50 C.F.R. PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES


Title 50 - Wildlife and Fisheries


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries

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PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

Section Contents

Subpart A—General Provisions

§ 648.1   Purpose and scope.
§ 648.2   Definitions.
§ 648.3   Relation to other laws.
§ 648.4   Vessel permits.
§ 648.5   Operator permits.
§ 648.6   Dealer/processor permits.
§ 648.7   Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
§ 648.8   Vessel identification.
§ 648.9   VMS requirements.
§ 648.10   DAS and VMS notification requirements.
§ 648.11   At-sea sea sampler/observer coverage.
§ 648.12   Experimental fishing.
§ 648.13   Transfers at sea.
§ 648.14   Prohibitions.
§ 648.15   Facilitation of enforcement.
§ 648.16   Penalties.
§ 648.17   Exemptions for vessels fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area.

Subpart B—Management Measures for the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries

§ 648.20   Maximum optimum yield (OYs).
§ 648.21   Procedures for determining initial annual amounts.
§ 648.22   Closure of the fishery.
§ 648.23   Gear restrictions.
§ 648.24   Framework adjustments to management measures.

Subpart C—Management Measures for Atlantic Salmon

§ 648.40   Prohibition on possession.
§ 648.41   Framework specifications.

Subpart D—Management Measures for the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery

§ 648.50   Shell-height standard.
§ 648.51   Gear and crew restrictions.
§ 648.52   Possession and landing limits.
§ 648.53   DAS allocations.
§ 648.54   State waters exemption.
§ 648.55   Framework adjustments to management measures
§ 648.56   Scallop research.
§ 648.57   Sea scallop area rotation program.
§ 648.58   Rotational Closed Areas.
§ 648.59   Sea Scallop Access Areas.
§ 648.60   Sea scallop area access program requirements.
§ 648.61   EFH closed areas.

Subpart E—Management Measures for the Atlantic Surf Clam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries

§ 648.70   Annual individual allocations.
§ 648.71   Catch quotas.
§ 648.72   Minimum surf clam size.
§ 648.73   Closed areas.
§ 648.74   Shucking at sea.
§ 648.75   Cage identification.
§ 648.76   Maine mahogany quahog zone.
§ 648.77   Framework adjustments to management measures.

Subpart F—Management Measures for the NE Multispecies and Monkfish Fisheries

§ 648.80   NE Multispecies regulated mesh areas and restrictions on gear and methods of fishing.
§ 648.81   NE multispecies closed areas and measures to protect EFH.
§ 648.82   Effort-control program for NE multispecies limited access vessels.
§ 648.83   Multispecies minimum fish sizes.
§ 648.84   Gear-marking requirements and gear restrictions.
§ 648.85   Special management programs.
§ 648.86   Multispecies possession restrictions.
§ 648.87   Sector allocation.
§ 648.88   Multispecies open access permit restrictions.
§ 648.89   Recreational and charter/party vessel restrictions.
§ 648.90   NE multispecies assessment, framework procedures and specifications, and flexible area action system.
§ 648.91   Monkfish regulated mesh areas and restrictions on gear and methods of fishing.
§ 648.92   Effort-control program for monkfish limited access vessels.
§ 648.93   Monkfish minimum fish sizes.
§ 648.94   Monkfish possession and landing restrictions.
§ 648.95   Offshore Fishery Program in the SFMA.
§ 648.96   Monkfish annual adjustment process and framework specifications.
§ 648.97   Closed areas.

Subpart G—Management Measures for the Summer Flounder Fisheries

§ 648.100   Catch quotas and other restrictions.
§ 648.101   Closures.
§ 648.102   Time restrictions.
§ 648.103   Minimum fish sizes.
§ 648.104   Gear restrictions.
§ 648.105   Possession restrictions.
§ 648.106   Sea Turtle conservation.
§ 648.107   Conservation equivalent measures for the summer flounder fishery.
§ 648.108   Framework adjustments to management measures.

Subpart H—Management Measures for the Scup Fishery

§ 648.120   Catch quotas and other restrictions.
§ 648.121   Closures.
§ 648.122   Season and area restrictions.
§ 648.123   Gear restrictions.
§ 648.124   Minimum fish sizes.
§ 648.125   Possession limit.
§ 648.126   Protection of threatened and endangered sea turtles.
§ 648.127   Framework adjustments to management measures.

Subpart I—Management Measures for the Black Sea Bass Fishery

§ 648.140   Catch quotas and other restrictions.
§ 648.141   Closure.
§ 648.142   Time restrictions.
§ 648.143   Minimum sizes.
§ 648.144   Gear restrictions.
§ 648.145   Possession limit.
§ 648.146   Special management zones.
§ 648.147   Framework adjustments to management measures.

Subpart J—Management Measures for the Atlantic Bluefish Fishery

§ 648.160   Catch quotas and other restrictions.
§ 648.161   Closures.
§ 648.162   Minimum fish sizes.
§ 648.163   Gear restrictions.
§ 648.164   Possession restrictions.
§ 648.165   Framework specifications.

Subpart K—Management Measures for the Atlantic Herring Fishery

§ 648.200   Specifications.
§ 648.201   Management areas.
§ 648.202   Total allowable catch (TAC) controls.
§ 648.203   Vessel size/horsepower limits.
§ 648.204   Herring roe restrictions.
§ 648.205   VMS requirements.
§ 648.206   Framework provisions.

Subpart L—Management Measures for the Spiny Dogfish Fishery

§ 648.230   Catch quotas and other restrictions.
§ 648.231   Closures.
§ 648.232   Time Restrictions. [Reserved]
§ 648.233   Minimum Fish Sizes. [Reserved]
§ 648.234   Gear restrictions. [Reserved]
§ 648.235   Possession and landing restrictions.
§ 648.236   Special Management Zones. [Reserved]
§ 648.237   Framework provisions.

Subpart M—Management Measures for the Atlantic Deep-Sea Red Crab Fishery

§ 648.260   Specifications.
§ 648.261   Framework adjustment process.
§ 648.262   Effort-control program for red crab limited access vessels.
§ 648.263   Red crab possession and landing restrictions.
§ 648.264   Gear requirements/restrictions.

Subpart N—Management Measures for the Tilefish Fishery

§ 648.290   Catch quotas and other restrictions.
§ 648.291   Closures.
§ 648.292   Tilefish trip limits.
§ 648.293   Framework specifications.
§ 648.294   [Reserved]

Subpart O—Management Measures for the NE Skate Complex Fisheries

§ 648.320   Skate FMP review and monitoring.
§ 648.321   Framework adjustment process.
§ 648.322   Skate possession and landing restrictions.


Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

Source:  61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, unless otherwise noted.

Editorial Note:  Nomenclature changes to part 648 appear at 62 FR 14651, Mar. 27, 1997.

Subpart A—General Provisions
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§ 648.1   Purpose and scope.
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(a) This part implements the fishery management plans (FMPs) for the Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish fisheries (Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP); Atlantic salmon (Atlantic Salmon FMP); the Atlantic sea scallop fishery (Scallop FMP); the Atlantic surf clam and ocean quahog fisheries (Atlantic Surf Clam and Ocean Quahog FMP); the NE multispecies and monkfish fisheries ((NE Multispecies FMP) and (Monkfish FMP)); the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries (Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass FMP); the Atlantic bluefish fishery (Atlantic Bluefish FMP); the Atlantic herring fishery (Atlantic Herring FMP); the spiny dogfish fishery (Spiny Dogfish FMP); the Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery (Deep-Sea Red Crab FMP); the tilefish fishery (Tilefish FMP); and the NE skate complex fisheries (Skate FMP). These FMPs and the regulations in this part govern the conservation and management of the above named fisheries of the Northeastern United States.

(b) This part governs domestic fishing only. Foreign fishing is governed under subpart F of part 600 of this chapter.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 43424, Aug. 23, 1996; 62 FR 13299, Mar. 20, 1997; 65 FR 1568, Jan. 11, 2000; 65 FR 77464, Dec. 11, 2000; 66 FR 49192, Sept. 26, 2001; 67 FR 63229, Oct. 10, 2002; 68 FR 49699, Aug. 19, 2003]

§ 648.2   Definitions.
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In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson Act and in §600.10 of this chapter, the terms used in this part have the following meanings:

Alewife means Alosa pseudoharengus.

American lobster or lobster means Homarus americanus.

American shad means Alosa sapidissima.

Atlantic butterfish or butterfish means Peprilus triacanthus.

Atlantic croaker means Micropogonias undulatus.

Atlantic deep-sea red crab (red crab) means Chaceon quinquedens.

Atlantic herring means Clupea harengus.

Atlantic herring carrier means a fishing vessel with an Atlantic herring permit that does not have any gear on board capable of catching or processing herring and that has on board a letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator to transport herring caught by another fishing vessel.

Atlantic herring dealer means:

(1) Any person who purchases or receives for a commercial purpose other than solely for transport or pumping operations any herring from a vessel issued a Federal Atlantic herring permit, whether offloaded directly from the vessel or from a shore-based pump, for any purpose other than for the purchaser's own use as bait; or

(2) Any person owning or operating a processing vessel that receives any Atlantic herring from a vessel issued a Federal Atlantic herring permit whether at sea or in port.

Atlantic herring processor means a person who receives unprocessed Atlantic herring from a fishing vessel issued a Federal Atlantic herring permit or from an Atlantic herring dealer for the purposes of processing; or the owner or operator of a fishing vessel that processes Atlantic herring; or an Atlantic herring dealer who purchases Atlantic herring from a fishing vessel with a Federal Atlantic herring permit for resale as bait.

Atlantic mackerel or mackerel means Scomber scombrus.

Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Monitoring Committee means the committee made up of staff representatives of the MAFMC and the NEFMC, and the Northeast Regional Office and NEFSC of NMFS. The MAFMC Executive Director or a designee chairs the Committee.

Atlantic salmon means Salmo salar.

Atlantic sea scallop or scallop means Placopecten magellanicus, throughout its range.

Beam trawl means gear, consisting of a twine bag attached to a beam attached to a towing wire, designed so that the beam does not contact the bottom. The beam is constructed with sinkers or shoes on either side that support the beam above the bottom or any other modification so that the beam does not contact the bottom. The beam trawl is designed to slide along the bottom rather than dredge the bottom.

Black sea bass means Centropristis striata.

Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee means a committee made up of staff representatives of the Mid-Atlantic, New England, and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, the Northeast Regional Office of NMFS, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, and Commission representatives. The Council Executive Director or his designee chairs the Committee.

Black sea bass pot or black sea bass trap means any such gear used in catching and retaining black sea bass.

Blowfish (puffer) means any species in the family Tetraodontidae.

Bluefish means Pomotomus saltatrix.

Bluefish Monitoring Committee means a committee made up of staff representatives of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the New England Fishery Management Council, and South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the NMFS Northeast Regional Office, the NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center, and the Commission. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Executive Director or a designee chairs the committee.

Bonito means Sarda sarda.

Border transfer (BT) means the amount of herring specified pursuant to §648.200 that may be transferred to a Canadian transport vessel that is permitted under the provisions of Pub. L. 104–297, section 105(e).

Bottom-tending mobile gear, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means gear in contact with the ocean bottom, and towed from a vessel, which is moved through the water during fishing in order to capture fish, and includes otter trawls, beam trawls, hydraulic dredges, non-hydraulic dredges, and seines (with the exception of a purse seine).

Brush-sweep trawl gear means trawl gear consisting of alternating roller discs and bristle brushes that are strung along cables, chains, or footropes, and aligned together to form the sweep of the trawl net, designed to allow the trawl sweep to maintain contact with the ocean floor, or any modification to trawl gear that is substantially similar in design or effect.

Bushel (bu) means a standard unit of volumetric measurement deemed to hold 1.88 ft3 (53.24 L) of surfclams or ocean quahogs in shell, or 1.24 ft3 (35.24 L) of in-shell Atlantic sea scallops.

Cage means a container with a standard unit of volumetric measurement containing 60 ft3 (1,700 L). The outside dimensions of a standard cage generally are 3 ft (91 cm) wide, 4 ft (122 cm) long, and 5 ft (152 cm) high.

Category 1 herring vessel means a vessel issued a permit to fish for Atlantic herring that is required to have an operable VMS unit installed on board pursuant to §648.205(b).

Chafing gear or cookies, with respect to the scallop fishery, means steel, rubberized or other types of donut rings, disks, washers, twine, or other material attached to or between the steel rings of a sea scallop dredge.

Charter or party boat means any vessel that carries passengers for hire to engage in recreational fishing and, with respect to multispecies, that is not fishing under a DAS.

Circle hook, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means a fishing hook with the point turned perpendicularly back to the shank, or an offset circle hook where the barbed end of the hook is displaced relative to the parallel plane of the eyed-end, or shank, of the hook when laid on its side.

Combination vessel means a vessel that has fished in any one calendar year with scallop dredge gear and otter trawl gear during the period 1988 through 1990, and that is eligible for an allocation of individual DAS under the NE Multispecies FMP and has applied for or been issued a limited access scallop permit.

Commercial fishing or fishing commercially means fishing that is intended to, or results in, the barter, trade, transfer, or sale of fish.

Commission means the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Conger eel means Conger oceanicus.

Council means the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) for the Atlantic herring, Atlantic sea scallop, Atlantic deep-sea red crab, NE multispecies, monkfish, and NE skate fisheries; or the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) for the Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish; Atlantic surf clam and ocean quahog; summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass; spiny dogfish; Atlantic bluefish; and tilefish fisheries.

Councils with respect to the monkfish fishery and spiny dogfish fishery means the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC).

Cunner means Tautogolabrus adspersus.

DAS flip, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means ending fishing under a Regular B DAS and beginning fishing under a Category A DAS.

DAS Lease, with respect to the NE multispecies limited access fishery, means the transfer of the use of DAS from one limited access NE multispecies vessel to another limited access NE multispecies vessel for a period not to exceed a single fishing year.

DAS Lessee, with respect to the NE multispecies limited access fishery, means the NE multispecies limited access vessel owner and/or the associated vessel that acquires the use of DAS from another NE multispecies limited access vessel.

DAS Lessor, with respect to the NE multispecies limited access fishery, means the NE multispecies limited access vessel owner and/or the associated vessel that transfers the use of DAS to another NE multispecies limited access vessel.

Day(s)-at-Sea (DAS), with respect to the NE multispecies and monkfish fisheries (except as described in §648.82(k)(1)(iv)), Atlantic sea scallop fishery, and Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery, means the 24-hour period of time or any part thereof during which a fishing vessel is absent from port to fish for, possess, or land, or fishes for, possesses or lands, regulated species, monkfish, scallops, or red crabs. With respect to the red crab fishery, any portion of a calendar day in which a vessel is declared into the red crab DAS fishery, shall count as a full DAS.

Dealer means any person who receives, for a commercial purpose (other than solely for transport on land), from the owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid permit under this part, any species of fish, the harvest of which is managed by this part, unless otherwise exempted in this part.

Dealer code means a confidential five-digit number assigned to each dealer required to submit purchases using the IVR system for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of the data reported through the IVR system.

De-hooker, with respect to the NE multispecies hook gear fishery, means the fairlead rollers when used in a manner that extracts fish hooks from caught fish, also known as “crucifiers.”

Dredge or dredge gear, with respect to the scallop fishery, means gear consisting of a mouth frame attached to a holding bag constructed of metal rings, or any other modification to this design, that can be or is used in the harvest of scallops.

Dredge bottom, with respect to scallops, means the rings and links found between the bail of the dredge and the club stick, which, when fishing, would be in contact with the sea bed. This includes the triangular shaped portions of the ring bag commonly known as “diamonds.”

Dredge top, with respect to the scallop fishery, means the mesh panel in the top of a dredge and immediately adjacent rings and links found between the bail of the dredge, the club stick, and the two side panels. The bail of the dredge is the rigid structure of the forward portion of the dredge that connects to the warp and holds the dredge open. The club stick is the rigid bar at the tail of the dredge bag that is attached to the rings.

Dredge vessel, with respect to the scallop fishery, means any fishing vessel that is equipped for fishing using dredge gear and that is capable of catching scallops.

Exempted gear, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means gear that is deemed to be not capable of catching NE multispecies, and includes: Pelagic hook and line, pelagic longline, spears, rakes, diving gear, cast nets, tongs, harpoons, weirs, dipnets, stop nets, pound nets, pelagic gillnets, pots and traps, shrimp trawls (with a properly configured grate as defined under this part), and surfclam and ocean quahog dredges.

Fishing trip or trip means a period of time during which fishing is conducted, beginning when the vessel leaves port and ending when the vessel returns to port.

Fishing year means:

(1) For the Atlantic sea scallop and Atlantic deep-sea red crab fisheries, from March 1 through the last day of February of the following year.

(2) For the NE multispecies, monkfish and skate fisheries, from May 1 through April 30 of the following year.

(3) For the tilefish fishery, from November 1 through October 31 of the following year.

(4) For all other fisheries in this part, from January 1 through December 31.

Flatfish gillnets means gillnets that are either constructed with no floats on the float line, or that are constructed with floats on the float line and that have tie-down twine between the float line and the lead line not more than 48 inches (18.90 cm) in length and spaced not more than 15 feet (4.57 m) apart.

FMP means fishery management plan.

Fourspot flounder means Paralichthys oblongus.

Full-processing (fully process or fully processed), with respect to the Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery, means any activity that removes meat from any part of a red crab.

Gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies means all gillnet gear except pelagic gillnet gear specified at §648.81(f)(2)(ii) and pelagic gillnet gear that is designed to fish for and is used to fish for or catch tunas, swordfish, and sharks.

Gross registered tonnage (GRT) means the gross registered tonnage specified on the USCG documentation for a vessel.

Hagfish means Myxine glutinosa.

Hail Weight means a good-faith estimate in pounds (or count of individual fish, if a party or charter vessel), by species, of all species, or parts of species, such as monkfish livers, landed or discarded for each trip.

Handgear, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means handline gear, rod and reel gear, and tub-trawl gear.

Handline or handline gear means fishing gear that is released by hand and consists of one main line to which is attached no more than two leaders for a total of no more than three hooks. Handlines are retrieved only by hand, not by mechanical means.

Harbor porpoise means Phocoena phocoena.

Harbor Porpoise Review Team (HPRT) means a team of scientific and technical experts appointed by the NEFMC to review, analyze, and propose harbor porpoise take mitigation alternatives.

Herring means Atlantic herring, Clupea harengus, or blueback herring, Alosa aestivalis.

Hickory shad means Alosa mediocris.

Hook gear means fishing gear that is comprised of a hook or hooks attached to a line and includes, but is not limited to, longline, setline, jigs, troll line, rod and reel, and line trawl.

Illex means Illex illecebrosus (short-finned or summer squid).

Incidental Total Allowable Catch (TAC), with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means the total amount of catch (both kept and discarded) of a regulated groundfish stock of concern that can be taken by vessels fishing under Category B DAS.

