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Title 50

Displaying title 50, up to date as of 9/16/2021. Title 50 was last amended 9/16/2021.

Title 50

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§ 648.370 Habitat Management Areas.

Unless otherwise specified, no fishing vessel or person on a fishing vessel may fish with bottom-tending mobile gear in the areas defined in this section. Copies of charts depicting these areas are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(a) Eastern Maine Habitat Management Area. The Eastern Maine HMA is bounded on the northwest by the outer limit of Maine state waters, and bounded on all other sides by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Eastern Maine HMA

Point N latitude W longitude
EMH11 44°07.65′ N 68°10.64′ W
EMH2 44°02.50′ N 68°06.10′ W
EMH3 43°51.00′ N 68°33.90′ W
EMH41 43°56.62′ N 68°38.12′ W

(b) Jeffreys Bank Habitat Management Area. The Jeffreys Bank HMA is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Jeffreys Bank HMA

Point N latitude W longitude
JBH1 43°31′ N 68°37′ W
JBH2 43°20′ N 68°37′ W
JBH3 43°20′ N 68°55′ W
JBH4 43°31′ N 68°55′ W
JBH1 43°31′ N 68°37′ W

(c) Cashes Ledge Habitat Management Area. The Cashes Ledge HMA is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Cashes Ledge HMA

Point N latitude W longitude
CLH1 43°01.0′ N 69°00.0′ W
CLH2 43°01.0′ N 68°52.0′ W
CLH3 42°45.0′ N 68°52.0′ W
CLH4 42°45.0′ N 69°00.0′ W
CLH1 43°01.0′ N 69°00.0′ W

(d) Fippennies Ledge Habitat Management Area. The Fippennies Ledge HMA is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Fippennies Ledge HMA

Point N latitude W longitude
FLH1 42°50.0′ N 69°17.0′ W
FLH2 42°44.0′ N 69°14.0′ W
FLH3 42°44.0′ N 69°18.0′ W
FLH4 42°50.0′ N 69°21.0′ W
FLH1 42°50.0′ N 69°17.0′ W

(e) Ammen Rock Habitat Management Area.

(1) The Ammen Rock HMA is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Ammen Rock HMA

Point N latitude W longitude
ARH1 42°55.5′ N 68°57.0′ W
ARH2 42°52.5′ N 68°55.0′ W
ARH3 42°52.5′ N 68°57.0′ W
ARH4 42°55.5′ N 68°59.0′ W
ARH1 42°55.5′ N 68°57.0′ W

(2) No fishing vessel, including private and for-hire recreational fishing vessels, may fish in the Ammen Rock HMA, except for vessels fishing exclusively with lobster traps, as defined in § 697.2.

(f) Western Gulf of Maine Habitat Management Area.

(1) Coordinates. The Western GOM HMA is defined by the straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Western Gulf of Maine HMA

Point N latitude W longitude
WGMH1 43°15′ N 70°15′ W
WGMH2 42°15′ N 70°15′ W
WGMH3 42°15′ N 70°00′ W
WGMH4 43°15′ N 70°15′ W
WGMH1 43°15′ N 70°15′ W

(2) Western Gulf of Maine Shrimp Exemption Area. Vessels fishing with shrimp trawls under the Small Mesh Northern Shrimp Fishery Exemption specified at § 648.80(a)(5) may fish within the Western Gulf of Maine HMA Shrimp Exemption Area which is defined by the straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Western Gulf of Maine Shrimp Exemption Area

Point N latitude W longitude
SEA1 43°15′ N 70° W
SEA2 43°13′ N 70° W
SEA3 43°13′ N 70°05′ W
SEA4 43°09′ N 70°05′ W
SEA5 43°09′ N 70°08′ W
SEA6 42°55′ N 70°08′ W
SEA7 42°55′ N 70°15′ W
SEA8 43°15′ N 70°15′ W
SEA1 43°15′ N 70° W

(g) Closed Area II Habitat Closure Area. The Closed Area II Habitat Closure Area is defined by the straight lines, except where otherwise noted, connecting the following points in the order stated:

Closed Area II Habitat Closure Area

Point N latitude W longitude Notes
CIIH1 42°10′ N 67°20′ W
CIIH2 42°10′ N 67°9.38′ W (1 2)
CIIH3 42°00′ N 67°0.63′ W (2 3)
CIIH4 42°00′ N 67°10′ W
CIIH5 41°50′ N 67°10′ W
CIIH6 41°50′ N 67°20′ W
CIIH1 42°10′ N 67°20′ W

(h) Great South Channel Habitat Management Area.

