpart D → §648.54


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES
Subpart D—Management Measures for the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery


§648.54   State waters exemption.

(a) State eligibility for exemption. (1) A state may be eligible for a state waters exemption if it has a scallop fishery and a scallop conservation program that does not jeopardize the biomass and fishing mortality/effort limit objectives of the Scallop FMP.

(2) The Regional Administrator shall determine which states have a scallop fishery and which of those states have a scallop conservation program that does not jeopardize the biomass and fishing mortality/effort limit objectives of the Scallop FMP. In such case, the Regional Administrator shall publish a rule in the Federal Register, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, to provide the exemption for such states.

(3) A state that has been issued a state waters exemption under paragraph (a)(4) of this section must immediately notify the Regional Administrator of any changes in its scallop conservation program. The Regional Administrator shall review these changes and, if a determination is made that the state's conservation program jeopardizes the biomass and fishing mortality/effort limit objectives of the FMP, or that the state no longer has a scallop fishery, the Regional Administrator shall publish a rule in the Federal Register, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, to eliminate the exemption for that state.

(4) The Regional Administrator has determined that the State of Maine and Commonwealth of Massachusetts both have a scallop fishery conservation program for its scallop fishery that does not jeopardize the biomass and fishing mortality/effort limit objectives of the Scallop FMP. A vessel fishing in State of Maine waters may fish under the State of Maine state waters exemption, subject to the exemptions specified in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, provided the vessel is in compliance with paragraphs (e) through (g) of this section. In addition, a vessel issued a Federal Northern Gulf of Maine or Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota permit fishing in State of Maine or Commonwealth of Massachusetts waters may fish under their respective state waters exemption specified in paragraph (d) of this section, provided the vessel is in compliance with paragraphs (e) through (g) of this section.

(b) Limited access scallop vessel exemption. Any vessel issued a limited access scallop permit is exempt from the DAS requirements specified in §648.53(b) while fishing exclusively landward of the outer boundary of the waters of a state that has been issued a state waters exemption under paragraph (a)(4) of this section, provided the vessel complies with paragraphs (f) through (h) of this section.

(c) Gear and possession limit restrictions. Any vessel issued a limited access scallop permit, an LAGC NGOM, or an LAGC IFQ scallop permit is exempt from the minimum twine top mesh size for scallop dredge gear specified in §648.51(b)(2) and (b)(4)(iv) while fishing exclusively landward of the outer boundary of the waters of the State of Maine under the state waters exemption specified in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, provided the vessel is in compliance with paragraphs (d) through (g) of this section.

(d) NGOM closure exemption. Any vessel issued a Federal scallop permit may be exempt from the regulations specified in §648.52(b)(2) requiring that once the NGOM Federal hard TAC is reached, no vessel issued a scallop permit may fish in the NGOM area. This exemption, which a state must apply for through the process specified in paragraph (a) of this section, would allow vessels to continue to fish for scallops within a state's waters inside the NGOM. A state applying for this exemption must clarify to which scallop permit types this exemption would apply.

(e) Notification requirements. Vessels fishing under the exemptions specified in paragraph (b), (c) and/or (d) of this section must notify the Regional Administrator in accordance with the provisions of §648.10(f).

(f) Restriction on fishing in the EEZ. A vessel fishing under a state waters exemption may not fish in the EEZ during the time in which it is fishing under the state waters exemption, as declared under the notification requirements of this section.

(g) Duration of exemption. An exemption expires upon a change in the vessel's name or ownership, or upon notification through VMS by the participating vessel's owner.

(h) Applicability of other provisions of this part. A vessel fishing under the exemptions provided by paragraph (b) and/or (c) of this section remains subject to all other requirements of this part.

[69 FR 35215, June 23, 2004, as amended at 71 FR 33227, June 8, 2006; 73 FR 20128, Apr. 14, 2008; 74 FR 20555, May 4, 2009; 74 FR 37593, July 30, 2009; 78 FR 27104, May 9, 2013; 80 FR 22131, Apr. 21, 2015; 80 FR 60569, Nov. 6, 2015; 81 FR 76524, Nov. 3, 2016; 82 FR 49299, Oct. 25, 2017]

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