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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

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

Title 50Chapter VIPart 648Subpart F → §648.91


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES
Subpart F—Management Measures for the NE Multispecies and Monkfish Fisheries


§648.91   Monkfish regulated mesh areas and restrictions on gear and methods of fishing.

All vessels fishing for, possessing or landing monkfish must comply with the following minimum mesh size, gear, and methods of fishing requirements, unless otherwise exempted or prohibited:

(a) Northern Fishery Management Area (NFMA)Area definition. The NFMA (copies of a chart depicting the area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request) is that area defined by a line beginning at the intersection of 70° W. longitude and the south-facing shoreline of Cape Cod, MA (point A), then southward along 70° W. longitude to 41° N. latitude, then eastward to the U.S.-Canada maritime boundary, then in a northerly direction along the U.S.-Canada maritime boundary until it intersects the Maine shoreline, and then following the coastline in a southerly direction until it intersects with point A.

(b) Southern Fishery Management Area (SFMA)Area definition. The SFMA (copies of a chart depicting the area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request) is that area defined by a line beginning at point A, then in a southerly direction to the NC-SC border, then due east to the 200-mile limit, then in a northerly direction along the 200-mile limit to the U.S.-Canada maritime boundary, then in a northwesterly direction along the U.S.-Canada maritime boundary to 41° N. latitude, and then westward to 70° W. longitude, and finally north to the shoreline at Cape Cod, MA (point A).

(c) Gear restrictions—(1) Minimum mesh size—(i) Trawl nets while on a monkfish DAS. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, the minimum mesh size for any trawl net, including beam trawl nets, used by a vessel fishing under a monkfish DAS is 10-inch (25.4-cm) square or 12-inch (30.5-cm) diamond mesh throughout the codend for at least 45 continuous meshes forward of the terminus of the net. The minimum mesh size for the remainder of the trawl net is the regulated mesh size specified under §648.80(a)(3), (a)(4), (b)(2)(i), or (c)(2)(i) of the Northeast multispecies regulations, depending upon and consistent with the NE multispecies regulated mesh area being fished.

(ii) Trawl nets while on a monkfish and NE multispecies DAS. Vessels issued a Category C, D, G, or H limited access monkfish permit and fishing with trawl gear under both a monkfish and NE multispecies DAS are subject to the minimum mesh size allowed under regulations governing mesh size at §648.80(a)(3), (a)(4), (b)(2)(i), or (c)(2)(i), depending upon, and consistent with, the NE multispecies regulated mesh area being fished, unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (c)(1)(ii). Trawl vessels participating in the Offshore Fishery Program, as described in §648.95, and that have been issued a Category F monkfish limited access permit, are subject to the minimum mesh size specified in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section.

(iii) Gillnets while on a monkfish DAS. The minimum mesh size for any gillnets used by a vessel fishing under a monkfish DAS is 10-inch (25.4-cm) diamond mesh, unless:

(A) The owner or operator of a limited access NE multispecies vessel fishing under a NE multispecies category A DAS with gillnet gear in the NFMA changes the vessel's DAS declaration to a monkfish DAS through the vessel's VMS unit during the course of the trip in accordance with the provisions specified under §648.92(b)(1)(iii);

(B) A vessel issued a Category C or D limited access monkfish permit is fishing under both a monkfish and NE multispecies Category A DAS in the SFMA using roundfish gillnets, as defined at §648.2, with 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) diamond mesh;

(C) A vessel issued a limited access monkfish permit is fishing on a monkfish-only DAS in the Mid-Atlantic Exemption Area using roundfish gillnets with a minimum mesh size of 5 inches (12.7 cm) in accordance with the provisions specified under §648.80(c)(5); or

(D) A vessel issued a limited access monkfish permit is fishing on a monkfish-only DAS in the Southern New England Dogfish Exemption Area using roundfish gillnets with a minimum mesh size of 6 inches (15.2 cm) in accordance with the provisions specified under §648.80(b)(7).

(iv) Authorized gear while on a monkfish and scallop DAS. Vessels issued a Category C, D, G, or H limited access monkfish permit and fishing under a monkfish and scallop DAS may only fish with and use a trawl net with a mesh size no smaller than that specified in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section.

(2) Other gear restrictions. (i) A vessel may not fish with dredges or have dredges on board while fishing under a monkfish DAS.

(ii) All other non-conforming gear must be stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2.

(iii) The mesh size restrictions in paragraph (c)(1) of this section do not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 ft2 (0.81 m2)).

(3) SFMA trawl roller gear restriction. The roller gear diameter on any vessel on a monkfish DAS in the SFMA may not exceed 6 inches (15.2 cm) in diameter.

[64 FR 54747, Oct. 7, 1999, as amended at 65 FR 37917, June 19, 2000; 67 FR 50323, Aug. 1, 2002; 70 FR 21942, Apr. 28, 2005; 72 FR 53949, Sept. 21, 2007; 79 FR 52580, Sept. 4, 2014; 81 FR 58865, Aug. 26, 2016]

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