Inshore exempted species means the following species:

Bay scallop—Aequipecten irradians.

Blood arc clam—Anadara ovalis.

Blood worm—Glycera dibranchiata.

Blue crab—Callinectes similis and Callinectes sapidus.

Blue mussel—Mytilus edulis.

Green crab—Carcinus maenas.

Hermit crab—Clibanarius vittatus, Pagurus pollicaris and Pagurus longicarpus.

Japanese shore crab—Hemigrapsus sanguineus.

Oyster—Crassostrea virginica and Ostrea edulis.

Quahog—Mercenaria mercenaria.

Razor clam—Ensis directus.

Sand worm—Neresis virens.

Soft clam—Mya arenaria.

Spider crabLibinia emarginata.

IVR System means the Interactive Voice Response reporting system established by the Regional Administrator for the purpose of monitoring harvest levels for certain species.

John Dory means Zenopsis conchifera.

JVPt, with respect to the Atlantic herring fishery, means the specification of the total amount of herring available for joint venture processing by foreign vessels in the EEZ and state waters.

Land means to begin offloading fish, to offload fish, or to enter port with fish.

Liner means a piece of mesh or any other material rigged inside or outside the main or outer net or dredge that restricts the mesh or ring size or otherwise reduces escapement.

Link, with respect to the sea scallop fishery, means the material, usually made of a 3/8-inch (10-mm) or 7/16-inch (11-mm) diameter metal rod, that joins two adjacent rings within the ring bag of a dredge.

Little tunny means Euthynnus alleteratus.

Loligo means Loligo pealei (long-finned or bone squid).

Longhorn sculpin means Myoxocephalus octodecimspinosus.

Longline gear means fishing gear that is or is designed to be set horizontally, either anchored, floating, or attached to a vessel, and that consists of a main or ground line with three or more gangions and hooks.

Maine bushel means a standard unit of volumetric measurement equal to 1.2445 cubic feet (35.24 L) of ocean quahogs in the shell.

Maine mahogany quahog zone means the area bounded on the east by the U.S.-Canada maritime boundary, on the south by a straight line at 43°50' N. latitude, and on the north and west by the shoreline of Maine.

Menhaden means Atlantic menhaden, Brevoortia tyrannus.

Midwater trawl gear means trawl gear that is designed to fish for, is capable of fishing for, or is being used to fish for pelagic species, no portion of which is designed to be or is operated in contact with the bottom at any time.

Mobile gear means trawls, beam trawls, and dredges that are designed to maneuver with that vessel.

Monkfish, also known as anglerfish or goosefish, means Lophius americanus.

Monkfish gillnets means gillnet gear with mesh size no smaller than 10–inches (25.4 cm) diamond mesh that is designed and used to fish for and catch monkfish while fishing under a monkfish DAS.

Monkfish Monitoring Committee means a team of scientific and technical staff appointed by the NEFMC and MAFMC to review, analyze, and recommend adjustments to the management measures. The team consists of staff from the NEFMC and the MAFMC, NMFS Northeast Regional Office, NEFSC, the USCG, two fishing industry representatives selected by their respective Council chairman (one from each management area with at least one of the two representing either the Atlantic sea scallop or northeast multispecies fishery), and staff from affected coastal states, appointed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The Chair is elected by the Committee from within its ranks, subject to the approval of the Chairs of the NEFMC and MAFMC.

Mullet means any species in the family Mugilidae.

Multispecies frames, also known as multispecies racks, means the remains of the multispecies finfish after it has been filleted or processed, not including the fillet.

Multispecies Monitoring Committee means a team of scientific and technical staff appointed by the NEFMC to review, analyze, and recommend adjustments to the measurement measures. The team consists of staff from the NEFMC and the MAFMC, NMFS Northeast Region Office, NEFSC, the USCG, an industry representative, and no more than two representatives, appointed by the Commission, from affected states.

NAFO means Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization.

NAFO Convention Area means the waters of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean north of 35°00' N. lat. and west of a line extending due north from 35°00' N. lat. and 42°00' W. long. to 59°00' N. lat., thence due west to 44°00' W. long., and thence due north to the coast of Greenland and the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Davis Strait and Baffin Bay south of 78°10' N. lat.

NAFO Regulatory Area means the part of the NAFO Convention Area which lies beyond the 200–mile zone of the coastal states.

NEFSC means the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, NMFS.

NE Skate Complex (skates) means Leucoraja ocellata (winter skate); Dipturis laevis (barndoor skate); Amblyraja radiata (thorny skate); Malacoraja senta (smooth skate); Leucoraja erinacea(little skate); Raja eglanteria (clearnose skate); and Leucoraja garmani (rosette skate).

Net tonnage (NT) means the net tonnage specified on the USCG documentation for a vessel.

Non-exempt gillnet fishery means a fishery which uses gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies.

Non-exempt species means species of fish not included under the GOM, GB and SNE Regulated Mesh Area exempted fisheries, as specified in §648.80(a)(5); (a)(6); (a)(9) through (14); (b)(3)(i) and (ii); (b)(5) through (8); and (d), (e), (h), and (i).

Northeast (NE) multispecies or multispecies means the following species:

American plaice—Hippoglossoides platessoides.

Atlantic cod—Gadus morhua.

Atlantic halibut—Hippoglossus hippoglossus.

Haddock—Melanogrammus aeglefinus.

Ocean Pout—Macrozoarces americanus.

Offshore Hake—Merluccius albidus.

Pollock—Pollachius virens.

Redfish—Sebastes fasciatus.

Red hake—Urophycis chuss.

Silver hake (whiting)—Merluccius bilinearis.

White hake—Urophycis tenuis.

Windowpane flounder—Scophthalmus aquosus.

Winter flounder—Pleuronectes americanus.

Witch flounder—Glyptocephalus cynoglossus.

Yellowtail flounder—Pleuronectes ferruginea.

Northern shrimp means Pandalus borealis.

Ocean quahog means the species Arctica islandica.

Offload or offloading means to begin to remove, to remove, to pass over the rail, or otherwise take away fish from any vessel. For purposes of the surf clam and ocean quahog fishery, it means to separate physically a cage from a vessel, such as by removing the sling or wire used to remove the cage from the harvesting vessel.

Open areas, with respect to the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, means any area that is not subject to restrictions of the Sea Scallop Access Areas specified in §§648.59 and 648.60, Rotational Closed Areas specified in §648.58, or EFH Closed Areas specified in §648.61.

Operator means the master, captain, or other individual on board a fishing vessel, who is in charge of that vessel's operations.

Out of the monkfish fishery means the period of time during which a vessel is not fishing for monkfish under the monkfish DAS program.

Out of the multispecies fishery means the period of time during which a vessel is not fishing for regulated species under the NE multispecies DAS program.

Pair trawl or pair trawling means to tow a single net between two vessels.

Parlor trap/pot means any structure or other device, other than a net, with more than one compartment inside designed to impede escape of lobsters or crabs from the device or structure, which is placed, or designed to be placed, on the ocean bottom and is designed for, or is capable of, catching lobsters and/or red crabs.

Pelagic hook and line gear means handline or rod and reel gear that is designed to fish for, or that is being used to fish for, pelagic species, no portion of which is designed to be or is operated in contact with the bottom at any time.

Pelagic longline gear means fishing gear that is not fixed, nor designed to be fixed, nor anchored to the bottom and that consists of monofilament main line (as opposed to a cable main line) to which gangions are attached.

Personal use, with respect to the surf clam or ocean quahog fishery, means harvest of surf clams or ocean quahogs for use as bait, for human consumption, or for other purposes (not including sale or barter) in amounts not to exceed 2 bu (106.48 L) per person per fishing trip.

Person who receives bluefish for commercial purposes means any person (excluding representatives of governmental agencies) engaged in the sale, barter, or trade of bluefish received from a fisherman, or one who transports bluefish from a fisherman.

Postmark means independently verifiable evidence of date of mailing, such as U.S. Postal Service postmark, United Parcel Service (U.P.S.) or other private carrier postmark, certified mail receipt, overnight mail receipt, or receipt received upon hand delivery to an authorized representative of NMFS.

Prior to leaving port, with respect to the call-in notification system for NE multispecies, and the call-in notification system for monkfish vessels that are fishing under the limited access monkfish Category C, D, F, G, or H permit provisions that are also fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, means no more than 1 hour prior to the time a vessel leaves the last dock or mooring in port from which that vessel departs to engage in fishing, including the transport of fish to another port. With respect to the call-in notification system for monkfish vessels that are fishing under the limited access monkfish Category A or B permit provisions, it means prior to the last dock or mooring in port from which a vessel departs to engage in fishing, including the transport of fish to another port.

Private recreational fishing vessel, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means a vessel engaged in recreational fishing that has not been issued a Federal NE multispecies permit, does not sell fish, and does not take passengers for hire.

Processing, or to process, with respect to the Atlantic herring fishery, means the preparation of Atlantic herring to render it suitable for human consumption, bait, commercial uses, industrial uses, or long-term storage, including but not limited to cooking, canning, roe extraction, smoking, salting, drying, freezing, or rendering into meat or oil.

Processor, with respect to the Atlantic surf clam and ocean quahog fisheries, means a person who receives surf clams or ocean quahogs for a commercial purpose and removes them from a cage.

Purse seine gear means an encircling net with floats on the top edge, weights and a purse line on the bottom edge, and associated gear, or any net designed to be, or capable of being, used in such fashion.

Quota-managed species means any species of finfish managed under this part by an annual or seasonal quota, by annual target or actual TAC, or by DAH limits.

Recreational fishing means fishing that is not intended to, nor results in the barter, trade, or sale of fish.

Recreational fishing vessel, with respect to the scup fishery, means any vessel from which no fishing other than recreational fishing is conducted. Charter and party boats are considered recreational fishing vessels for purposes of the scup minimum size requirement.

Red Crab Management Unit means an area of the Atlantic Ocean from 35° 15.3' N. Lat., the approximate latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, northward to the U.S.-Canada border, extending eastward from the shore to the outer boundary of the exclusive economic zone and northward to the U.S.-Canada border in which the United States exercises exclusive jurisdiction over all Atlantic deep-sea red crab fished for, possessed, caught, or retained in or from such area.

Red crab trap/pot means any structure or other device, other than a net or parlor trap/pot, that is placed, or designed to be placed, on the ocean bottom and is designed for, or is capable of, catching red crabs.

Regional Administrator means the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS, or a designee.

Regulated fishery means any fishery of the United States which is regulated under the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Regulated species means the subset of NE multispecies that includes Atlantic cod, witch flounder, American plaice, yellowtail flounder, haddock, pollock, winter flounder, windowpane flounder, redfish, and white hake.

Reporting month means the period of time beginning at 0001 hours local time on the first day of each calendar month and ending at 2400 hours local time on the last day of each calendar month.

Reporting week means the period of time beginning at 0001 local time on Sunday and ending at 2400 hours local time the following Saturday.

Re-rig or re-rigged means physical alteration of the vessel or its gear in order to transform the vessel into one capable of fishing commercially for a species in the applicable fishery.

Rigged hooks means hooks that are baited, or only need to be baited, in order to be fished. Unsecured, unbaited hooks and gangions are not considered to be rigged.

Rockhopper and roller gear means trawl gear configured with disks, rollers, or other similar shaped devices that are attached to the bottom belly of the trawl, contact the sea bottom, and that are designed to raise the bottom panel of the trawl off the ocean bottom so as to enable the gear to be fished on hard bottom.

Rod and reel means a hand-held (including rod holder) fishing rod with a manually operated reel attached.

Rotational Closed Area, with respect to the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, means an area that is closed only to scallop fishing for a period defined in §648.58.

Roundfish gillnets means gillnets that are constructed with floats on the float line and that have no tie-down twine between the float line and the lead line.

Runaround gillnet or encircling gillnet means a rectangular net placed upright in the water column in a circular fashion with an opening equal to or less than 1/4 the length of the net or with an opening greater than 1/4 the length of the net, if the opening is obstructed in any fashion.

Scallop dredge vessel means any fishing vessel, other than a combination vessel, that uses or is equipped to use scallop dredge gear.

Scup means Stenotomus chrysops.

Scup Monitoring Committee means a committee made up of staff representative of the MAFMC, NEFMC, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the NMFS Northeast Regional Office, the NEFSC, and the Commission. The MAFMC Executive Director or a designee chairs the committee.

Scup pot or trap means a pot or trap used in catching and retaining scup.

Sea Scallop Access Area, with respect to the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, means an area that has been designated under the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan as an area with area-specific management measures that are designed to control fishing effort and mortality on only the portion of the scallop resource within the specified Sea Scallop Access Area. Such measures are not applicable in Open Areas defined above.

Sea Scallop Plan Development Team (PDT) means a team of technical experts appointed by the NEFMC.

Sea raven means Hemitripterus americanus.

Searobin means any species of the family Triglidae.

Sector, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means a group of vessels that have voluntarily signed a contract and agree to certain fishing restrictions, and that have been allocated a portion of the TAC of a species, or an allocation of DAS.

Shucking or to shuck means opening or to open a scallop, surf clam, or ocean quahog and removing the meat or the adductor muscle from the shell.

Shucking machine means any mechanical device that automatically removes the meat or the adductor muscle from a scallop, surf clam, or ocean quahog shell.

Sink gillnet or bottom-tending gillnet means any gillnet, anchored or otherwise, that is designed to be, or is fished on or near, the bottom in the lower third of the water column.

Skate means members of the Family Rajidae, including: Leucoraja ocellata (winter skate); Dipturis laevis (barndoor skate); Amblyraja radiata (thorny skate); Malacoraja senta (smooth skate); Leucoraja erinacea (little skate); Raja eglanteria (clearnose skate); and Leucoraja garmani (rosette skate).

Skate Management Unit means an area of the Atlantic Ocean from 35°15.3' N. lat., the approximate latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, northward to the U.S.-Canada border, extending eastward from the shore to the outer boundary of the EEZ and northward to the U.S.-Canada border in which the United States exercises exclusive jurisdiction over all skates fished for, possessed, caught, or retained in or from such area.

Small-mesh multispecies means the subset of Northeast multispecies that includes silver hake, offshore hake, and red hake.

Smooth dogfish means Mustelis canis.

Sorting machine, with respect to the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, means any mechanical device that automatically sorts whole scallops by shell height, size, or other physical characteristics.

Spiny dogfish means Squalus acanthias.

Spiny Dogfish Monitoring Committee means a committee made up of staff representatives of the MAFMC, NEFMC, the NMFS Northeast Regional Office, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, and the states, as well as two ex-officio industry members (one from each Council jurisdiction). The MAFMC Executive Director or a designee chairs the committee.

Spot means Leiostomus xanthurus.

Square mesh, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means mesh in which the horizontal bars of the mesh run perpendicular to the long axis of the net so when the net is placed under a strain the mesh remains open to a square-like shape. Square mesh can be formed by hanging diamond mesh “on the square,” if the resulting mesh conforms with the above description of square mesh.

Squid means Loligo pealei or Illex illecebrosus.

Standard tote means a box typically constructed of plastic, designed to hold 100 lb (45.3 kg) of fish plus ice, and that has a liquid capacity of 70 L, or a volume of not more than 4,320 cubic in (2.5 cubic ft or 70.79 cubic cm).

Static gear, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means stationary gear, usually left for a period of time in one place, that depends on fish moving to the gear, and includes gillnets, longlines, handgear, traps, and pots.

Stock of concern, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means a stock that is in an overfished condition, or that is subject to overfishing.

Stocks targeted by the default measures, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, are: American plaice, and SNE/MA yellowtail flounder for the 2006 fishing year; and American plaice, GB cod, GOM cod, CC/GOM yellowtail flounder, SNE/MA yellowtail flounder, white hake and SNE/MA winter flounder for the 2009 fishing year.

Sub-lease, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means the leasing of DAS that have already been leased to another vessel.

Substantially similar harvesting capacity means the same or less GRT and vessel length.

Summer flounder means Paralichthys dentatus.

Summer Flounder Monitoring Committee means a committee made up of staff representatives of the MAFMC, NEFMC, and SAFMC, the NMFS Northeast Regional Office, the NEFSC, the Southeast Science Center, and the Commission. The MAFMC Executive Director or a designee chairs the committee.

Surf clams means Atlantic surf clams of the species Spisula solidissima.

Swordfish means Xiphias gladius.

Target total allowable catch (TAC) means the annual domestic harvest targets for regulated species.

Tautog (blackfish) means Tautoga onitas.

Tied up to the dock or tying up at a dock means tied up at a dock, on a mooring, or elsewhere in a harbor.

Tilefish means Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps.

Tilefish FMP Monitoring Committee means a committee made up of staff representatives of the MAFMC, the NMFS Northeast Regional Office, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, up to three state representatives (the New England states having one representative and the Mid-Atlantic states having a maximum of two representatives) and one non-voting industry member. The MAFMC Executive Director or his designee chairs the committee.

Tilefish Management Unitmeans an area of the Atlantic Ocean from the latitude of the VA and NC border (36°33.36' N. Lat.), extending eastward from the shore to the outer boundary of the exclusive economic zone and northward to the United States-Canada border in which the United States exercises exclusive jurisdiction over all golden tilefish (Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps) fished for, possessed, caught or retained in or from such area.

Total Length (TL) means the straight-line distance from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail (caudal fin) while the fish is lying on its side. For black sea bass, Total Length (TL) means the straight-line distance from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail (caudal fin), excluding any caudal filament, while the fish is lying on its side.

Transboundary Management Guidance Committee (TMGC), with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means the technical sub-committee that provides non-binding guidance to the U.S./Canada Steering Committee, comprised of government and industry representatives from U.S. and Canada.

Transboundary Resource Advisory Committee (TRAC), with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means a committee consisting of scientific staff from NMFS and Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans that jointly assess the status of the shared U.S./Canada stocks of cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder.

Transfer means to begin to remove, to remove, to pass over the rail, or to otherwise take away fish from any vessel and move them to another vessel.

Trawl means gear consisting of a net that is towed, including but not limited to beam trawls, pair trawls, otter trawls, and Danish and Scottish seine gear.

Trawl sweep means the total length of the footrope on a trawl net that is directly attached to the webbing of a net.

Trip Identifier means the complete serial number of the vessel logbook page completed for that trip.

Tub-trawl, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means gear designed to be set horizontally on the bottom, with an anchored mainline to which are attached three or more gangions and hooks. Tub-trawls are retrieved only by hand, not by mechanical means.

Tuna purse seine gear, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means encircling gear designed and utilized to harvest pelagic tuna.

Under construction means that the keel had been laid or the vessel was under written agreement for construction or the vessel was under written contract for purchase.

Upon returning to port, means, for purposes of the call-in notification system for the NE multispecies and monkfish fisheries, upon first tying up at a dock at the end of a fishing trip.

U.S. at-sea processing (USAP), with respect to the Atlantic herring fishery, means the specification, pursuant to §648.200, of the amount of herring available for processing by U.S. vessels issued an Atlantic herring processing permit as described in §648.4(a)(10)(ii).

