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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of April 2, 2020

Title 50Chapter VIPart 648Subpart D → §648.64


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


§648.64   Flounder Stock sub-ACLs and AMs for the scallop fishery.

(a) As specified in §648.55(d), and pursuant to the biennial framework adjustment process specified in §648.90, the scallop fishery shall be allocated a sub-ACL for the Georges Bank and Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic stocks of yellowtail flounder and the northern and southern stocks of windowpane flounder. The sub-ACLs for the yellowtail flounder stocks and the windowpane flounder stocks are specified in §648.90(a)(4)(iii)(C) and (E) of the NE multispecies regulations, respectively.

(b) Accountability Measure Areas—(1) Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area. The Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area is defined by straight lines, except where noted, connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

PointN latitudeW longitudeNote
GBAM141°3067°20
GBAM241°30(1)(2)
GBAM340°30(3)(2)
GBAM440°3067°20
GBAM141°3067°20

1The intersection of 41°30 N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41°30 N lat., 66°34.73 W long.

2From Point GBAM2 connected to Point GBAM3 along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

3The intersection of 40°30 N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately, 65°44.34 W long.

(2) Mid-Atlantic Accountability Measure Area. The Mid-Atlantic Accountability Measure Areas is defined as the area west of 71° W Long., outside of the Sea Scallop Access Areas.

(c) Gear restriction. When subject to an accountability measure gear restricted area as described in paragraphs (d) through (g) of this section, a vessel must fish with scallop dredge gear that conforms to the following restrictions:

(1) No more than 5 rows of rings shall be used in the apron of the dredge. The apron is on the top side of the dredge, extends the full width of the dredge, and is the rows of dredge rings that extend from the back edge of the twine top (i.e., farthest from the dredge frame) to the clubstick; and

(2) The maximum hanging ratio for a net, net material, or any other material on the top of a scallop dredge (twine top) possessed or used by vessels fishing with scallop dredge gear does not exceed 1.5 meshes per 1 ring overall. This means that the twine top is attached to the rings in a pattern of alternating 2 meshes per ring and 1 mesh per ring (counted at the bottom where the twine top connects to the apron), for an overall average of 1.5 meshes per ring for the entire width of the twine top. For example, an apron that is 40 rings wide subtracting 5 rings one each side of the side pieces, yielding 30 rings, would only be able to use a twine top with 45 or fewer meshes so that the overall ratio of meshes to rings did not exceed 1.5 (45 meshes/30 rings = 1.5).

(3) Vessels may not fish for scallops with trawl gear when the gear restricted area accountability measure is in effect.

(d) Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder Accountability measure. (1) Unless otherwise specified in §648.90(a)(5)(iv) of the NE multispecies regulations, if the Georges Bank yellowtail flounder sub-ACL for the scallop fishery is exceeded and an accountability measure is triggered as described in §648.90(a)(5)(iv), the Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area, described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, shall be considered the Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder Gear Restricted Area. Scallop vessels fishing in that area for the period of time specified in paragraph (d)(2) of this section must comply with the gear restrictions specified in paragraph (c) of this section.

(2) Duration of gear restricted area. The Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder Gear Restricted Area shall remain in effect for the period of time based on the corresponding percent overage of the Georges Bank yellowtail flounder sub-ACL, as follows:

Percent overage of sub-ACLDuration of gear
restriction
20 or lessNovember 15 through December 31.
Greater than 20April through March (year round).

(e) SNE/MA yellowtail flounder accountability measure. (1) Unless otherwise specified in §648.90(a)(5)(iv) of the NE multispecies regulations, if the SNE/MA yellowtail flounder sub-ACL for the scallop fishery is exceeded and an accountability measure is triggered as described in §648.90(a)(5)(iv), the Mid-Atlantic Accountability Measure Area, described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, shall be considered the SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder Gear Restricted Area. Scallop vessels participating in the DAS, or LAGC IFQ scallop fishery for the period of time specified in paragraph (e)(2) of this section must comply with the gear restrictions specified in paragraph (c) of this section when fishing in open areas. This accountability measure does not apply to scallop vessels fishing in Sea Scallop Access Areas.