(1) Coordinates. The Great South Channel HMA is defined by the straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Great South Channel HMA

Point N latitude W longitude
GSCH1 41°30.3′ N 69°31.0′ W
GSCH2 41°0.00′ N 69°18.5′ W
GSCH3 40°51.7′ N 69°18.5′ W
GSCH4 40°51.6′ N 69°48.9′ W
GSCH5 41°30.2′ N 69°49.3′ W
GSCH1 41°30.3′ N 69°31.0′ W

(2) Atlantic Surfclam and Mussel Dredge Exemption Areas.

(i) Dredge Exemption Area Requirements. A vessel may fish in one or more of the Dredge Exemption Areas below, provided the area is open and the vessel meets the following requirements:

(A) Holds a federal Atlantic surfclam vessel permit.

(B) Has been issued a Letter of Authorization to fish in the Great South Channel HMA from the Regional Administrator.

(C) Has a NMFS-approved VMS unit capable of automatically transmitting a signal indicating the vessel's accurate position at least once every 5 minutes while in or near the Great South Channel HMA.

(D) Declares each trip into the HMA through the VMS and fishes exclusively inside HMA dredge exemption areas on such trips.

(E) When fishing for surfclams in an HMA exemption area, uses only hydraulic clam dredge gear.

(F) When fishing for blue mussels in an HMA exemption area, any dredge on board the vessel does not exceed 8 ft (2.4 m), measured at the widest point in the bail of the dredge, and the vessel does not possess, or land any species of fish other than blue mussels.

(ii) McBlair Dredge Exemption Area.

(A) The McBlair Dredge Exemption Area is defined by the following points connected in the order listed by straight lines:

McBlair Dredge Exemption Area

Point Longitude Latitude
1 69°49.255′ W 41°25.878′ N
2 69°46.951′ W 41°25.878′ N
3 69°46.951′ W 41°19.34′ N
4 69°49.187′ W 41°19.34′ N
1 69°49.255′ W 41°25.878′ N

(B) The McBlair Dredge Exemption Area is open year-round.

(iii) Old South Dredge Exemption Area.

(A) The Old South Dredge Exemption Area is defined by the following points connected in the order listed by straight lines:

Old South Dredge Exemption Area

Point Longitude Latitude
1 69°47′ W 41°15′ N
2 69°44′ W 41°15′ N
3 69°44.22′ W 41°10.432′ N
4 69°45′ W 41°7′ N
5 69°47′ W 41°7′ N
6 69°47′ W 41°11′ N
7 69°49.101′ W 41°11′ N
8 69°49.116′ W 41°12.5′ N
9 69°47′ W 41°12.5′ N
1 69°47′ W 41°15′ N

(B) The Old South Dredge Exemption Area is open from May 1-October 31, and closed to all mobile bottom-tending gear November 1-April 30.

(iv) Fishing Rip Dredge Exemption Area.

(A) The Fishing Rip Dredge Exemption Area is defined by the following points connected in the order listed by straight lines:

Fishing Rip Dredge Exemption Area

Point Longitude Latitude
1 69°28.829′ W 41°10.963′ N
2 69°27.106′ W 41°10.485′ N
3 69°29.311′ W 41°6.699′ N
4 69°27.034′ W 41°6.609′ N
5 69°27.376′ W 41°3.198′ N
6 69°29.905′ W 41°1.297′ N
7 69°32.579′ W 41°5.368′ N
8 69°31.193′ W 41°7.356′ N
1 69°28.829′ W 41°10.963′ N

(B) The Fishing Rip Dredge Exemption Area is open year-round.

(i) Transiting. Unless otherwise restricted, a vessel may transit the habitat management areas described in this section provided that its gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2.

(j) Other habitat protection measures. The Inshore Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank Restricted Roller Gear Area described in § 648.80(a)(3)(vii) is considered a habitat protection measure and the restrictions outlined in that section apply to all bottom trawl gear.

(k) Review of habitat management measures. The New England Fishery Management Council will develop a strategic process to evaluate the boundaries, scope, characteristics, and timing of habitat and spawning protection areas to facilitate review of these areas at 10-year intervals.

[83 FR 15275, Apr. 9, 2018, as amended at 85 FR 29876, May 19, 2020]