U.S./Canada Steering Committee, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means the joint U.S./Canada committee consisting of staff from NMFS and Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans that has overall responsibility for the U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding.

Used DAS baseline, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means the number of DAS that represent the historic level of DAS use associated with a particular limited access permit, as described in §648.82(l).

Vessel length means the length specified on the USCG documentation for a vessel or on the state registration for a vessel not required to be documented under title 46 U.S.C., if the state length is verified by an authorized officer or NMFS official.

Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) means a vessel monitoring system or VMS unit as set forth in §648.9 and approved by NMFS for use on Atlantic sea scallop, NE multispecies, monkfish, and Atlantic herring vessels, as required by this part.

VMS unit means a device installed on board a vessel used for vessel monitoring and transmitting the vessel's position as required by this part.

Weakfish means Cynoscion regalis.

Whiting means Merluccius bilinearis.

Whiting Monitoring Committee (WMC) means a team appointed by the NEFMC to review, analyze, and recommend adjustments to the management measures addressing small-mesh multispecies. The team consists of staff from the NEFMC and MAFMC, NMFS Northeast Regional Office, the NEFSC, the USCG, at least one industry representative from each geographical area (northern New England, southern New England, and the Mid-Atlantic), and no more than two representatives, appointed by the Commission, from affected states.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996]

Editorial Note:  For Federal Register citations affecting §648.2, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on GPO Access.

§ 648.3   Relation to other laws.
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(a) The relation of this part to other laws is set forth in §600.705.

(b) Nothing in these regulations supersedes more restrictive state management measures for any of the species referenced in §648.1 and, for Atlantic salmon, more restrictive local management measures.

§ 648.4   Vessel permits.
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(a) Fishery specific permit information—(1) NE multispecies vessels. Except for vessels that have been issued a valid High Seas Fishing Compliance permit, have declared their intent to fish, and fish exclusively in the NAFO Regulatory Area as provided in §648.17, any vessel of the United States, including a charter or party boat, must have been issued and have on board a valid multispecies permit to fish for, possess, or land multispecies finfish in or from the EEZ. Multispecies frames used as, or to be used as, bait on a vessel fishing exclusively with pot gear are deemed not to be multispecies finfish for purposes of this part provided that there is a receipt for the purchase of those frames on board the vessel.

(i) Limited access multispecies permits—(A) Eligibility. To be eligible to apply for a limited access NE multispecies permit, as specified in §648.82, a vessel must have been issued a limited access NE multispecies permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a limited access NE multispecies permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history; unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (a)(1)(i)(A). For the fishing year beginning May 1, 2004, a vessel may apply for a limited access Handgear A permit described in §648.82(b)(6), if it meets the criteria described under paragraphs (a)(1)(i)(A)(1) and (2) of this section.

(1) The vessel must have been previously issued a valid NE multispecies open access Handgear permit during at least 1 fishing year during the fishing years 1997 through 2002; and

(2) The vessel must have landed and reported to NMFS at least 500 lb (226.8 kg) of cod, haddock, or pollock, when fishing under the open access Handgear permit in at least 1 of the fishing years from 1997 through 2002, as indicated by NMFS dealer records (live weight), submitted to NMFS prior to January 29, 2004.

(3) Application/renewal restrictions. The vessel owner must submit a complete application for an initial limited access handgear permit before May 1, 2005. For fishing years beyond the 2004 fishing year, the provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section apply.

(B) Application/renewal restrictions. All limited access permits established under this section must be issued on an annual basis by the last day of the fishing year for which the permit is required, unless a Confirmation of Permit History (CPH) has been issued as specified in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section. Application for such permits must be received no later than 30 days before the last day of the fishing year. Failure to renew a limited access permit in any fishing year bars the renewal of the permit in subsequent years.

(C) Qualification restriction. Unless the Regional Administrator determines otherwise, no more than one vessel may qualify, at any one time, for a limited access permit or CPH based on that or another vessel's fishing and permit history. If more than one vessel owner claims eligibility for a limited access permit or CPH, based on one vessel's fishing and permit history, the Regional Administrator will determine who is entitled to qualify for the permit or CPH and any DAS allocation according to paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(D) Change in ownership. The fishing and permit history of a vessel is presumed to transfer with the vessel whenever it is bought, sold, or otherwise transferred, unless there is a written agreement, signed by the transferor/seller and transferee/buyer, or other credible written evidence, verifying that the transferor/seller is retaining the vessel's fishing and permit history for purposes of replacing the vessel.

(E) Replacement vessels. With the exception of vessels that have obtained a limited access Handgear A permit described in §648.82(b)(6), to be eligible for a limited access permit under this section, the replacement vessel must meet the following criteria and any other applicable criteria under paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section:

(1) The replacement vessel's horsepower may not exceed by more than 20 percent the horsepower of the vessel's baseline specifications, as applicable.

(2) The replacement vessel's length, GRT, and NT may not exceed by more than 10 percent the length, GRT, and NT of the vessel's baseline specifications, as applicable.

(F) Upgraded vessel. A vessel may be upgraded, whether through refitting or replacement, and be eligible to retain or renew a limited access permit, only if the upgrade complies with the following:

(1) The vessels's horsepower may be increased only once, whether through refitting or replacement. Such an increase may not exceed 20 percent of the horsepower of the vessel's baseline specifications, as applicable.

(2) The vessel's length, GRT, and NT may be increased only once, whether through refitting or replacement. Any increase in any of these three specifications of vessel size may not exceed 10 percent of the vessel's baseline specifications, as applicable. If any of these three specifications is increased, any increase in the other two must be performed at the same time. This type of upgrade may be done separately from an engine horsepower upgrade.

(G) Consolidation restriction. Except as provided for in the NE Multispecies DAS Leasing Program, as specified in §648.82(k), and the NE Multispecies DAS Transfer Program as specified in §648.82(l), limited access permits and DAS allocations may not be combined or consolidated.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. The vessel baseline specifications in this section are the respective specifications (length, GRT, NT, horsepower) of the vessel that was initially issued a limited access permit as of the date the initial vessel applied for such permit.

(I) Limited access permit restrictions. (1) A vessel may be issued a limited access NE multispecies permit in only one category during a fishing year. Vessels may not change limited access NE multispecies permit categories during the fishing year, except as provided in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(I)(2) of this section. A vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies Hook-gear permit or a limited access Handgear A permit may not change its limited access permit category at any time.

(2) The owner of a vessel issued a limited access multispecies permit may request a change in permit category, unless otherwise restricted by paragraph (a)(1)(i)(I)(1) of this section. The owner of a limited access multispecies vessel eligible to request a change in permit category must elect a category upon the vessel's permit application and will have one opportunity to request a change in permit category by submitting an application to the Regional Administrator within 45 days of the effective date of the vessel's permit. If such a request is not received within 45 days, the vessel owner may not request a change in permit category and the vessel permit category will remain unchanged for the duration of the fishing year. A vessel may not fish in more than one multispecies permit category during a fishing year.

(3) With the exception of combination vessels, sea scallop dredge vessels are not eligible for limited access multispecies permits.

(J) Confirmation of permit history. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this part, a person who does not currently own a fishing vessel, but who has owned a qualifying vessel that has sunk, been destroyed, or transferred to another person, must apply for and receive a CPH if the fishing and permit history of such vessel has been retained lawfully by the applicant. To be eligible to obtain a CPH, the applicant must show that the qualifying vessel meets the eligibility requirements, as applicable, in this part. Issuance of a valid CPH preserves the eligibility of the applicant to apply for a limited access permit for a replacement vessel based on the qualifying vessel's fishing and permit history at a subsequent time, subject to the replacement provisions specified in this section. If fishing privileges have been assigned or allocated previously under this part, based on the qualifying vessel's fishing and permit history, the CPH also preserves such fishing privileges. A CPH must be applied for in order for the applicant to preserve the fishing rights and limited access eligibility of the qualifying vessel. An application for a CPH must be received by the Regional Administrator no later than 30 days prior to the end of the first full fishing year in which a vessel permit cannot be issued. Failure to do so is considered abandonment of the permit as described in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section. A CPH issued under this part will remain valid until the fishing and permit history preserved by the CPH is used to qualify a replacement vessel for a limited access permit. Any decision regarding the issuance of a CPH for a qualifying vessel that has applied for or been issued previously a limited access permit is a final agency action subject to judicial review under 5 U.S.C. 704. Information requirements for the CPH application are the same as those for a limited access permit. Any request for information about the vessel on the CPH application form refers to the qualifying vessel that has been sunk, destroyed, or transferred. Vessel permit applicants who have been issued a CPH and who wish to obtain a vessel permit for a replacement vessel based upon the previous vessel history may do so pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permit history. If a vessel's limited access permit history for a particular fishery is voluntarily relinquished to the Regional Administrator or abandoned through failure to renew or otherwise, no limited access permit for that fishery may be reissued or renewed based on that vessel's history or to any other vessel relying on that vessel's history.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. A limited access permit issued pursuant to this section may not be issued to a vessel or its replacement or remain valid, if the vessel's permit or fishing history has been used to qualify another vessel for another Federal fishery.

(M) Appeal of denial of permit—(1) Eligibility. Any applicant eligible to apply for a limited access multispecies Handgear A permit who is denied such permit may appeal the denial to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the notice of denial. Any such appeal must be based on the grounds that the information used by the Regional Administrator was based on incorrect data, must be in writing, and must state the grounds for the appeal.

(2) Appeal review. The Regional Administrator will appoint a designee who will make the initial decision on the appeal. The appellant may request a review of the initial decision by the Regional Administrator by so requesting in writing within 30 days of the notice of the initial decision. If the appellant does not request a review of the initial decision within 30 days, the initial decision is the final administrative action of the Department of Commerce. Such review will be conducted by a hearing officer appointed by the Regional Administrator. The hearing officer shall make findings and a recommendation to the Regional Administrator, which shall be advisory only. Upon receiving the findings and the recommendation, the Regional Administrator will issue a final decision on the appeal. The Regional Administrator's decision is the final administrative action of the Department of Commerce.

(3) Status of vessels pending appeal. A vessel denied a limited access Handgear A multispecies permit may fish under the limited access multispecies Handgear A category, provided that the denial has been appealed, the appeal is pending, and the vessel has on board a letter from the Regional Administrator authorizing the vessel to fish under the limited access category. The Regional Administrator will issue such a letter for the pendency of any appeal. Any such decision is the final administrative action of the Department of Commerce on allowable fishing activity, pending a final decision on the appeal. The letter of authorization must be carried on board the vessel. If the appeal is finally denied, the Regional Administrator shall send a notice of final denial to the vessel owner; the authorizing letter becomes invalid 5 days after receipt of the notice of denial.

(N) Eligibility. To be eligible to apply for a limited access NE multispecies permit, as specified in §648.82, a vessel must have been issued a limited access NE multispecies permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a limited access NE multispecies permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history; unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (a)(1)(i)(N). A vessel may apply for a limited access Handgear A permit described in §648.82(u)(6), if it meets the criteria described under paragraphs (a)(1)(i)(N)(1), (2), and (3) of this section.

(1) The vessel must have been previously issued a valid NE multispecies open access Handgear permit during at least 1 fishing year during the fishing years 1997 through 2002; and

(2) The vessel must have landed and reported to NMFS at least 500 lb (226.8 kg) of cod, haddock, or pollock, when fishing under the open access Handgear permit in at least 1 of the fishing years from 1997 through 2002, as indicated by NMFS dealer records (live weight), submitted to NMFS prior to January 29, 2004.

(O) Application/renewal restrictions. All limited access permits established under this section must be issued on an annual basis by the last day of the fishing year for which the permit is required, unless a Confirmation of Permit History (CPH) has been issued as specified in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(R) of this section. Application for such permits must be received no later than 30 days before the last day of the fishing year. Failure to renew a limited access permit in any fishing year bars the renewal of the permit in subsequent years.

(P) Replacement vessels. With the exception of vessels that have obtained a limited access Handgear A permit described in §648.82(u)(6), to be eligible for a limited access permit under this section, the replacement vessel must meet the following criteria and any other applicable criteria under paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section:

(1) The replacement vessel's horsepower may not exceed by more than 20 percent the horsepower of the vessel's baseline specifications, as applicable; and

(2) The replacement vessel's length, GRT, and NT may not exceed by more than 10 percent the length, GRT, and NT of the vessel's baseline specifications, as applicable.

(Q) Consolidation restriction. Except as provided for in the NE Multispecies DAS Leasing Program, as specified in §648.82(t), and the NE Multispecies DAS Transfer Program, as specified in §648.82(l), limited access permits and DAS allocations may not be combined or consolidated.

(R) Confirmation of permit history. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this part, a person who does not currently own a fishing vessel, but who has owned a qualifying vessel that has sunk, been destroyed, or transferred to another person, must apply for and receive a CPH if the fishing and permit history of such vessel has been retained lawfully by the applicant. To be eligible to obtain a CPH, the applicant must show that the qualifying vessel meets the eligibility requirements, as applicable, in this part. Issuance of a valid CPH preserves the eligibility of the applicant to apply for a limited access permit for a replacement vessel based on the qualifying vessel's fishing and permit history at a subsequent time, subject to the replacement provisions specified in this section. If fishing privileges have been assigned or allocated previously under this part, based on the qualifying vessel's fishing and permit history, the CPH also preserves such fishing privileges. A CPH must be applied for in order for the applicant to preserve the fishing rights and limited access eligibility of the qualifying vessel. An application for a CPH must be received by the Regional Administrator no later than 30 days prior to the end of the first full fishing year in which a vessel permit cannot be issued. Failure to do so is considered abandonment of the permit as described in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section. A CPH issued under this part will remain valid until the fishing and permit history preserved by the CPH is used to qualify a replacement vessel for a limited access permit. Any decision regarding the issuance of a CPH for a qualifying vessel that has applied for or been issued previously a limited access permit is a final agency action subject to judicial review under 5 U.S.C. 704. Information requirements for the CPH application are the same as those for a limited access permit. Any request for information about the vessel on the CPH application form refers to the qualifying vessel that has been sunk, destroyed, or transferred. Vessel permit applicants who have been issued a CPH and who wish to obtain a vessel permit for a replacement vessel based upon the previous vessel history may do so pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(i)(P) of this section.

(ii) Open access permits. A vessel of the United States that has not been issued and is not eligible to be issued a limited access multispecies permit is eligible for and may be issued an “open access multispecies”, “handgear”, or “charter/party” permit, and may fish for, possess on board, and land multispecies finfish subject to the restrictions in §648.88. A vessel that has been issued a valid limited access scallop permit, but that has not been issued a limited access mulitspecies permit, is eligible for and may be issued an open access scallop multispecies possession limit permit and may fish for, possess on board, and land multispecies finfish subject to the restrictions in §648.88. The owner of a vessel issued an open access permit may request a different open access permit category by submitting an application to the Regional Administrator at any time.

(2) Atlantic sea scallop vessels— Any vessel of the United States that fishes for, possesses, or lands Atlantic sea scallops in quantities greater than 40 lb (18.14 kg) shucked, or 5 bu (176.2 L) of in-shell scallops per trip, except vessels that fish exclusively in state waters for scallops, must have been issued and carry on board a valid scallop permit.

(i) Limited access scallop permits. Any vessel of the United States that possesses or lands more than 400 lb (181.44 kg) of shucked, or the equivalent amount of in-shell scallops (50 bu (176.2 L)) per trip, except vessels that fish exclusively in state waters for scallops, must have been issued and carry on board a valid limited access scallop permit.

(A) Eligibility. To be eligible to apply for a limited access scallop permit, a vessel must have been issued a limited access scallop permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a limited access scallop permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history.

(B) Application/renewal restrictions. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section.

(C) Qualification restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(D) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(E) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section.

(G) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(H) of this section.

(I) Limited access permit restrictions. A vessel may be issued a limited access scallop permit in only one category during a fishing year. The owner of a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit must elect a permit category upon the vessels permit application and will have one opportunity to request a change in permit category by submitting an application to the Regional Administrator within 45 days of the effective date of the vessel's permit. After this date, the vessel must remain in that permit category for the duration of the fishing year. Any DAS that a vessel uses prior to a change in permit category will be counted against its allocation received under any subsequent permit category.

(J) Confirmation of Permit History. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section.

(M) Percentage ownership restrictions. (1) For any vessel acquired after March 1, 1994, a vessel owner is not eligible to be issued a limited access scallop permit for the vessel if the issuance of the permit will result in the vessel owner, or in any other person who is a shareholder or partner of the vessel owner, having an ownership interest in limited access scallop vessels in excess of 5 percent of the number of all limited access scallop vessels at the time of permit application.

(2) Vessel owners who were initially issued a 1994 limited access scallop permit or were issued or renewed a limited access scallop permit for a vessel in 1995 and thereafter, in compliance with the ownership restrictions in paragraph (a)(2)(i)(M)(1) of this section, are eligible to renew such permits(s), regardless of whether the renewal of the permits will result in the 5– percent ownership restriction being exceeded.

(3) Having an ownership interest includes, but is not limited to, persons who are shareholders in a vessel owned by a corporation, who are partners (general or limited) to a vessel owner, or who, in any way, partly own a vessel.

(N) Application/renewal restrictions. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(O) of this section.

(O) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(P) of this section.

(P) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(Q) of this section.

(Q) Confirmation of Permit History. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(R) of this section.

(ii) General scallop permit. Any vessel of the United States that is not in possession of a limited access scallop permit, and that possesses, or lands per trip, 400 lb (181.44 kg) of shucked meats, or 50 bu (17.62 hL) of in-shell scallops, or less, except vessels that fish exclusively in state waters for scallops, must comply with one of the permit requirements described in paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)(A) or (B) of this section, unless otherwise exempted under paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(C) of this section, and must comply with the application procedures specified in paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)(D) and (E) of this section.

(A) Non-VMS general scallop permit. To possess or land up to, but not more than 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked or 5 bu (176.2 L) in-shell scallops per trip that are sold or are intended to be sold, a vessel must apply for and be issued a non-VMS general scallop permit. A vessel issued a non-VMS general scallop permit may not possess or land more than 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked or 5 bu (176.2 L) of in-shell scallops at any time.

(B) VMS general scallop permit. To possess or land more than 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked meats or 5 bu (176.2 L) of in-shell scallops, but no more than 400 lb (181.44 kg) of shucked meats, or 50 bu (17.62 hL) of in-shell scallops, a vessel must apply for and be issued a VMS general scallop permit. Issuance of a VMS general scallop permit requires the vessel owner to submit a copy of the vendor's installation receipt or provide verification of vendor activation from a NMFS-approved VMS vendor as described in §648.9.

(C) Vessels without general scallop permits. No scallop permit is required for a vessel that possesses or lands up to 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked meats or 5 bu (176.2 L) of in-shell scallops per trip, provided such scallops are not, or are not intended to be, sold, traded or bartered.