(2) Duration of gear restricted area. The SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder Gear Restricted Area shall remain in effect for the period of time based on the corresponding percent overage of the SNE/MA yellowtail flounder sub-ACL, as follows:

Percent overage of sub-ACLDuration of gear
restriction
20 or lessApril.
Greater than 20April through May.

(f) Northern windowpane flounder accountability measure. (1) Unless otherwise specified in §648.90(a)(5)(iv) of the NE multispecies regulations, if the Northern windowpane flounder sub-ACL for the scallop fishery is exceeded and an accountability measure is triggered as described in §648.90(a)(5)(iv), the Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area, described in (b)(1) of this section, shall be considered the Northern Windowpane Flounder Gear Restricted Area. Scallop vessels fishing in that area for the period of time specified in paragraph (f)(2) of this section must comply with the gear restrictions specified in paragraph (c) of this section.

(2) Duration of gear restricted area. The Northern Windowpane Flounder Gear Restricted Area shall remain in effect for the period of time based on the corresponding percent overage of the Georges Bank yellowtail flounder sub-ACL, as follows:

Percent overage of sub-ACLDuration of gear
restriction
20 or lessNovember 15 through December 31.
Greater than 20April through March (year round).

(g) Southern windowpane accountability measure. (1) Unless otherwise specified in §648.90(a)(5)(iv) of the NE multispecies regulations, if the southern windowpane flounder sub-ACL for the scallop fishery is exceeded and an accountability measure is triggered as described in §648.90(a)(5)(iv), the Mid-Atlantic Accountability Measure Area, described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, shall be considered the Southern Windowpane Flounder Gear Restricted Area. Scallop vessels participating in the DAS, or LAGC IFQ scallop fishery for the period of time specified in paragraph (g)(2) of this section must comply with the gear restrictions specified in paragraph (c) of this section when fishing in open areas. This accountability measure does not apply to scallop vessels fishing in Sea Scallop Access Areas.

(2) Duration of gear restricted area. The SNE/MA Windowpane Flounder Gear Restricted Area shall remain in effect for the period of time based on the corresponding percent overage of the SNE/MA windowpane flounder sub-ACL, as follows:

Percent overage of sub-ACLDuration of gear
restriction
20 or lessFebruary.
Greater than 20March and February.

(h) Process for implementing the AM—(1) If there is reliable information to make a mid-year determination, that a flounder stock sub-ACL was exceeded, or is projected to be exceeded, the Regional Administrator shall determine, on or about January 15 of each year whether an accountability measure should be triggered as described in §648.90(a)(5)(iv). The determination shall include the amount of the overage or projected amount of the overage, specified as a percentage of the overall sub-ACL for the specific flounder stock. Based on this determination, the Regional Administrator shall implement the AM in the following fishing year in accordance with the APA and attempt to notify owners of limited access and LAGC scallop vessels by letter identifying the length of the gear restricted area and a summary of the catch, overage, and projection that resulted in the gear restricted area.

(2) If reliable information is not available to make a mid-year determination, after the end of the scallop fishing year the Regional Administrator shall determine whether the flounder stock sub-ACL was exceeded and if an accountability measure was triggered as described in §648.90(a)(5)(iv). The determination shall include the amount of the overage, specified as a percentage of the overall sub-ACL for the specific flounder stock. Based on this determination, the Regional Administrator shall implement the AM in accordance with the APA in Year 3 (e.g., an accountability measure would be implemented in fishing year 2016 for an overage that occurred in fishing year 2014) and attempt to notify owners of limited access and LAGC scallop vessels by letter identifying the length of the gear restricted area and a summary of the flounder stock catch and overage information.

[83 FR 17311, Apr. 19, 2018]

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