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e-CFR data is current as of December 3, 2020

Title 50Chapter VIPart 622 → Subpart V


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC


Subpart V—Queen Conch Resources of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands


Contents
§622.490   Prohibited gear and methods.
§622.491   Seasonal and area closures.
§622.492   Minimum size limit.
§622.493   Landing Caribbean queen conch intact.
§622.494   Bag limit.
§622.495   Commercial trip limit.
§622.496   Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and accountability measures (AMs).
§622.497   Adjustment of management measures.

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§622.490   Prohibited gear and methods.

Also see §622.9 for additional prohibited gear and methods that apply more broadly to multiple fisheries or in some cases all fisheries.

(a) In the Caribbean EEZ, no person may harvest queen conch by diving while using a device that provides a continuous air supply from the surface.

(b) [Reserved]

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§622.491   Seasonal and area closures.

(a) No person may fish for or possess on board a fishing vessel a Caribbean queen conch in or from the Caribbean EEZ, except from November 1 through May 31 in the area east of 64°34 W. longitude which includes Lang Bank east of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

(b) Pursuant to the procedures and criteria established in the FMP for Queen Conch Resources in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, when the ACL, as specified in §622.12(b)(1), is reached or projected to be reached, the Regional Administrator will close the Caribbean EEZ to the harvest and possession of queen conch, in the area east of 64°34 W. longitude which includes Lang Bank, east of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, by filing a notification of closure with the Office of the Federal Register. During the closure, no person may fish for or possess on board a fishing vessel, a Caribbean queen conch, in or from the Caribbean EEZ, in the area east of 64°34 W. longitude which includes Lang Bank, east of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

[78 FR 22952, Apr. 17, 2013, as amended at 78 FR 56173, Sept. 12, 2013; 82 FR 56921, Dec. 1, 2017]

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§622.492   Minimum size limit.

(a) The minimum size limit for Caribbean queen conch is either 9 inches (22.9 cm) in length, that is, from the tip of the spire to the distal end of the shell, or 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) in lip width at its widest point.

(b) A Caribbean queen conch not in compliance with its size limit, as specified in this section, in or from the Caribbean EEZ, may not be possessed, sold, or purchased and must be released immediately with a minimum of harm. The operator of a vessel that fishes in the EEZ is responsible for ensuring that Caribbean queen conch on board are in compliance with the size limit specified in this section.

[78 FR 22952, Apr. 17, 2013, as amended at 81 FR 29168, May 11, 2016]

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§622.493   Landing Caribbean queen conch intact.

(a) A Caribbean queen conch in or from the Caribbean EEZ must be maintained with meat and shell intact.

(b) The operator of a vessel that fishes in the EEZ is responsible for ensuring that Caribbean queen conch on that vessel in the EEZ are maintained intact and, if taken from the EEZ, are maintained intact through offloading ashore, as specified in this section.

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§622.494   Bag limit.

(a) Applicability. Section 622.11(a) provides the general applicability for bag and possession limits. However, §622.11(a)(1) notwithstanding, the bag limit of paragraph (b) of this section does not apply to a person who has a valid commercial fishing license issued by Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

(b) Bag limit. The bag limit for queen conch in or from the Caribbean EEZ is 3 per person or, if more than 4 persons are aboard, 12 per boat.

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§622.495   Commercial trip limit.

Commercial trip limits are limits on the amount of the applicable species that may be possessed on board or landed, purchased, or sold from a vessel per day. A person who fishes in the EEZ may not combine a trip limit specified in this section with any trip or possession limit applicable to state waters. A species subject to a trip limit specified in this section taken in the EEZ may not be transferred at sea, regardless of where such transfer takes place, and such species may not be transferred in the EEZ.

(a) Applicability. The trip limit of paragraph (b) of this section applies to a vessel that has at least one person on board with a valid commercial fishing license issued by Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands. If no person on board the vessel has a valid commercial fishing license issued by Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, the bag limit specified in §622.494(b) applies.

(b) Trip limit. The trip limit for queen conch in or from the Caribbean EEZ is 200 queen conch per day.

[78 FR 22952, Apr. 17, 2013, as amended at 78 FR 56173, Sept. 12, 2013]

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§622.496   Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and accountability measures (AMs).

See §622.12 for applicable ACLs and AMs.

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§622.497   Adjustment of management measures.

In accordance with the framework procedure of the Fishery Management Plan for Queen Conch Resources of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the RA may establish or modify the following items:

(a) Quotas, trip limits, bag limits, size limits, closed seasons or areas, gear restrictions, fishing year, MSY, OY, TAC, MFMT, MSST, OFL, ABC control rules, ACLs, AMs, ACTs, and actions to minimize the interaction of fishing gear with endangered species or marine mammals.

(b) [Reserved]

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