(D) [Reserved]

(E) General scallop permit restrictions. A vessel may be issued a general scallop permit in only one category during a fishing year. The owners of a vessel issued a general scallop permit must elect a permit category upon the vessel's permit application and shall have one opportunity to request a change in its permit category by submitting an application to the Regional Administrator within 45 days of the effective date of the vessel's permit. After that date, the vessel must remain in that permit category for the duration of the fishing year.

(3) Summer flounder vessels. Any vessel of the United States that fishes for or retains summer flounder in the EEZ must have been issued and carry on board a valid summer flounder permit, except for vessels other than party or charter vessels that observe the possession limit set forth in §648.105.

(i) Moratorium permits—(A) Eligibility. To be eligible to apply for a moratorium permit to fish for and retain summer flounder in excess of the possession limit in §648.105 in the EEZ, a vessel must have been issued a summer flounder moratorium permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a moratorium permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history.

(B) Application/renewal restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section.

(C) Qualification restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(D) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(E) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section.

(G) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. The vessel baseline specifications in this section are the respective specifications (length, GRT, NT, horsepower) of the vessel as of March 22, 1999, unless the vessel is in the process of construction or rerigging or under agreement or written contract for construction or rerigging, as of the effective baseline specification date in which case the baseline specifications will be established no later than February 19, 2000.

(I) [Reserved]

(J) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section.

(M) Application/renewal restrictions. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(O) of this section.

(N) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(P) of this section.

(O) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(Q) of this section.

(P) Confirmation of Permit History. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(R) of this section.

(ii) Party and charter boat permits. Any party or charter boat is eligible for a permit to fish for summer flounder, other than a summer flounder moratorium permit, if it is carrying passengers for hire. Such vessel must observe the possession limits specified in §648.105.

(iii) Exemption permits. Owners of summer flounder vessels seeking an exemption from the minimum mesh requirement under the provisions of §648.104(b)(1) must request a letter of authorization (LOA) from the Regional Administrator. Vessels must be enrolled in the exemption program for a minimum of 7 days. The Regional Administrator may impose temporary additional procedural requirements by publishing a notification in the Federal Register. If a summer flounder charter or party requirement of this part differs from a summer flounder charter or party management measure required by a state, any vessel owners or operators fishing under the terms of a summer flounder charter/party vessel permit in the EEZ for summer flounder must comply with the more restrictive requirement while fishing in state waters, unless otherwise authorized under §648.107.

(4) Surf clam and ocean quahog vessels. Any vessel of the United States that fishes for surf clams or ocean quahogs, except vessels taking surf clams and ocean quahogs for personal use or fishing exclusively within state waters, must have been issued and carry on board a valid surf clam or ocean quahog permit, respectively.

(i) Maine mahogany quahog permit. (A) A vessel is eligible for a Maine mahogany quahog permit to fish for ocean quahogs in the Maine mahogany quahog zone if it meets the following eligibility criteria in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section, and an application for a Maine mahogany quahog permit is submitted by May 19, 1999. After May 19, 1999, to be eligible to apply for a Maine mahogany quahog permit, a vessel must have been issued a Maine mahogany quahog permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a Maine mahogany quahog permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history.

(1) The vessel was issued a Federal Maine Mahogany Quahog Experimental Permit during one of the experimental fisheries authorized by the Regional Administrator between September 30, 1990, and September 30, 1997; and,

(2) The vessel landed at least one Maine bushel of ocean quahogs from the Maine mahogany quahog zone as documented by fishing or shellfish logs submitted to the Regional Administrator prior to January 1, 1998.

(B)Application/renewal restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section.

(C) Qualification restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(D) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(E) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section.

(G) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. See paragraph (a)(3)(i)(H) of this section.

(I) [Reserved]

(J) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section.

(M) Appeal of denial of a permit. (1) Any applicant denied a Maine mahogany quahog permit may appeal to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the notice of denial. Any such appeal shall be in writing. The only ground for appeal is that the Regional Administrator's designee erred in concluding that the vessel did not meet the criteria in paragraph (a)(4)(i)(A) of this section. The appeal must set forth the basis for the applicant's belief that the decision of the Regional Administrator's designee was made in error.

(2) The appeal may be presented, at the option of the applicant, at a hearing before an officer appointed by the Regional Administrator.

(3) The hearing officer shall make a recommendation to the Regional Administrator.

(4) The Regional Administrator will make a final decision based on the criteria in paragraph (a)(4)(i)(A) of this section and on the available record, including any relevant documentation submitted by the applicant and, if a hearing is held, the recommendation of the hearing officer. The decision on the appeal by the Regional Administrator is the final decision of the Department of Commerce.

(N) Application/renewal restrictions. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(O) of this section.

(O) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(P) of this section.

(P) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(Q) of this section.

(Q) Confirmation of Permit History. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(R) of this section.

(ii) [Reserved]

(5) Mackerel, squid, and butterfish vessels. Any vessel of the United States, including party and charter vessels, must have been issued and carry on board a valid vessel permit to fish for, possess, or land Atlantic mackerel, squid, or butterfish in or from the EEZ.

(i) [Reserved]

(A) Eligibility. To be eligible to apply for a moratorium permit to fish for and retain Loligo squid, butterfish, or Illex squid in excess of the incidental catch allowance in paragraph (a)(5)(ii) of this section in the EEZ, a vessel must have been issued a Loligo squid and butterfish moratorium permit or Illex squid moratorium permit, as applicable, for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a moratorium permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history.

(B) Application/renewal restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section.

(C) Qualification restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(D) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(E) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section.

(G) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. See paragraph (a)(3)(i)(H) of this section.

(I) [Reserved]

(J) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section.

(M) Application/renewal restrictions. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(O) of this section.

(N) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(P) of this section.

(O) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(Q) of this section.

(P) Confirmation of Permit History. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(R) of this section.

(ii) Squid/butterfish incidental catch permit. Any vessel of the United States may obtain a permit to fish for or retain up to 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of Loligo squid or butterfish, or up to 10,000 lb (4.54 mt) of Illex squid, as an incidental catch in another directed fishery. The incidental catch allowance may be revised by the Regional Administrator based upon a recommendation by the Council following the procedure set forth in §648.21.

(iii) Atlantic mackerel permit. Any vessel of the United States may obtain a permit to fish for or retain Atlantic mackerel in or from the EEZ, except for vessels that exceed either 165 feet in length overall (LOA) and 750 gross registered tons, or a shaft horsepower of 3000 shp. Vessels that exceed the size or horsepower restrictions may seek to obtain an at-sea processing permit specified under §648.6(a)(2).

(iv) Party and charter boat permits. The owner of any party or charter boat must obtain a permit to fish for or retain in or from the EEZ mackerel, squid, or butterfish while carrying passengers for hire.

(6) Scup vessels. Beginning on January 1, 1997, and subject to the eligibility requirements specified in paragraphs (a)(6)(i) and (a)(6)(ii) of this section, the owner of a vessel of the United States, including a party or charter vessel, must obtain a permit issued under this part to fish for or retain scup for sale, barter or trade, in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3' N. lat. Any vessel, other than a party or charter boat, that observes the possession limit restrictions established pursuant to, and the prohibition on sale specified in, §648.125 is exempt from the permit requirement.

(i) Moratorium permit—(A) Eligibility. To be eligible to apply for a moratorium permit to fish for and retain scup, a vessel must have been issued a scup moratorium permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a scup moratorium permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history.

(B)Application/renewal restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section.

(C) Qualification restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(D) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(E) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section.

(G) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. See paragraph (a)(3)(i)(H) of this section.

(I) [Reserved]

(J) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section.

(M) Application/renewal restrictions. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(O) of this section.

(N) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(P) of this section.

(O) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(Q) of this section.

(P) Confirmation of Permit History. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(R) of this section.

(ii) Party and charter boat permit. Any party or charter boat is eligible for a permit to fish for scup, other than a scup moratorium permit, if it is carrying passengers for hire. Such vessel must observe the possession limits established pursuant to, and the prohibitions on sale specified in, §648.125.

(7) Black sea bass vessels. Beginning June 1, 1997, any vessel of the United States that fishes for or retains black sea bass in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3' N. lat., the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, must have been issued and carry on board a valid black sea bass moratorium permit, except for vessels other than party or charter vessels that observe the possession limit established pursuant to §648.145.

(i) Moratorium permits—(A) Eligibility. To be eligible to apply for a moratorium permit to fish for and retain black sea bass in excess of the possession limit established pursuant to §648.145 in the EEZ north of 35°15.3' N. Lat., the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, a vessel must have been issued a black sea bass moratorium permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a black sea bass moratorium permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history.

(B) Application/renewal restrictions. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section.

(C) Qualification restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(D) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(E) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section.

(G) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. See paragraph (a)(3)(i)(H) of this section.

(I) [Reserved]

(J) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section.

(M) Application/renewal restrictions. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(O) of this section.

(N) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(P) of this section.

(O) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(Q) of this section.

(P) Confirmation of Permit History. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(R) of this section.

(ii) Party and charter boat permit. The owner of any party or charter boat must obtain a permit to fish for or retain black sea bass in or from U.S. waters of the western Atlantic Ocean from 35°15.3' N. lat., the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, northward to the U.S.-Canada border, while carrying passengers for hire.

(8) Atlantic bluefish vessels. (i) Commercial. Any vessel of the United States including party and charter boats not carrying passengers for hire, that fishes for, possesses, or lands Atlantic bluefish in or from the EEZ in excess of the recreational possession limit specified at §648.164 must have been issued and carry on board a valid commercial bluefish vessel permit.

(ii) Party and charter vessels. Any party or charter boat must have been issued and carry on board a valid party or charter boat permit to fish for, possess, or land Atlantic bluefish in or from the EEZ if it is carrying passengers for hire. Persons on board such vessel must observe the possession limits established pursuant to §648.164, and the prohibitions on sale specified in §648.14(w).

(9) Monkfish vessels. Any vessel of the United States, including a charter or party boat, must have been issued and have on board a valid monkfish permit to fish for, possess, or land any monkfish in or from the EEZ.

(i) Limited access monkfish permits. (A) Eligibility. A vessel may be issued a limited access monkfish permit if it meets any of the following limited access monkfish permits criteria:

(1) Category A permit (vessels without NE multispecies or scallop limited access DAS permits). The vessel landed at least 50,000 lb (22,680 kg) tail-weight or 166,000 lb (75,297.6 kg) whole weight of monkfish between February 28, 1991, and February 27, 1995;

(2) Category B permit (vessels less than 51 gross registered tonnage (GRT) without NE multispecies or scallop limited access DAS permits that do not qualify for a Category A permit). The vessel landed at least 7,500 lb (3,402 kg) tail-weight or 24,900 lb (11,294.6 kg) whole weight of monkfish between February 28, 1991, and February 27, 1995;

(3) Category C permit (vessels with NE multispecies or scallop limited access DAS permits). The vessel landed at least 50,000 lb (22,680 kg) tail-weight or 166,000 lb (75,297.6 kg) whole weight of monkfish between February 28, 1991, and February 27, 1995; or

(4) Category D permit (all vessels with NE multispecies limited access DAS permits and vessels less than 51 GRT with scallop limited access DAS permits that do not qualify for a Category C permit). The vessel landed at least 7,500 lb (3,402 kg) tail-weight or 24,900 lb (11,294.6 kg) whole weight of monkfish between February 28, 1991, and February 27, 1995.

(5) Category F permit (vessels electing to participate in the Offshore Fishery Program). To fish in the Offshore Fishery Program, as described under §648.95, vessels must apply for and be issued a Category F permit and fish under this permit category for the entire fishing year. The owner of a vessel, or authorized representative, may change the vessel's limited access monkfish permit category within 45 days of the effective date of the vessel's permit, provided the vessel has not fished under the monkfish DAS program during that fishing year. If such a request is not received within 45 days, the vessel owner may not request a change in permit category and the vessel's permit category will remain unchanged for the duration of the fishing year.

(6) Category G permit (vessels restricted to fishing south of 38°20' N. lat. as described in §648.92(b)(9) that do not qualify for a monkfish limited access Category A, B, C, or D permit). The vessel landed at least 50,000 lb (22,680 kg) tail weight or 166,000 lb (75,296 kg) whole weight of monkfish in the area south of 38°00' N. lat. during the period March 15 through June 15 in the years 1995 to 1998.

(7) Category H permit (vessels restricted to fishing south of 38°20' N. lat. as described in §648.92(b)(9) that do not qualify for a monkfish limited access Category A, B, C, D, or G permit). The vessel landed at least 7,500 lb (3,402 kg) tail weight or 24,900 lb (11,294 kg) whole weight of monkfish in the area south of 38°00' N. lat. during the period March 15 through June 15 in the years 1995 to 1998.

(B) Application/renewal restrictions. No one may apply for an initial limited access monkfish permit for a vessel after November 7, 2000, unless otherwise allowed in this paragraph (a)(9)(i)(B). Vessels applying for an initial limited access Category G or H permit, as described in paragraphs (a)(9)(i)(A)(6) and (7) of this section, must do so on or before April 30, 2006.

(C) Qualification restrictions. (1) See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(2) Vessels under agreement for construction or under reconstruction. A vessel may be issued a limited access monkfish permit if the vessel was under written agreement for construction or reconstruction between February 28, 1994, and February 27, 1995, and such vessel meets any of the qualification criteria regarding amount of landings as stated in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A) of this section between February 28, 1991, and February 27, 1996.

(D) Change in ownership. (1) See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(2) A vessel may be issued a limited access monkfish permit if it was under written agreement for purchase as of February 27, 1995 and meets any of the qualification criteria regarding amount of landings as stated in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A) of this section between February 28, 1991, and February 27, 1996.

(E) Replacement vessels. (1) See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(2) A vessel ≥51 GRT that lawfully replaced a vessel <51 GRT between February 27, 1995, and October 7, 1999, that meets the qualification criteria set forth in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A) of this section, but exceeds the 51 GRT vessel size qualification criteria as stated in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A)(2) or (4) of this section, may qualify for and fish under the permit category for which the replaced vessel qualified.

(3) A vessel that replaced a vessel that fished for and landed monkfish between February 28, 1991, and February 27, 1995, may use the replaced vessel's history in lieu of or in addition to such vessel's fishing history to meet the qualification criteria set forth in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A)(1), (2), (3), or (4) of this section, unless the owner of the replaced vessel retained the vessel's permit or fishing history, or such vessel no longer exists and was replaced by another vessel according to the provisions in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(4) A vessel that replaced a vessel that fished for and landed monkfish between March 15 through June 15 in the years 1995 through 1998, may use the replaced vessel's history in lieu of, or in addition to, such vessel's fishing history to meet the qualification criteria set forth in paragraphs (a)(9)(i)(A)(6) and (7) of this section, unless the owner of the replaced vessel retained the vessel's permit or fishing history, or such vessel no longer exists and was replaced by another vessel according to the provision of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. (1) See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section.

(2) A vessel ≥51 GRT that upgraded from a vessel size <51 GRT between February 27, 1995, and October 7, 1999, that meets any of the qualification criteria set forth in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A) of this section, but exceeds the 51 GRT vessel size qualification criteria as stated in paragraphs (a)(9)(i)(A)(2) and (4) of this section, may qualify for and fish under the permit category of the smaller vessel.

(G) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specification. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(H) of this section.

(I) [Reserved]

(J) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. A limited access monkfish permit may not be issued to a vessel or to its replacement, or remain valid, if the vessel's permit or fishing history has been used to qualify another vessel for another Federal fishery.

(M) Notification of eligibility for Category G and H permits. (1) NMFS will attempt to notify all owners of vessels for which NMFS has credible evidence available to inform them that they meet the qualification criteria described in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A)(6) or (7) of this section and that they qualify for a limited access monkfish Category G or H permit. Vessel owners that pre-qualify for a Category G or H permit must apply for the limited access permit for which they pre-qualified on or before April 30, 2006, to meet the qualification requirements.

(2) If a vessel owner has not been notified that the vessel is eligible to be issued a limited access monkfish Category G or H permit, and the vessel owner believes that there is credible evidence that the vessel does qualify under the pertinent criteria, the vessel owner may apply for a limited access monkfish Category G or H permit on or before April 30, 2006, by submitting written evidence that the vessel meets the qualification requirements described in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A)(6) or (7) of this section.

(N) Appeal of denial of permit. (1) An applicant denied a limited access monkfish Category G or H permit may appeal to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the notice of denial. Any such appeal shall be in writing. The only ground for appeal is that the Regional Administrator erred in concluding that the vessel did not meet the criteria described in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A)(6) or (7) of this section. The appeal shall set forth the applicant's belief that the Regional Administrator made an error.

(2) The appeal may be presented, at the option of the applicant, at a hearing before an officer appointed by the Regional Administrator. The hearing officer shall make a recommendation to the Regional Administrator. The Regional Administrator's decision on the appeal is the final decision of the Department of Commerce.

(3) Status of vessels pending appeal. (i) A vessel denied a limited access monkfish Category G or H permit may fish under the monkfish DAS program, provided that the denial has been appealed, the appeal is pending, and the vessel has on board a letter from the Regional Administrator authorizing the vessel to fish under the monkfish DAS program. The letter of authorization must be carried on board the vessel. A vessel with such a letter of authorization shall not exceed the annual allocation of monkfish DAS as specified in §648.92(b)(1) and must report the use of monkfish DAS according to the provisions of §648.10(b) or (c), whichever applies. If the appeal is finally denied, the Regional Administrator shall send a notice of final denial to the vessel owner; the letter authorizing temporary participation in the monkfish fishery shall become invalid 5 days after receipt of the notice of denial, but no later than 10 days from the date of the denial letter. If the appeal is approved, any DAS used during pendency of the appeal shall be deducted from the vessel's annual allocation of monkfish DAS for that fishing year.

(ii) Monkfish incidental catch vessels (Category E). A vessel of the United States that is subject to these regulations and that has not been issued a limited access monkfish permit under paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A) of this section, is eligible for and may be issued a monkfish incidental catch (Category E) permit to fish for, possess, or land monkfish subject to the restrictions in §648.94(c).

(O) Replacement vessels. (1) See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(P) of this section.

(2) A vessel ≥51 GRT that lawfully replaced a vessel <51 GRT between February 27, 1995, and October 7, 1999, that meets the qualification criteria set forth in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A) of this section, but exceeds the 51 GRT vessel size qualification criteria as stated in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A)(2) or (4) of this section, may qualify for and fish under the permit category for which the replaced vessel qualified.

(3) A vessel that replaced a vessel that fished for and landed monkfish between February 28, 1991, and February 27, 1995, may use the replaced vessel's history in lieu of or in addition to such vessel's fishing history to meet the qualification criteria set forth in paragraphs (a)(9)(i)(A)(1), (2), (3), or (4) of this section, unless the owner of the replaced vessel retained the vessel's permit or fishing history, or such vessel no longer exists and was replaced by another vessel according to the provisions in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(4) A vessel that replaced a vessel that fished for and landed monkfish between March 15 through June 15 in the years 1995 through 1998, may use the replaced vessel's history in lieu of, or in addition to, such vessel's fishing history to meet the qualification criteria set forth in paragraphs (a)(9)(i)(A)(6) and (7) of this section, unless the owner of the replaced vessel retained the vessel's permit or fishing history, or such vessel no longer exists and was replaced by another vessel according to the provision of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(P) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(Q) of this section.

(Q) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(R) of this section.

(ii) [Reserved]

(10) Atlantic herring vessels—(i) Atlantic herring permit. (A) Except as provided herein, any vessel of the United States must have been issued and have on board a valid Atlantic herring permit to fish for, catch, possess, transport, land, or process Atlantic herring in or from the EEZ. This requirement does not apply to the following:

(1) A vessel that possesses herring solely for its own use as bait, providing the vessel does not have purse seine, mid-water trawl, pelagic gillnet, sink gillnet, or bottom trawl gear on board; or

(2) A skiff or other similar craft used exclusively to deploy the net in a purse seine operation during a fishing trip of a vessel that is duly permitted under this part.

(B) Eligibility. A vessel of the United States is eligible for and may be issued an Atlantic herring permit to fish for, catch, take, harvest, and possess Atlantic herring in or from the EEZ unless the vessel is ≥ 165 feet (50.3 m) in length overall (LOA), or > 750 GRT (680.4 mt), or the vessel's total main propulsion machinery is > 3,000 horsepower.

(ii) Atlantic herring processing permit. A vessel of the United States that is > 165 feet (50.3 m) LOA, or > 750 GRT (680.4 mt) is eligible to obtain an Atlantic herring processing permit to receive and process Atlantic herring subject to the U.S. at-sea processing (USAP) allocation published by the Regional Administrator pursuant to §648.200. Such vessel may not receive or process Atlantic herring caught in or from the EEZ unless the vessel has been issued and has on board an Atlantic herring processing permit.

(iii) Atlantic herring carrier vessels—letter of authorization. An Atlantic herring carrier vessel permitted under paragraph (a)(10)(i)(A) of this section must have been issued and have on board the vessel a letter of authorization to transport Atlantic herring caught by another permitted fishing vessel. The letter of authorization exempts such vessel from the VMS and IVR reporting requirements as specified in subpart K, except as otherwise required by this part. An Atlantic herring carrier vessel may request and obtain a letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator.

(iv) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(11) Spiny dogfish vessels. Any vessel of the United States that commercially fishes for, possesses, or lands spiny dogfish in or from the EEZ must have been issued and carry on board a valid commercial spiny dogfish vessel permit.

(12) Tilefish vessels. Any vessel of the United States must have been issued and carry on board a valid tilefish vessel permit to fish for, possess, or land tilefish in or from the tilefish management unit.

(i) Limited access tilefish permits—(A) Eligibility. A vessel may be issued a limited access tilefish permit if it meets any of the following limited access tilefish permit criteria, provided that the vessel landed the specified amounts of tilefish to meet such criteria within the tilefish management unit:

(1) Full-time tier 1 category. The vessel landed at least 250,000 lb (113,430 kg) of tilefish per year for any 3 years between 1993 and 1998, at least 1 lb (2.20 kg) of which was landed prior to June 15, 1993.

(2) Full-time tier 2 category. The vessel landed at least 30,000 lb (13,612 kg) per year for any of 3 years between 1993 and 1998, at least 1 lb (2.20 kg) of which was landed prior to June 15, 1993.

(3) Part-time category. The vessel landed 10,000 lb (4,537 kg) of tilefish in any 1 year between 1988 and 1993 and 10,000 lb (4,537 kg) in any 1 year between 1994 and 1998, or landed 28,000 lb (12,904 kg) of tilefish in any 1 year between 1984 and 1993, at least 1 lb (2.20 kg) of which was landed prior to June 15, 1993.

(B) Application/renewal restriction—(1) Initial application. A vessel owner must apply for an initial limited access tilefish permit before November 1, 2002, one year from the effective date of the regulations.

(2) For fishing years beyond the initial application year, the provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section apply.

(C) Qualification restrictions. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section apply.

(D) Change in ownership. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section apply.

(E) Replacement vessels. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section apply.

(F) Upgraded vessel. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section apply.

(G) Consolidation restriction. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section apply.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(H) of this section apply.

(I) Limited access permit restrictions. (1) A vessel may be issued a limited access tilefish permit for only one category during a fishing year.

(2) A vessel issued a limited access tilefish permit may not be issued an incidental catch tilefish permit during a fishing year.

(J) Confirmation of permit history. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section apply.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section apply.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section apply.

(M) Appeal of denial of a permit. (1) Any applicant denied a tilefish limited access permit may appeal to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the notice of denial. Any such appeal shall be in writing. The only ground for appeal is that the Regional Administrator erred in concluding that the vessel did not meet the criteria in paragraphs (a)(12)(i)(A)(1),(2), or (3) of this section. The appeal must set forth the basis for the applicant's belief that the decision of the Regional Administrator was made in error.

(2) The appeal may be presented, at the option of the applicant, at a hearing before an officer appointed by the Regional Administrator. The hearing officer shall make a recommendation to the Regional Administrator. The decision on the appeal by the Regional Administrator is the final decision of the Department of Commerce.

(3) Status of vessels pending appeal. A vessel denied a limited access tilefish permit may fish, provided that the denial has been appealed, the appeal is pending, and the vessel has on board a letter from the Regional Administrator authorizing the vessel to fish. The Regional Administrator will issue such a letter for the pendency of any appeal. The decision on the appeal is the final administrative action of the Department of Commerce. The letter of authorization must be carried on board the vessel. If the appeal is finally denied, the Regional Administrator shall send a notice of final denial to the vessel owner; the authorizing letter shall become invalid 5 days after receipt of the notice of denial.

(N) For fishing years beyond the initial application year, the provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(O) of this section apply.

(O) Replacement vessels. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(P) of this section apply.

(P) Consolidation restriction. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(Q) of this section apply.

(Q) Confirmation of permit history. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(R) of this section apply.

(ii) Tilefish incidental catch permit. A vessel of the United States that is subject to these regulations and that has not been issued a limited access tilefish permit is eligible for and may be issued a tilefish incidental catch permit to possess or land tilefish in or from the tilefish management unit. Such vessel is subject to the restrictions in §648.292.

(13) Red Crab vessels. Any vessel of the United States must have been issued and have on board a valid red crab vessel permit to fish for, catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, or barter, any red crab or red crab part in or from the EEZ portion of the Red Crab Management Unit.

(i) Limited access red crab permit—(A) Eligibility. A vessel, or its replacement, may be issued a limited access red crab permit if the vessel's total landings averaged greater than 250,000 lb (113,400 kg) of red crab per year for the 3 years beginning March 1, 1997, through February 29, 2000. To calculate the average value per year, the total landings of whole red crab, or its equivalent by weight, between March 1, 1997, and February 29, 2000, inclusive, shall be divided by 3. If the quotient is greater than 250,000 lb (113,400 kg), the vessel meets the landings criteria. For example, if a vessel caught greater than 750,000 lb (340,200 kg) in the 3-year qualifying time span—even if it fished just 2 of those 3 years—the average per year would be greater than 250,000 lb (113,400 kg).

(B) Application/renewal restriction—(1) Initial application for 2002. A vessel owner must apply for an initial limited access red crab permit before April 8, 2003. No vessel owner may apply for an initial limited access red crab permit after this date.

(2) Fishing years 2003 and beyond. (i) For fishing years beyond the initial year, the provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section apply.

(ii) A limited-access permit holder may choose to declare out of the red crab fishery for the next fishing year by submitting a binding declaration on a form supplied by the Regional Administrator, which must be received by NMFS at least 180 days before the last day of the current fishing year. NMFS will presume that a vessel intends to fish during the next fishing year unless such binding declaration is received at least 180 days before the last day of the current fishing year. Any limited-access permit holder who has submitted a binding declaration must submit either a new binding declaration or a renewal application for the year after which they were declared out of the fishery.

(C) Qualification restrictions. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section apply.

(D) Change in ownership. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section apply.

(E) Replacement vessels. (1) To be eligible for a limited access permit under this section, the replacement vessel's length, GRT, and NT may not exceed by greater than 10 percent the length, GRT, and NT of the vessel's baseline specifications. The replacement vessel must also meet any other applicable criteria under paragraph (a)(13)(i)(F) of this section.

(2) A vessel that lawfully replaced a vessel that meets the qualification criteria set forth in paragraph (a)(13)(i)(A) of this section may qualify for and fish under the permit category for which the replaced vessel qualified.

(3) A vessel that replaced a vessel that fished for and landed red crab between March 1, 1997, and February 29, 2000, may use the replaced vessel's history in lieu of or in addition to such vessel's fishing history to meet the qualification criteria set forth in paragraph (a)(13)(i)(A) of this section, unless the owner of the replaced vessel retained the vessel's permit or fishing history, or such vessel no longer exists and was replaced by another vessel according to the provisions in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. A vessel may be upgraded, whether through refitting or replacement, and be eligible to retain or renew a limited access permit, provided that the vessel's length, GRT, and NT is increased no more than once. Any increase in any of the aforementioned specifications of vessel size may not exceed 10 percent of the vessel's baseline specifications, as applicable. If any increase in any of the aforementioned specifications of vessel size occurs, any increase in the other specifications must be performed at the same time.

(G) Consolidation restriction. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section apply.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. The vessel baseline specifications in this section are the respective specifications (length, GRT, and NT) of the vessel indicated on the vessel's initial limited access permit as of the date the initial vessel applies for such permit.

(I) Limited access permit restrictions. A vessel issued a limited access red crab permit may not be issued a red crab incidental catch permit during the same fishing year.

(J) Confirmation of permit history (CPH). Notwithstanding any other provisions of this part, a person who does not currently own a fishing vessel, but who has owned a qualifying vessel that has sunk, been destroyed, or transferred to another person and has not been replaced, must apply for and receive a CPH that confirms the fishing and permit history of such vessel has been retained lawfully by the applicant. To be eligible to obtain a CPH, the applicant must show that the qualifying vessel met the eligibility requirements, as applicable, in this part. Issuance of a valid CPH preserves the eligibility of the applicant to apply for a limited access permit for a replacement vessel based on the qualifying vessel's fishing and permit history at a subsequent time, subject to the replacement provisions specified in this section. If fishing privileges have been assigned or allocated previously under this part, based on the qualifying vessel's fishing and permit history, the CPH preserves such fishing privileges. A CPH must be applied for in order for the applicant to preserve the fishing rights and limited access eligibility of the qualifying vessel. An application for a CPH must be received by the Regional Administrator no later than 30 days prior to the end of the first full fishing year in which a vessel permit cannot be issued. Failure to do so is considered abandonment of the permit as described in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section. A CPH issued under this part will remain valid until the fishing and permit history preserved by the CPH is used to qualify a replacement vessel for a limited access permit. Any decision regarding the issuance of a CPH for a qualifying vessel that has applied for or been issued previously a limited access permit is a final agency action subject to judicial review under 5 U.S.C. 704. Information requirements for the CPH application are the same as those for a limited access permit. Any request for information about the vessel on the CPH application form refers to the qualifying vessel that has been sunk, destroyed, or transferred. Vessel permit applicants who have been issued a CPH and who wish to obtain a vessel permit for a replacement vessel based upon the previous vessel history may do so pursuant to paragraph (a)(13)(i)(E) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section apply.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section apply.

(M) Notification of eligibility for 2002. (1) NMFS will attempt to notify all owners of vessels for which NMFS has credible evidence that they meet the qualification criteria described in paragraph (a)(13)(i)(A) of this section and that they qualify for a limited access red crab permit. Vessel owners must still apply by April 8, 2003 to complete the qualification requirements.

(2) If the vessel owner has not been notified that the vessel is eligible to be issued a limited access red crab permit, and the vessel owner believes that there is credible evidence that the vessel does qualify under the pertinent criteria, the vessel owner may apply for a limited access red crab permit by April 8, 2003 by submitting evidence that the vessel meets the requirements described in paragraph (a)(13)(i)(A) of this section.

(N) Appeal of denial of a permit. (1) Any applicant denied a limited access red crab permit may appeal to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the notice of denial. Any such appeal shall be in writing. The only ground for appeal is that the Regional Administrator erred in concluding that the vessel did not meet the criteria in paragraph (a)(13)(i)(A) of this section. The appeal must set forth in writing the basis for the applicant's belief that the decision of the Regional Administrator was made in error.

(2) The appeal may be presented, at the option of the applicant, at a hearing before an officer appointed by the Regional Administrator. The hearing officer shall make a recommendation to the Regional Administrator. The decision on the appeal by the Regional Administrator is the final decision of the Department of Commerce.

(3) Status of vessels pending appeal. A vessel denied a limited access red crab permit may fish for and land red crab as if a limited access permit had been issued, provided that the denial has been appealed, the appeal is pending, the vessel owner has presented prima facie evidence that the decision was made in error, and the vessel has on board a letter from the Regional Administrator authorizing the vessel to fish. During the appeal, the vessel may only land up to 75,000 lb (34,019 kg) of red crab per trip. The Regional Administrator will issue such a letter for the pendency of any appeal. The decision on the appeal is the final administrative action of the Department of Commerce. The letter of authorization must be carried on board the vessel. If the appeal is finally denied, the Regional Administrator shall send a notice of final denial to the vessel owner; the authorizing letter shall become invalid 5 days after receipt of the notice of denial.

(O) Fishing years 2003 and beyond. For fishing years beyond the initial year, the provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(O) of this section apply.

(P) Consolidation restriction. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(Q) of this section apply.

(ii) Red crab incidental catch permit. A vessel of the United States that is subject to these regulations and that has not been issued a red crab limited access permit is eligible for and may be issued a red crab incidental catch permit to catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, barter, up to 500 lb (226.8 kg) of red crab, or its equivalent as specified at §648.263(a)(2)(i) and (ii), per fishing trip in or from the Red Crab Management Unit. Such vessel is subject to the restrictions in §648.263(b).

(14) Skate vessels. Any vessel of the United States must have been issued and have on board a valid skate vessel permit to fish for, possess, transport, sell, or land skates in or from the EEZ portion of the Skate Management Unit.

(b) Permit conditions. Any person who applies for a fishing permit under this section must agree, as a condition of the permit, that the vessel and the vessel's fishing activity, catch, and pertinent gear (without regard to whether such fishing occurs in the EEZ or landward of the EEZ; and without regard to where such fish or gear are possessed, taken, or landed), are subject to all requirements of this part, unless exempted from such requirements under this part. All such fishing activities, catch, and gear will remain subject to all applicable state requirements. Except as otherwise provided in this part, if a requirement of this part and a management measure required by a state or local law differ, any vessel owner permitted to fish in the EEZ for any species except tilefish managed under this part must comply with the more restrictive requirement. Except as otherwise provided in this part, if a requirement of this part and a management measure required by a state or local law differ, any vessel owner permitted to fish in the tilefish management unit for tilefish managed under this part must comply with the more restrictive requirement. Owners and operators of vessels fishing under the terms of a summer flounder moratorium, scup moratorium, or black sea bass moratorium, or a spiny dogfish, or bluefish, commercial vessel permit must also agree not to land summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, spiny dogfish, or bluefish, respectively, in any state after NMFS has published a notification in the Federal Register stating that the commercial quota for that state or period has been harvested and that no commercial quota is available for the respective species. A state not receiving an allocation of summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, or bluefish, either directly or through a coast-wide allocation, is deemed to have no commercial quota available. Owners and operators of vessels fishing under the terms of the tilefish limited access permit must agree not to land tilefish after NMFS has published a notification in the Federal Register stating that the quota for the tilefish limited access category under which a vessel is fishing has been harvested. Owners or operators fishing for surfclams and ocean quahogs within waters under the jurisdiction of any state that requires cage tags are not subject to any conflicting Federal minimum size or tagging requirements. If a surfclam and ocean quahog requirement of this part differs from a surfclam and ocean quahog management measure required by a state that does not require cage tagging, any vessel owners or operators permitted to fish in the EEZ for surfclams and ocean quahogs must comply with the more restrictive requirement while fishing in state waters. However, surrender of a surfclam and ocean quahog vessel permit by the owner by certified mail addressed to the Regional Administrator allows an individual to comply with the less restrictive state minimum size requirement, as long as fishing is conducted exclusively within state waters.

(c) Permit applications—(1) General. Applicants for a permit under this section must submit a completed application on an appropriate form obtained from the Regional Administrator. The application must be signed and submitted to the Regional Administrator at least 30 days before the date on which the applicant desires to have the permit made effective. The Regional Administrator will notify the applicant of any deficiency in the application pursuant to this section. Vessel owners who are eligible to apply for limited access or moratorium permits under this part shall provide information with the application sufficient for the Regional Administrator to determine whether the vessel meets the applicable eligibility requirements specified in this section.

(2) Vessel permit information requirements. (i) An application for a permit issued under this section, in addition to the information specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, also must contain at least the following information, and any other information required by the Regional Administrator: Vessel name, owner name or name of the owner's authorized representative, mailing address, and telephone number; USCG documentation number and a copy of the vessel's current USCG documentation or, for a vessel not required to be documented under title 46 U.S.C., the vessel's state registration number and a copy of the current state registration; a copy of the vessel's current party/charter boat license (if applicable), home port and principal port of landing, length overall, GRT, NT, engine horsepower, year the vessel was built, type of construction, type of propulsion, approximate fish hold capacity, type of fishing gear used by the vessel, number of crew, number of party or charter passengers licensed to be carried (if applicable), permit category, if the owner is a corporation, a copy of the current Certificate of Incorporation or other corporate papers showing the date of incorporation and the names of the current officers of the corporation, and the names and addresses of all shareholders owning 25 percent or more of the corporation's shares; if the owner is a partnership, a copy of the current Partnership Agreement and the names and addresses of all partners; if there is more than one owner, the names of all owners having a 25-percent interest or more; and permit number of any current or, if expired, previous Federal fishery permit issued to the vessel.

(ii) An application for an initial limited access multispecies hook-gear permit must also contain the following information:

(A) If the engine horsepower was changed or a contract to change the engine horsepower had been entered into prior to July 1, 1996, such that it is different from that stated in the vessel's most recent application for a Federal fisheries permit before July 1, 1996, sufficient documentation to ascertain the different engine horsepower. However, the engine replacement must be completed within 1 year of the date on which the contract was signed.

(B) If the length, GRT, or NT was changed or a contract to change the length, GRT, or NT had been entered into prior to July 1, 1996, such that it is different from that stated in the vessel's most recent application for a Federal fisheries permit, sufficient documentation to ascertain the different length, GRT, or NT. However, the upgrade must be completed within 1 year from the date on which the contract was signed.

(iii) An application for a limited access NE multispecies permit must also contain the following information:

(A) For vessels fishing for NE multispecies with gillnet gear, with the exception of vessels fishing under the Small Vessel permit category, an annual declaration as either a Day or Trip gillnet vessel designation as described in §648.82(k). A vessel owner electing a Day or Trip gillnet designation must indicate the number of gillnet tags that he/she is requesting, and must include a check for the cost of the tags. A permit holder letter will be sent to the owner of each eligible gillnet vessel, informing him/her of the costs associated with this tagging requirement and providing directions for obtaining tags. Once a vessel owner has elected this designation, he/she may not change the designation or fish under the other gillnet category for the remainder of the fishing year. Incomplete applications, as described in paragraph (e) of this section, will be considered incomplete for the purpose of obtaining authorization to fish in the NE multispecies gillnet fishery and will be processed without a gillnet authorization.

(B) [Reserved]

(C) For vessels fishing for NE multispecies with gillnet gear, with the exception of vessels fishing under the Small Vessel permit category, an annual declaration as either a Day or Trip gillnet vessel designation, as described in §648.82(s). A vessel owner electing a Day or Trip gillnet designation must indicate the number of gillnet tags that he/she is requesting, and must include a check for the cost of the tags. A permit holder letter will be sent to the owner of each eligible gillnet vessel, informing him/her of the costs associated with this tagging requirement and providing directions for obtaining tags. Once a vessel owner has elected this designation, he/she may not change the designation or fish under the other gillnet category for the remainder of the fishing year. Incomplete applications, as described in paragraph (e) of this section, will be considered incomplete for the purpose of obtaining authorization to fish in the NE multispecies gillnet fishery and will be processed without a gillnet authorization.

(iv) An application for a scallop permit must also contain the following information:

(A) For every person named by applicants for limited access scallop permits pursuant to paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section, the names of all other vessels in which that person has an ownership interest and for which a limited access scallop permit has been issued or applied for.

(B) If applying for a VMS general scallop permit, or full-time or part-time limited access scallop permit, or if opting to use a VMS unit, a copy of the vendor installation receipt or proof of vendor activation of the VMS from a NMFS-approved VMS vendor. NMFS-approved vendors are described in §648.9.

(C) If applying to fish under the small dredge program set forth under §648.51(e), an annual declaration into the program.

(v) An application for a surf clam and ocean quahog permit must also contain the pump horsepower.

(vi) An application for an Atlantic herring permit must also contain the following information:

(A) If the vessel operator caught > 500 mt of Atlantic herring in the previous fishing year, a statement so stating;

(B) If the vessel operator intends to catch > 500 mt of Atlantic herring in the current fishing year, a statement so stating;

(C) If the vessel operator either caught > 500 mt of Atlantic herring in the previous fishing year, or intends to catch > 500 mt of Atlantic herring in the current fishing year, a copy of a vendor installation receipt from a NMFS-approved VMS vendor, as described in §648.9, must also be provided:

(1) From January 10, 2001, through March 12, 2001, not later than March 12, 2001;

(2) After March 12, 2001, with the application.

(d) Fees. The Regional Administrator may charge a fee to recover administrative expenses of issuing a permit required under this section. The amount of the fee is calculated in accordance with the procedures of the NOAA Finance Handbook, available from the Regional Administrator, for determining administrative costs of each special product or service. The fee may not exceed such costs and is specified with each application form. The appropriate fee must accompany each application; if it does not, the application will be considered incomplete for purposes of paragraph (e) of this section. Any fee paid by an insufficiently funded commercial instrument shall render any permit issued on the basis thereof null and void.

(e) Issuance. (1) Except as provided in subpart D of 15 CFR part 904, the Regional Administrator shall issue a permit within 30 days of receipt of the application, unless the application is deemed incomplete for the following reasons:

(i) The applicant has failed to submit a complete application. An application is complete when all requested forms, information, documentation, and fees, if applicable, have been received and the applicant has submitted all applicable reports specified in §648.7;

(ii) The application was not received by the Regional Administrator by the applicable deadline set forth in this section;

(iii) The applicant and applicant's vessel failed to meet all applicable eligibility requirements set forth in this section;

(iv) The applicant applying for a limited access multispecies combination vessel or individual DAS permit, a full-time or part-time limited access scallop permit, or electing to use a VMS, has failed to meet all of the VMS requirements specified in §§648.9 and 648.10; or

(v) The applicant has failed to meet any other application requirements stated in this part.

(2) Incomplete applications. Upon receipt of an incomplete or improperly executed application for any permit under this part, the Regional Administrator shall notify the applicant of the deficiency in the application. If the applicant fails to correct the deficiency within 30 days following the date of notification, the application will be considered abandoned.

(f) Change in permit information. Any change in the information specified in paragraphs (c)(2) or (c)(3) of this section must be submitted by the applicant in writing to the Regional Administrator within 15 days of the change, or the permit is void.

(g) Expiration. A permit expires upon the renewal date specified in the permit.

(h) Duration. A permit will continue in effect unless it is revoked, suspended, or modified under 15 CFR part 904, or otherwise expires, or ownership changes, or the applicant has failed to report any change in the information on the permit application to the Regional Administrator as specified in paragraph (f) of this section. However, the Regional Administrator may authorize the continuation of a permit if the new owner so requests. Applications for permit continuations must be addressed to the Regional Administrator.

(i) Alteration. Any permit that has been altered, erased, or mutilated is invalid.

(j) Reissuance. A permit may be reissued by the Regional Administrator when requested in writing, stating the need for reissuance, the name of the vessel (if applicable), and the fishing permit number assigned. An application for the reissuance of a permit will not be considered a new application. The fee for a reissued permit shall be the same as for an initial permit.

(k) Transfer. A permit issued under this part is not transferable or assignable. A permit will be valid only for the fishing vessel, owner and/or person for which it is issued.

(l) Display. A vessel permit must be carried, at all times, on board the vessel for which it is issued and shall be subject to inspection upon request by any authorized officer. A person issued a permit under this section must be able to present the permit for inspection when requested by an authorized officer. Permits must be maintained in legible condition.

(m) Sanctions. The Assistant Administrator may suspend, revoke, or modify, any permit issued or sought under this section. Procedures governing enforcement-related permit sanctions or denials are found at subpart D of 15 CFR part 904.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996]

Editorial Note:  For Federal Register citations affecting §648.4, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on GPO Access.

Effective Date Note:  At 71 FR 19370, Apr. 13, 2006, §648.4 was amended by suspending paragraphs (a)(1)(i)(A), (B), (E), (G), and (J); (a)(2)(i)(B), (E), (G), and (J); (a)(3)(i)(B), (E), (G), and (J); (a)(4)(i)(B), (E), (G), and (J); (a)(5)(i)(B), (E), (G), and (J); (a)(6)(i)(B), (E), (G), and (J); (a)(7)(i)(B), (E), (G), and (J); (a)(9)(i)(E), (G), and (J); (a)(12)(i)(B)(2), (E), (G), and (J); (a)(13)(i)(B) and (G); and (c)(2)(iii)(A); and, adding paragraphs (a)(1)(i)(N) through (R); (a)(2)(i)(N), (P), and (Q); (a)(3)(i)(M) through (P); (a)(4)(i)(N) through (Q); (a)(5)(i)(M) through (P); (a)(6)(i)(M) through (P); (a)(7)(i)(M) through (P); (a)(9)(i)(O) through (Q); (a)(12)(i)(N) through (Q); (a)(13)(i)(O) and (P); and (c)(2)(iii)(C), effective May 1, 2006, through Oct. 10, 2006.

§ 648.5   Operator permits.
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(a) General. Any operator of a vessel fishing for or possessing: Atlantic sea scallops in excess of 40 lb (18.1 kg); NE multispecies, spiny dogfish, monkfish, Atlantic herring, Atlantic surfclam, ocean quahog, Atlantic mackerel, squid, butterfish, scup, black sea bass, or Atlantic bluefish, harvested in or from the EEZ; tilefish harvested in or from the EEZ portion of the Tilefish Management Unit; skates harvested in or from the EEZ portion of the Skate Management Unit; or Atlantic deep-sea red crab harvested in or from the EEZ portion of the Red Crab Management Unit, issued a permit, including carrier and processing permits, for these species under this part, must have been issued under this section, and carry on board, a valid operator permit. An operator's permit issued pursuant to part 622 or part 697 of this chapter satisfies the permitting requirement of this section. This requirement does not apply to operators of recreational vessels.

(b) Operator permit application. Applicants for a permit under this section must submit a completed application on an appropriate form provided by the Regional Administrator. The application must be signed by the applicant and submitted to the Regional Administrator at least 30 days before the date upon which the applicant desires to have the permit made effective. The Regional Administrator will notify the applicant of any deficiency in the application, pursuant to this section.

(c) Condition. Vessel operators who apply for an operator's permit under this section must agree as a condition of this permit that the operator and vessel's fishing, catch, crew size, and pertinent gear (without regard to whether such fishing occurs in the EEZ or landward of the EEZ, and without regard to where such fish or gear are possessed, taken, or landed) are subject to all requirements of this part while fishing in the EEZ or on board a vessel for which a permit is issued under §648.4, unless exempted from such requirements under §648.12. The vessel and all such fishing, catch, and gear will remain subject to all applicable state or local requirements. Further, such operators must agree, as a condition of this permit, that, if the permit is suspended or revoked pursuant to 15 CFR part 904, the operator cannot be aboard any fishing vessel issued a Federal fisheries permit or any vessel subject to Federal fishing regulations while the vessel is at sea or engaged in offloading. If a requirement of this part and a management measure required by state or local law differ, any operator issued a permit under this part must comply with the more restrictive requirement.

(d) Information requirements. An applicant must provide at least all the following information and any other information required by the Regional Administrator: Name, mailing address, and telephone number; date of birth; hair color; eye color; height; weight; and signature of the applicant. The applicant must also provide two recent (no more than 1 year old), color, passport-size photographs.

(e) Fees. Same as §648.4(d).

(f) Issuance. Except as provided in subpart D of 15 CFR part 904, the Regional Administrator shall issue an operator's permit within 30 days of receipt of a completed application, if the criteria specified herein are met. Upon receipt of an incomplete or improperly executed application, the Regional Administrator will notify the applicant of the deficiency in the application. If the applicant fails to correct the deficiency within 30 days following the date of notification, the application will be considered abandoned.

(g) Expiration. Same as §648.4(g).

(h) Duration. A permit is valid until it is revoked, suspended or modified under 15 CFR part 904, or otherwise expires, or the applicant has failed to report a change in the information on the permit application to the Regional Administrator as specified in paragraph (k) of this section.

(i) Reissuance. Reissued permits, for otherwise valid permits, may be issued by the Regional Administrator when requested in writing by the applicant, stating the need for reissuance and the Federal operator permit number assigned. An applicant for a reissued permit must also provide two recent, color, passport-size photos of the applicant. An application for a reissued permit will not be considered a new application. An appropriate fee may be charged.

(j) Transfer. Permits issued under this part are not transferable or assignable. A permit is valid only for the person to whom it is issued.

(k) Change in permit application information. Notice of a change in the permit holder's name, address, or telephone number must be submitted in writing to, and received by, the Regional Administrator within 15 days of the change in information. If written notice of the change in information is not received by the Regional Administrator within 15 days, the permit is void.

(l) Alteration. Same as §648.4(i).

(m) Display. Any permit issued under this part must be maintained in legible condition and displayed for inspection upon request by any authorized officer or NMFS official.

(n) Sanctions. Vessel operators with suspended or revoked permits may not be aboard a federally permitted fishing vessel in any capacity while the vessel is at sea or engaged in offloading. Procedures governing enforcement related permit sanctions and denials are found at subpart D of 15 CFR part 904.

(o) Vessel owner responsibility. Vessel owners are responsible for ensuring that their vessels are operated by an individual with a valid operator's permit issued under this section.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 43425, Aug. 23, 1996; 61 FR 58465, Nov. 15, 1996; 64 FR 57593, Oct. 26, 1999; 64 FR 66587, Nov. 29, 1999; 65 FR 45851, July 26, 2000; 65 FR 77465, Dec. 11, 2000; 66 FR 49143, Sept. 26, 2001; 67 FR 63231, Oct. 10, 2002; 68 FR 49699, Aug. 19, 2003; 69 FR 62821, Oct. 28, 2004; 70 FR 21982, Apr. 28, 2005]

§ 648.6   Dealer/processor permits.
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(a) General. (1) All dealers of NE multispecies, monkfish, skates, Atlantic herring, Atlantic sea scallop, Atlantic deep-sea red crab, spiny dogfish, summer flounder, Atlantic surf clam, ocean quahog, Atlantic mackerel, squid, butterfish, scup, bluefish, tilefish, and black sea bass; Atlantic surf clam and ocean quahog processors; and Atlantic herring processors or dealers, as described in §648.2; must have been issued under this section, and have in their possession, a valid permit or permits for these species. A person who meets the requirements of both the dealer and processor definitions of any of the aforementioned species' fishery regulations may need to obtain both a dealer and a processor permit, consistent with the requirements of that particular species' fishery regulations. Persons aboard vessels receiving small-mesh multispecies, skates, and/or Atlantic herring at sea for their own use exclusively as bait are deemed not to be dealers, and are not required to possess a valid dealer permit under this section, for purposes of receiving such small-mesh multispecies, skates, and/or Atlantic herring, provided the vessel complies with the provisions of §648.13. Persons aboard vessels receiving transfers of scup at sea from other vessels are deemed not to be dealers, and are not required to possess a valid dealer permit under this section, for purposes of receiving scup, provided the vessel complies with §648.13(i)(2).

(2) At-sea processors. Notwithstanding the provisions of §648.4(a)(5), any vessel of the United States must have been issued and carry on board a valid at-sea processor permit issued under this section to receive over the side, possess and process Atlantic mackerel harvested in or from the EEZ by a lawfully permitted vessel of the United States.

(b) Dealer/processor permit applications. Same as §648.5(b).

(c) Information requirements. Applications must contain at least the following information, as applicable, and any other information required by the Regional Administrator: Company name, place(s) of business (principal place of business if applying for a surf clam and ocean quahog permit), mailing address(es) and telephone number(s), owner's name, dealer permit number (if a renewal), name and signature of the person responsible for the truth and accuracy of the application, a copy of the certificate of incorporation if the business is a corporation, and a copy of the partnership agreement and the names and addresses of all partners, if the business is a partnership, name of at-sea processor vessel, and current vessel documentation papers.

(d) Fees. Same as §648.4(d).

(e) Issuance. Except as provided in subpart D of 15 CFR part 904, the Regional Administrator will issue a permit at any time during the fishing year to an applicant, unless the applicant fails to submit a completed application. An application is complete when all requested forms, information, and documentation have been received and the applicant has submitted all applicable reports specified in §648.7 during the 12 months immediately preceding the application. Upon receipt of an incomplete or improperly executed application, the Regional Administrator will notify the applicant of the deficiency in the application. If the applicant fails to correct the deficiency within 30 days following the date of notification, the application will be considered abandoned.

(f) Expiration. Same as §648.4(g).

(g) Duration. A permit is valid until it is revoked, suspended, or modified under 15 CFR part 904, or otherwise expires, or ownership changes, or the applicant has failed to report any change in the information on the permit application to the Regional Administrator as required by paragraph (j) of this section.

(h) Reissuance. Reissued permits, for otherwise valid permits, may be issued by the Regional Administrator when requested in writing by the applicant, stating the need for reissuance and the Federal dealer permit number assigned. An application for a reissued permit will not be considered a new application. An appropriate fee may be charged.

(i) Transfer. Permits issued under this part are not transferable or assignable. A permit is valid only for the person to whom, or other business entity to which, it is issued.

(j) Change in application information. Same as §648.5(k).

(k) Alteration. Same as §648.4(i).

(l) Display. Same as §648.5(m).

(m) Federal versus state requirements. If a requirement of this part differs from a fisheries management measure required by state law, any dealer issued a Federal dealer permit must comply with the more restrictive requirement.

(n) Sanctions. Same as §648.4(m).

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 43425, Aug. 23, 1996; 61 FR 58465, Nov. 15, 1996; 64 FR 57593, Oct. 26, 1999; 65 FR 45851, July 26, 2000; 65 FR 77465, Dec. 11, 2000; 66 FR 49144, Sept. 26, 2001; 68 FR 49699, Aug. 19, 2003; 69 FR 4864, Feb. 2, 2004; 69 FR 16178, Mar. 29, 2004; 69 FR 30841, June 1, 2004]

§ 648.7   Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
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(a) Dealers—(1) Detailed report. Federally permitted dealers must submit to the Regional Administrator or to the official designee a detailed report of all fish purchased or received for commercial purposes, other than solely for transport on land, within the time periods specified in paragraph (f) of this section, by one of the available electronic reporting mechanisms approved by NMFS, unless otherwise directed by the Regional Administrator. The following information, and any other information required by the Regional Administrator, must be provided in each report:

(i) Required information. All dealers issued a dealer permit under this part must provide: Dealer name; dealer permit number; name and permit number or name and hull number (USCG documentation number or state registration number, whichever is applicable) of vessel(s) from which fish are purchased or received; trip identifier for each trip from which fish are purchased or received from a commercial fishing vessel permitted under this part; date(s) of purchases and receipts; units of measure and amount by species (by market category, if applicable); price per unit by species (by market category, if applicable) or total value by species (by market category, if applicable); port landed; cage tag numbers for surfclams and ocean quahogs, if applicable; disposition of the seafood product; and any other information deemed necessary by the Regional Administrator. If no fish are purchased or received during a reporting week, a report so stating must be submitted.

(ii) Exceptions. The following exceptions apply to reporting requirements for dealers permitted under this part:

(A) Inshore Exempted Species, as defined in §648.2, are not required to be reported under this part;

(B) When purchasing or receiving fish from a vessel landing in a port located outside of the Northeast Region (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and North Carolina), only purchases or receipts of species managed by the Northeast Region under this part, and American lobster, managed under part 697 of this chapter, must be reported. Other reporting requirements may apply to those species not managed by the Northeast Region, which are not affected by this provision; and

(C) Dealers issued a permit for Atlantic bluefin tuna under part 635 of this chapter are not required to report their purchases or receipts of Atlantic bluefin tuna under this part. Other reporting requirements, as specified in §635.5 of this chapter, apply to the receipt of Atlantic bluefin tuna.

(iii) Dealer reporting requirements for skates. In addition to the requirements under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section, dealers shall report the species of skates received. Species of skates shall be identified according to the following categories: Winter skate, little skate, little/winter skate, barndoor skate, smooth skate, thorny skate, clearnose skate, rosette skate, and unclassified skate. NMFS will provide dealers with a skate species identification guide.

(2) System requirements. All persons required to submit reports under paragraph (a)(1) of this section are required to have the capability to transmit data via the Internet. To ensure compatibility with the reporting system and database, dealers are required to utilize a personal computer, in working condition, that meets the minimum specifications identified by NMFS. The affected public will be notified of the minimum specifications via a letter to all Federal dealer permit holders.

(3) Annual report. All persons issued a permit under this part are required to submit the following information on an annual basis, on forms supplied by the Regional Administrator:

(i) All dealers and processors issued a permit under this part must complete all sections of the Annual Processed Products Report for all species that were processed during the previous year. Reports must be submitted to the address supplied by the Regional Administrator.

(ii) Surfclam and ocean quahog processors and dealers whose plant processing capacities change more than 10 percent during any year shall notify the Regional Administrator in writing within 10 days after the change.

(iii) Atlantic herring processors, including processing vessels, must complete and submit all sections of the Annual Processed Products Report.

(b) Vessel owners or operators—(1) Fishing Vessel Trip Reports—(i) The owner or operator of any vessel issued a valid permit under this part must maintain on board the vessel, and submit, an accurate fishing log report for each fishing trip, regardless of species fished for or taken, on forms supplied by or approved by the Regional Administrator. If authorized in writing by the Regional Administrator, a vessel owner or operator may submit reports electronically, for example by using a VMS or other media. With the exception of those vessel owners or operators fishing under a surfclam or ocean quahog permit, at least the following information and any other information required by the Regional Administrator must be provided: Vessel name; USCG documentation number (or state registration number, if undocumented); permit number; date/time sailed; date/time landed; trip type; number of crew; number of anglers (if a charter or party boat); gear fished; quantity and size of gear; mesh/ring size; chart area fished; average depth; latitude/longitude (or loran station and bearings); total hauls per area fished; average tow time duration; hail weight, in pounds (or count of individual fish, if a party or charter vessel), by species, of all species, or parts of species, such as monkfish livers, landed or discarded; and, in the case of skate discards, “small” (i.e., less than 23 inches (58.42 cm), total length) or “large” (i.e., 23 inches (58.42 cm) or greater, total length) skates; dealer permit number; dealer name; date sold, port and state landed; and vessel operator's name, signature, and operator's permit number (if applicable).

(ii) Surf clam and ocean quahog vessel owners and operators. The owner or operator of any vessel conducting any surf clam and ocean quahog fishing operations, except those conducted exclusively in waters of a state that requires cage tags or when he/she has surrendered the surf clam and ocean quahog fishing vessel permit, shall maintain, on board the vessel, an accurate daily fishing log for each fishing trip, on forms supplied by the Regional Administrator, showing at least: Name and permit number of the vessel, total amount in bushels of each species taken, date(s) caught, time at sea, duration of fishing time, locality fished, crew size, crew share by percentage, landing port, date sold, price per bushel, buyer, tag numbers from cages used, quantity of surf clams and ocean quahogs discarded, and allocation permit number.

(iii) Vessel reporting requirements for skates. In addition to the requirements under paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section, the owner or operator of any vessel issued a skate permit shall report the species of all skates landed. Species of skates shall be identified according to the following categories: Winter skate, little skate, little/winter skate, barndoor skate, smooth skate, thorny skate, clearnose skate, rosette skate, and unclassified skate. Discards of skates shall be reported according to two size classes, large skates (greater than or equal to 23 inches (58.42 cm) in total length) and small skates (less than 23 inches (58.42 cm) in total length). All other vessel reporting requirements remain unchanged. NOAA Fisheries will provide vessel owners or operators that intend to land skates with a skate identification guide to assist in this data collection program.

(2) IVR system reports—(i) Atlantic herring owners or operators. The owner or operator of a vessel described here must report catches (retained and discarded) of herring each week to an IVR system. The report shall include at least the following information, and any other information required by the Regional Administrator: Vessel identification, reporting week in which species are caught, pounds retained, pounds discarded, management area fished, and pounds of herring caught in each management area for the previous week. Weekly Atlantic herring catch reports must be submitted via the IVR system by midnight, Eastern Time, each Tuesday for the previous week. Reports are required even if herring caught during the week has not yet been landed. This report does not exempt the owner or operator from other applicable reporting requirements of §648.7.

(A) The owner or operator of any vessel issued a permit for Atlantic herring subject to the requirements specified by §648.4(c)(2)(vi)(C) that is required by §648.205 to have a VMS unit on board must submit an Atlantic herring catch report via the IVR system each week (including weeks when no herring is caught), unless exempted from this requirement by the Regional Administrator.

(B) An owner or operator of any vessel issued a permit for Atlantic herring that is not required by §648.205 to have a VMS unit on board and that catches ≥ 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring on any trip in a week must submit an Atlantic herring catch report via the IVR system for that week as required by the Regional Administrator.

(C) An owner or operator of any vessel that catches ≥ 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring, some or all of which is caught in or from the EEZ, on any trip in a week, must submit an Atlantic herring catch report via the IVR system for that week as required by the Regional Administrator.

(D) Atlantic herring IVR reports are not required from Atlantic herring carrier vessels.

(ii) Tilefish vessel owners or operators. The owner or operator of any vessel issued a limited access permit for tilefish must submit a tilefish catch report via the IVR system within 24 hours after returning to port and offloading as required by the Regional Administrator. The report shall include at least the following information, and any other information required by the Regional Administrator: Vessel identification, trip during which species are caught, and pounds landed. IVR reporting does not exempt the owner or operator from other applicable reporting requirements of this section.

(iii) Red crab vessel owners and operators. The owner or operator of any vessel issued a limited access permit for red crab must submit a red crab catch report via the IVR system within 24 hours after returning to port and offloading as required by the Regional Administrator. The report shall include at least the following information, and any other information required by the Regional Administrator: Vessel identification, DAS confirmation number, trip during which species are caught, date landed, condition (whole, half sections with gills, half sections without gills), and pounds landed. IVR reporting does not exempt the owner or operator from other applicable reporting requirements of this section.

(c) When to fill out a log report. Log reports required by paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section must be filled out with all required information, except for information not yet ascertainable, prior to entering port with fish. Information that may be considered unascertainable prior to entering port with fish includes dealer name, dealer permit number, and date sold. Log reports must be completed as soon as the information becomes available. Log reports required by paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section must be filled out before landing any surfclams or ocean quahogs.

(d) Inspection. All persons required to submit reports under this section, upon the request of an authorized officer, or by an employee of NMFS designated by the Regional Administrator to make such inspections, must make immediately available for inspection copies of the required reports and the records upon which the reports are or will be based. At any time during or after a trip, vessel owners and operators must make immediately available for inspection the fishing log reports currently in use, or to be submitted.

(e) Record retention. Records upon which trip-level reports are based must be retained and be available for immediate review for a total of 3 years after the date of the last entry on the report. Dealers must retain the required records at their principal place of business. Copies of fishing log reports must be kept on board the vessel and available for review for at least 1 year and must be retained for a total of 3 years after the date of the last entry on the log.

(f) Submitting reports—(1) Dealer or processor reports. (i) Detailed reports required by paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section must be received by midnight of the first Tuesday following the end of the reporting week. If no fish are purchased or received during a reporting week, the report so stating required under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section must be received by midnight of the first Tuesday following the end of the reporting week.

(ii) [Reserved]

(iii) Dealers who want to make corrections to their trip-level reports via the electronic editing features may do so for up to 3 business days following submission of the initial report. If a correction is needed more than 3 business days following the submission of the initial trip-level report, the dealer must contact NMFS directly to request an extension of time to make the correction.

(iv) Through April 30, 2005, to accommodate the potential lag in availability of some required data, the trip identifier, price and disposition information required under paragraph (a)(1) may be submitted after the detailed weekly report, but must be received within 16 days of the end of the reporting week or the end of the calendar month, whichever is later. Dealers will be able to access and update previously submitted trip identifier, price, and disposition data.

(v) Effective May 1, 2005, the trip identifier required under paragraph (a)(1) of this section must be submitted with the detailed report, as required under paragraphs (f)(1)(i) of this section. Price and disposition information may be submitted after the initial detailed report, but must be received within 16 days of the end of the reporting week.

(vi) Annual reports for a calendar year must be postmarked or received by February 10 of the following year. Contact the Regional Administrator (see Table 1 to §600.502) for the address of NMFS Statistics.

(2) Fishing vessel log reports. (i) Fishing vessel log reports, required by paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section, must be postmarked or received within 15 days after the end of the reporting month. Each owner will be sent forms and instructions, including the address to which reports are to be submitted, shortly after receipt of a Federal fisheries permit. If no fishing trip is made during a month, a report stating so must be submitted.

(ii) Surfclam and ocean quahog log reports, required by paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, must be postmarked or received within 3 days after the end of each reporting week.

(3) At-sea purchasers and processors. With the exception of the owner or operator of an Atlantic herring carrier vessel, the owner or operator of an at-sea purchaser or processor that purchases or processes any Atlantic herring, Atlantic mackerel, squid, butterfish, scup, or black sea bass at sea for landing at any port of the United States must submit information identical to that required by paragraph (a)(1) of this section and provide those reports to the Regional Administrator or designee by the same mechanism and on the same frequency basis.

(g) Additional data and sampling. Federally permitted dealers must allow access to their premises and make available to an official designee of the Regional Administrator any fish purchased from vessels for the collection of biological data. Such data include, but are not limited to, length measurements of fish and the collection of age structures such as otoliths or scales.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 43425, Aug. 23, 1996; 61 FR 58465, Nov. 15, 1996; 62 FR 14646, Mar. 27, 1997; 63 FR 52640, Oct. 1, 1998; 63 FR 58329, Oct. 30, 1998; 64 FR 57593, Oct. 26, 1999; 65 FR 1569, Jan. 11, 2000; 65 FR 45851, July 26, 2000; 65 FR 60895, Oct. 13, 2000; 65 FR 77465, Dec. 11, 2000; 66 FR 49144, Sept. 26, 2001; 67 FR 3444, Jan. 24, 2002; 67 FR 63231, Oct. 10, 2002; 68 FR 49699, Aug. 19, 2003; 69 FR 13495, Mar. 23, 2004; 70 FR 21982, Apr. 28, 2005]

§ 648.8   Vessel identification.
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(a) Vessel name and official number. Each fishing vessel subject to this part and over 25 ft (7.6 m) in registered length must:

(1) Affix permanently its name on the port and starboard sides of the bow and, if possible, on its stern.

(2) Display its official number on the port and starboard sides of the deckhouse or hull, and on an appropriate weather deck so as to be clearly visible from enforcement vessels and aircraft. The official number is the USCG documentation number or the vessel's state registration number for vessels not required to be documented under title 46 U.S.C.

(b) Numerals. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, the official number must be displayed in block arabic numerals in contrasting color at least 18 inches (45.7 cm) in height for fishing vessels over 65 ft (19.8 m) in registered length, and at least 10 inches (25.4 cm) in height for all other vessels over 25 ft (7.6 m) in registered length. The registered length of a vessel, for purposes of this section, is that registered length set forth in USCG or state records.

(c) Duties of owner. The owner of each vessel subject to this part shall ensure that—

(1) The vessel's name and official number are kept clearly legible and in good repair.

(2) No part of the vessel, its rigging, its fishing gear, or any other object obstructs the view of the official number from any enforcement vessel or aircraft.

(d) Non-permanent marking. Vessels carrying recreational fishing parties on a per capita basis or by charter must use markings that meet the above requirements, except for the requirement that they be affixed permanently to the vessel. The non-permanent markings must be displayed in conformity with the above requirements.

(e) New Jersey surf clam or ocean quahog vessels. Instead of complying with paragraph (a) of this section, surf clam or ocean quahog vessels licensed under New Jersey law may use the appropriate vessel identification markings established by that state.

§ 648.9   VMS requirements.
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(a) Approval. The Regional Administrator will annually approve VMSs that meet the minimum performance criteria specified in paragraph (b) of this section. Any changes to the performance criteria will be published annually in the Federal Register and a list of approved VMSs will be published in the Federal Register upon addition or deletion of a VMS from the list. In the event that a VMS is deleted from the list, vessel owners that purchased a VMS unit that is part of that VMS prior to publication of the revised list will be considered to be in compliance with the requirement to have an approved unit, unless otherwise notified by the Regional Administrator.

(b) Minimum VMS performance criteria. The basic required features of the VMS are as follows:

(1) The VMS shall be tamper proof, i.e., shall not permit the input of false positions; furthermore, if a system uses satellites to determine position, satellite selection should be automatic to provide an optimal fix and should not be capable of being manually overridden by any person aboard a fishing vessel or by the vessel owner.

(2) The VMS shall be fully automatic and operational at all times, regardless of weather and environmental conditions, unless exempted under paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(3) The VMS shall be capable of tracking vessels in all U.S. waters in the Atlantic Ocean from the shoreline of each coastal state to a line 215 nm offshore and shall provide position accuracy to within 400 m (1,300 ft).

(4) The VMS shall be capable of transmitting and storing information including vessel identification, date, time, and latitude/longitude.

(5) The VMS shall provide accurate hourly position transmissions every day of the year unless otherwise required under paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, or unless exempted under paragraph (c)(2) of this section. In addition, the VMS shall allow polling of individual vessels or any set of vessels at any time, and receive position reports in real time. For the purposes of this specification, “real time” shall constitute data that reflect a delay of 15 minutes or less between the displayed information and the vessel's actual position.

(6) The VMS shall be capable of providing network message communications between the vessel and shore. The VMS shall allow NMFS to initiate communications or data transfer at any time.

(7) The VMS vendor shall be capable of transmitting position data to a NMFS-designated computer system via a modem at a minimum speed of 9600 baud. Transmission shall be in a file format acceptable to NMFS.

(8) The VMS shall be capable of providing vessel locations relative to international boundaries and fishery management areas.

(9) The VMS vendor shall be capable of archiving vessel position histories for a minimum of 1 year and providing transmission to NMFS of specified portions of archived data in response to NMFS requests and in a variety of media (tape, floppy, etc.).

(c) Operating requirements for all vessels. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, or unless otherwise required by paragraph (c)(1)(ii) or (iii) of this section, all required VMS units must transmit a signal indicating the vessel's accurate position, as specified under paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section.

(i) At least every hour, 24 hours a day, throughout the year.

(ii) NMFS may initiate at its discretion, the transmission of a signal indicating the vessel's accurate position, at least twice per hour, 24 hours a day, for all NE multispecies DAS vessels that elect to fish with a VMS specified in §648.10(b) or that are required to fish with a VMS as specified in §648.85(a), for each groundfish DAS trip that the vessel has elected to fish in the U.S./Canada Management Areas, and as specified in §648.85(b) for each groundfish trip that the vessel has elected to fish in either the CA II Yellowtail Flounder SAP, the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, or the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program.

(iii) At least twice per hour, 24 hours a day, throughout the year, for vessels issued a general scallop permit and subject to the requirements of §648.4(a)(2)(ii)(B).

(2) Power down exemption. (i) Any vessel required to transmit the vessel's location at all times, as required in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, is exempt from this requirement if it meets one or more of the following conditions and requirements:

(A) The vessel will be continuously out of the water for more than 72 consecutive hours, the vessel signs out of the VMS program by obtaining a valid letter of exemption pursuant to paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section, and the vessel complies with all conditions and requirements of said letter;

(B) For vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access permit, the vessel owner signs out of the VMS program for a minimum period of 30 consecutive days by obtaining a valid letter of exemption pursuant to paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section, the vessel does not engage in any fisheries until the VMS unit is turned back on, and the vessel complies with all conditions and requirements of said letter; or

(C) The vessel has been issued an Atlantic herring permit, and is in port, unless required by other permit requirements for other fisheries to transmit the vessel's location at all times.

(D) The vessel has been issued a general scallop permit and is required to operate VMS as specified in §648.10(b)(1)(iv), is not in possession of any scallops onboard the vessel, is tied to a permanent dock or mooring, and the vessel operator has notified NMFS through VMS by transmitting the appropriate VMS power down code, that the VMS will be powered down, unless required by other permit requirements for other fisheries to transmit the vessel's location at all times. Such a vessel must repower the VMS prior to moving from the fixed dock or mooring. VMS codes and instructions are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(ii) Letter of exemption—(A) Application. A vessel owner may apply for a letter of exemption from the VMS transmitting requirements specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section for his/her vessel by sending a written request to the Regional Administrator and providing the following: The location of the vessel during the time an exemption is sought; and the exact time period for which an exemption is needed (i.e., the time the VMS signal will be turned off and turned on again); and, in the case of a vessel meeting the conditions of paragraph (c)(2)(i)(A) of this section, sufficient information to determine that the vessel will be out of the water for more than 72 continuous hours. The letter of exemption must be on board the vessel at all times, and the vessel may not turn off the VMS signal until the letter of exemption has been received.

(B) Issuance. Upon receipt of an application, the Regional Administrator may issue a letter of exemption to the vessel if it is determined that the vessel owner provided sufficient information as required under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, and that the issuance of the letter of exemption will not jeopardize accurate monitoring of the vessel's DAS. Upon written request, the Regional Administrator may change the time period for which the exemption is granted.

(d) Presumption. If a VMS unit fails to transmit an hourly signal of a vessel's position, the vessel shall be deemed to have incurred a DAS, or fraction thereof, for as long as the unit fails to transmit a signal, unless a preponderance of evidence shows that the failure to transmit was due to an unavoidable malfunction or disruption of the transmission that occurred while the vessel was declared out of the scallop fishery or NE multispecies or monkfish fishery, as applicable, or was not at sea.

(e) Replacement. Should a VMS unit require replacement, a vessel owner must submit documentation to the Regional Administrator, within 3 days of installation and prior to the vessel's next trip, verifying that the new VMS unit is an operational, approved system as described under paragraph (a) of this section.

(f) Access. As a condition to obtaining a limited access scallop or multispecies permit, or an Atlantic herring permit, all vessel owners must allow NMFS, the USCG, and their authorized officers or designees access to the vessel's DAS data, if applicable, and location data obtained from its VMS unit, if required, at the time of or after its transmission to the vendor or receiver, as the case may be.

(g) Tampering. Tampering with a VMS, a VMS unit, or a VMS signal, is prohibited. Tampering includes any activity that is likely to affect the unit's ability to operate properly, signal, or accuracy of computing the vessel's position fix.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 14646, Mar. 27, 1997; 63 FR 58329, Oct. 30, 1998; 64 FR 54745, Oct. 7, 1999; 65 FR 77466, Dec. 11, 2000; 69 FR 22946, Apr. 27, 2004; 69 FR 67796, Nov. 19, 2004; 70 FR 21941, Apr. 28, 2005; 70 FR 48867, Aug. 22, 2005; 70 FR 76426, Dec. 27, 2005; 71 FR 33224, June 8, 2006]

§ 648.10   DAS and VMS notification requirements.
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(a) VMS Demarcation Line. The VMS Demarcation Line is defined by straight lines connecting the following coordinates in the order stated (a copy of a map showing the line is available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

                          VMS Demarcation Line------------------------------------------------------------------------           Description                  N. Lat.            W. Long.------------------------------------------------------------------------1. Northern terminus point        45°03[min]      66°47[min] (Canada landmass).2. A point east of West Quoddy    44°48.9[min]    66°56.1[min] Head Light.3. A point east of Little River   44°39.0[min]    67°10.5[min] Light.4. Whistle Buoy ``8BI'' (SSE of   44°13.6[min]    68°10.8[min] Baker Island).5. Isle au Haut Light...........  44°03.9[min]    68°39.1[min]6. Pemaquid Point Light.........  43°50.2[min]    69°30.4[min]7. A point west of Halfway Rock.  43°38.0[min]    70°05.0[min]8. A point east of Cape Neddick   43°09.9[min]    70°34.5[min] Light.9. Merrimack River Entrance       42°48.6[min]    70°47.1[min] ``MR'' Whistle Buoy.10. Halibut Point Gong Buoy       42°42.0[min]    70°37.5[min] ``1AHP''.11. Connecting reference point..  42°40[min]      70°30[min]12. Whistle Buoy ``2'' off        42°34.3[min]    70°39.8[min] Eastern Point.13. The Graves Light (Boston)...  42°21.9[min]    70°52.2[min]14. Minots Ledge Light..........  42°16.2[min]    70°45.6[min]15. Farnham Rock Lighted Bell     42°05.6[min]    70°36.5[min] Buoy.16. Cape Cod Canal Bell Buoy      41°48.9[min]    70°27.7[min] ``CC''.17. A point inside Cape Cod Bay.  41°48.9[min]    70°05[min]18. Race Point Lighted Bell Buoy  42°04.9[min]    70°16.8[min] ``RP''.19. Peaked Hill Bar Whistle Buoy  42°07.0[min]    70°06.2[min] ``2PH''.20. Connecting point, off Nauset  41°50[min]      69°53[min] Light.21. A point south of Chatham      41°38[min]      69°55.2[min] ``C'' Whistle Buoy.22. A point in eastern Vineyard   41°30[min]      70°33[min] Sound.23. A point east of Martha's      41°22.2[min]    70°24.6[min] Vineyard.24. A point east of Great Pt.     41°23.4[min]    69°57[min] Light, Nantucket.25. A point SE of Sankaty Head,   41°13[min]      69°57[min] Nantucket.26. A point west of Nantucket...  41°15.6[min]    70°25.2[min]27. Squibnocket Lighted Bell      41°15.7[min]    70°46.3[min] Buoy ``1''.28. Wilbur Point (on Sconticut    41°35.2[min]    70°51.2[min] Neck).29. Mishaum Point (on Smith       41°31.0[min]    70°57.2[min] Neck).30. Sakonnet Entrance Lighted     41°25.7[min]    71°13.4[min] Whistle Buoy ``SR''.31. Point Judith Lighted Whistle  41°19.3[min]    71°28.6[min] Buoy ``2''.32. A point off Block Island      41°08.2[min]    71°32.1[min] Southeast Light.33. Shinnecock Inlet Lighted      40°49.0[min]    72°28.6[min] Whistle Buoy ``SH''.34. Scotland Horn Buoy ``S'',     40°26.5[min]    73°55.0[min] off Sandy Hook (NJ).35. Barnegat Lighted Gong Buoy    39°45.5[min]    73°59.5[min] ``2''.36. A point east of Atlantic      39°21.9[min]    74°22.7[min] City Light.37. A point east of Hereford      39°00.4[min]    74°46[min] Inlet Light.38. A point east of Cape          38°47[min]      75°04[min] Henlopen Light.39. A point east of Fenwick       38°27.1[min]    75°02[min] Island Light.40. A point NE of Assateague      38°00[min]      75°13[min] Island (VA).41. Wachapreague Inlet Lighted    37°35.0[min]    75°33.7[min] Whistle Buoy ``A''.42. A point NE of Cape Henry....  36°55.6[min]    75°58.5[min]43. A point east of Currituck     36°22.6[min]    75°48[min] Beach Light.44. Oregon Inlet (NC) Whistle     35°48.5[min]    75°30[min] Buoy.45. Wimble Shoals, east of        35°36[min]      75°26[min] Chicamacomico.46. A point SE of Cape Hatteras   35°12.5[min]    75°30[min] Light.47. Hatteras Inlet Entrance Buoy  35°10[min]      75°46[min] ``HI''.48. Ocracoke Inlet Whistle Buoy   35°01.5[min]    76°00.5[min] ``OC''.49. A point east of Cape Lookout  34°36.5[min]    76°30[min] Light.50. Southern terminus point.....  34°35[min]      76°41[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(b) VMS Notification. (1) The following vessels must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §648.9(b), or as modified pursuant to §648.9(a):

(i) A scallop vessel issued a Full-time or Part-time limited access scallop permit or a VMS general scallop permit;

(ii) A scallop vessel issued an Occasional limited access permit when fishing under the Sea Scallop Area Access Program specified under §648.60;

(iii) A scallop vessel fishing under the Small Dredge program specified in §648.51(e);

(iv) A scallop vessel issued a VMS or a Non-VMS general scallop permit when fishing under the Sea Scallop Area Access Program specified under §648.60;

(v) A vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies, monkfish, Occasional scallop, or Combination permit, whose owner elects to provide the notifications required by this paragraph (b), unless otherwise authorized or required by the Regional Administrator under paragraph (d) of this section;

(vi) A vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit electing to fish under the U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding, as specified in §648.85(a);

(vii) A vessel electing to fish under the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, as specified in §648.85(b)(6);

(viii) A vessel electing to fish in the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, as specified in §648.85(b)(7); and

(ix) A limited access monkfish vessel electing to fish in the Offshore Fishery Program in the SFMA, as provided in §648.95.

(x) A vessel electing to fish under the Regular B DAS Program, as specified in §648.85(b)(10);

(2) The owner of such a vessel specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section must provide documentation to the Regional Administrator at the time of application for a limited access permit or general scallop permit that the vessel has an operational VMS unit installed on board that meets those criteria, unless otherwise allowed under this paragraph (b). If a vessel has already been issued a limited access permit without the owner providing such documentation, the Regional Administrator shall allow at least 30 days for the vessel to install an operational VMS unit that meets the criteria and for the owner to provide documentation of such installation to the Regional Administrator. A vessel that is required to, or whose owner has elected to, use a VMS unit is subject to the following requirements and presumptions:

(i) A vessel that has crossed the VMS Demarcation Line specified under paragraph (a) of this section is deemed to be fishing under the DAS program, unless the vessel's owner or authorized representative declares the vessel out of the scallop, NE multispecies, or monkfish fishery, as applicable, for a specific time period by notifying the Regional Administrator through the VMS prior to the vessel leaving port, or unless the vessel's owner or authorized representative declares the vessel will be fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area as described in §648.85(a)(3)(ii) under the provisions of that program.

(ii) Notification that the vessel is not fishing under the DAS program, the general category scallop fishery, or other fishery requiring the operation of VMS, must be received prior to the vessel leaving port. A vessel may not change its status after the vessel leaves port or before it returns to port on any fishing trip.

(iii) DAS for a vessel that is under the VMS notification requirements of this paragraph (b), with the exception of vessels that have elected to fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, pursuant to §648.85(a), begin with the first location signal received showing that the vessel crossed the VMS Demarcation Line after leaving port. DAS end with the first location signal received showing that the vessel crossed the VMS Demarcation Line upon its return to port. For those vessels that have elected to fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area pursuant to §648.85(a)(2)(i), the requirements of this paragraph (b) begin with the first 30-minute location signal received showing that the vessel crossed into the Eastern U.S./Canada Area and end with the first location signal received showing that the vessel crossed out of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area upon beginning its return trip to port.

(iv) If the VMS is not available or not functional, and if authorized by the Regional Administrator, a vessel owner must provide the notifications required by paragraphs (b)(2)(i), (ii), and (iii) of this section by using the call-in notification system described under paragraph (c) of this section, instead of using the VMS specified in this paragraph (b).

(v) A vessel that has crossed the VMS Demarcation Line specified under paragraph (a) of this section is deemed to be fishing under the DAS program, unless the vessel's owner or authorized representative declares the vessel out of the scallop, NE multispecies, or monkfish fishery, as applicable, for a specific time period by notifying the Regional Administrator through the VMS prior to the vessel leaving port, or unless the vessel's owner or authorized representative declares the vessel will be fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area as described in §648.85(a)(3)(viii) under the provisions of that program.

(vi) DAS counting for a vessel that is under the VMS notification requirements of this paragraph (b), with the exception of vessels that have elected to fish exclusively in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on a particular trip, pursuant to §648.85(a), begins with the first location signal received showing that the vessel crossed the VMS Demarcation Line after leaving port. DAS end with the first location signal received showing that the vessel crossed the VMS Demarcation Line upon its return to port. For those vessels that have elected to fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area pursuant to §648.85(a)(2)(i), the requirements of this paragraph (b) begin with the first 30-minute location signal received showing that the vessel crossed into the Eastern U.S./Canada and end with the first location signal received showing that the vessel crossed out of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area upon beginning its return trip to port, unless the vessel elects to also fish outside the Eastern Area on the same trip, in accordance with §648.85(a)(3)(viii)(A).

(vii) If the VMS is not available or not functional, and if authorized by the Regional Administrator, a vessel owner must provide the notifications required by paragraphs (b)(2)(ii), (v), and (vi) of this section by using the call-in notification system described under paragraph (c) of this section, instead of using the VMS specified in this paragraph (b).

(3)(i) A vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies, monkfish, occasional scallop, or Combination permit must use the call-in system specified in paragraph (c) of this section, unless the owner of such vessel has elected to do one or more of the following activities:

(A) Provide the notifications required by this paragraph (b), through VMS as specified under paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this section; or

(B) Fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area or Western U.S./Canada Area as described in §648.85(a)(2)(i); or

(C) Fish under the Regular B DAS Pilot Program specified at §648.85(b)(6); or

(D) Fish in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7).

(E) Provide the notifications required by this paragraph (b), through VMS as specified under paragraph (b)(3)(v) of this section; or

(F) Fish under the Regular B DAS Program specified at §648.85(b)(10);

(ii) Unless otherwise required by paragraph (b)(1)(v) of this section, upon recommendation by the Council, the Regional Administrator may require, by notification through a letter to affected permit holders, notification in the Federal Register, or other appropriate means, that a NE multispecies vessel issued an Individual DAS or Combination Vessel permit install on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §648.9(b), or as modified as provided under §648.9(a). An owner of such a vessel must provide documentation to the Regional Administrator that the vessel has installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets those criteria. If a vessel has already been issued a permit without the owner providing such documentation, the Regional Administrator shall allow at least 30 days for the vessel to install an operational VMS unit that meets the criteria and for the owner to provide documentation of such installation to the Regional Administrator. A vessel that is required to use a VMS shall be subject to the requirements and presumptions described under paragraphs (b)(2)(i) through (v) of this section.

(iii) A vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies, monkfish, Occasional scallop, or Combination permit may be authorized by the Regional Administrator to provide the notifications required by this paragraph (b) using the VMS specified in this paragraph (b). The owner of such vessel becomes authorized by providing documentation to the Regional Administrator at the time of application for an Individual or Combination vessel limited access NE multispecies permit that the vessel has installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §648.9(b), or as modified as provided under §648.9(a). Vessels that are authorized to use the VMS in lieu of the call-in requirement for DAS notification shall be subject to the requirements and presumptions described under paragraphs (b)(2)(i) through (v) of this section. Those who elect to use the VMS do not need to call in DAS as specified in paragraph (c) of this section. Vessels that do call in are exempt from the prohibition specified in §648.14(c)(2).

(iv) Unless otherwise required by paragraph (b)(1)(v) of this section, upon recommendation by the Council, the Regional Administrator may require, by notification through a letter to affected permit holders, notification in the Federal Register, or other appropriate means, that a NE multispecies vessel issued an Individual DAS or Combination Vessel permit install on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §648.9(b), or as modified as provided under §648.9(a). An owner of such a vessel must provide documentation to the Regional Administrator that the vessel has installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets those criteria. If a vessel has already been issued a permit without the owner providing such documentation, the Regional Administrator shall allow at least 30 days for the vessel to install an operational VMS unit that meets the criteria and for the owner to provide documentation of such installation to the Regional Administrator. A vessel that is required to use a VMS shall be subject to the requirements and presumptions described under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) through (vii) of this section.

(v) A vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies, monkfish, Occasional scallop, or Combination permit may be authorized by the Regional Administrator to provide the notifications required by this paragraph (b) using the VMS specified in this paragraph (b). The owner of such vessel becomes authorized by providing documentation to the Regional Administrator at the time of application for an Individual or Combination vessel limited access NE multispecies permit that the vessel has installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §648.9(b), or as modified as provided under §648.9(a). Vessels that are authorized to use the VMS in lieu of the call-in requirement for DAS notification shall be subject to the requirements and presumptions described under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) through (vii) of this section. Those who elect to use the VMS do not need to call in DAS as specified in paragraph (c) of this section. Vessels that do call in are exempt from the prohibition specified in §648.14(c)(2).

(4) Atlantic sea scallop vessel VMS notification requirements. (i) Less than 1 hour prior to leaving port, the owner or authorized representative of a scallop vessel that is required to use VMS as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section must notify the Regional Administrator by entering the appropriate VMS code that the vessel will be participating in the scallop DAS program, Area Access Program, or general category scallop fishery. VMS codes and instructions are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(ii) To facilitate the deployment of at-sea observers, all sea scallop vessels issued limited access permits fishing in open areas or Sea Scallop Access Areas, and general category vessels fishing under the Sea Scallop Access Area program specified in §648.60, are required to comply with the additional VMS notification requirements specified in paragraphs (b)(4)(iii) and (iv) of this section, except that scallop vessels issued Occasional scallop permits not participating in the Area Access Program specified in §648.60 may provide the specified information to NMFS by calling NMFS. All sea scallop vessels issued a VMS general category or Non-VMS general scallop permit that are participating in the Area Access Program specified in §648.60 are required to comply with the additional VMS notification requirements specified in paragraphs (b)(4)(iii) and (iv) of this section.

(iii) Prior to the 25th day of the month preceding the month in which fishing is to take place, the vessel must submit a monthly report, through the VMS e-mail messaging system, of its intention to fish for scallops, along with the following information: Vessel name and permit number, owner and operator's name, owner and operator's phone numbers, and number of trips anticipated for open areas and each Sea Scallop Access Area in which it intends to fish. The Regional Administrator may waive this notification period if it is determined that there is insufficient time to provide such notification prior to a Sea Scallop Access Area opening or beginning of the fishing year. Notification of this waiver of a portion of the notification period shall be provided to the vessel through a permit holder letter issued by the Regional Administrator.

(iv) In addition to the information required under paragraph (b)(4)(iii) of this section, and for the purpose of selecting vessels for observer deployment, each participating vessel owner or operator shall provide notice to NMFS of the time, port of departure, and open area or specific Sea Scallop Access Area to be fished, at least 72 hr, unless otherwise notified by the Regional Administrator, prior to the beginning of any scallop trip.

(c) Call-in notification. Owners of vessels issued limited access NE multispecies, monkfish or red crab permits who are participating in a DAS program and who are not required to provide notification using a VMS, and scallop vessels qualifying for a DAS allocation under the Occasional category and who have not elected to fish under the VMS notification requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, are subject to the following requirements:

(1) Less than 1 hour prior to leaving port, for vessels issued a limited access NE multispecies DAS permit or, for vessels issued a limited access NE multispecies DAS permit and a limited access monkfish permit (Category C, D, F, G, or H), unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (c)(1), and, prior to leaving port for vessels issued a limited access monkfish Category A or B permit, the vessel owner or authorized representative must notify the Regional Administrator that the vessel will be participating in the DAS program by calling the Regional Administrator and providing the following information: Owner and caller name and phone number; vessel name and permit number; type of trip to be taken; port of departure; and that the vessel is beginning a trip. A DAS begins once the call has been received and a confirmation number is given by the Regional Administrator, or when a vessel leaves port, whichever occurs first, unless otherwise specified in paragraph (b)(2)(iii) of this section. Vessels issued a limited access monkfish Category C, D, F, G, or H permit that are allowed to fish as a Category A or B vessel in accordance with the provisions of §648.92(b)(2)(i), are subject to the call-in notification requirements for limited access monkfish Category A or B vessels specified under this paragraph (c)(1) for those monkfish DAS where there is not a concurrent NE multispecies DAS.

(2) The vessel's confirmation numbers for the current and immediately prior NE multispecies, monkfish or red crab fishing trip must be maintained on board the vessel and provided to an authorized officer upon request.

(3) At the end of a vessel's trip, upon its return to port, the vessel owner or owner's representative must call the Regional Administrator and notify him/her that the trip has ended by providing the following information: Owner and caller name and phone number, vessel name, permit number, port of landing, and that the vessel has ended its trip. A DAS ends when the call has been received and confirmation has been given by the Regional Administrator, unless otherwise specified in paragraph (b)(2)(iii) of this section.

(4) The Regional Administrator will furnish a phone number for DAS notification call-ins upon request.

(5) Any vessel that possesses or lands per trip more than 400 lb (181 kg) of scallops, and any vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit subject to the NE multispecies DAS program and call-in requirement that possesses or lands regulated species, except as provided in §§648.17 and 648.89, any vessel issued a limited access monkfish permit subject to the monkfish DAS program and call-in requirement that possesses or lands monkfish above the incidental catch trip limits specified in §648.94(c), and any vessel issued a limited access red crab permit subject to the red crab DAS program and call-in requirement that possesses or lands red crab above the incidental catch trip limits specified in §648.263(b)(1), shall be deemed in its respective DAS program for purposes of counting DAS, regardless of whether the vessel's owner or authorized representative provided adequate notification as required by paragraph (c) of this section.

(6) Less than 1 hour prior to leaving port, for vessels issued a limited access NE multispecies DAS permit or, for vessels issued a limited access NE multispecies DAS permit and a limited access monkfish permit (Category C, D, F, G, or H), unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (c)(6), and, prior to leaving port for vessels issued a limited access monkfish Category A or B permit, the vessel owner or authorized representative must notify the Regional Administrator that the vessel will be participating in the DAS program by calling the Regional Administrator and providing the following information: Owner and caller name and phone number; vessel name and permit number; type of trip to be taken; port of departure; and that the vessel is beginning a trip. A DAS begins once the call has been received and a confirmation number is given by the Regional Administrator, or when a vessel leaves port, whichever occurs first, unless otherwise specified in paragraph (b)(2)(iv) of this section. Vessels issued a limited access monkfish Category C, D, F, G, or H permit that are allowed to fish as a Category A or B vessel in accordance with the provisions of §648.92(b)(2)(iv), are subject to the call-in notification requirements for limited access monkfish Category A or B vessels specified under this paragraph (c)(1) for those monkfish DAS where there is not a concurrent NE multispecies DAS.

(7) At the end of a vessel's trip, upon its return to port, the vessel owner or owner's representative must call the Regional Administrator and notify him/her that the trip has ended by providing the following information: Owner and caller name and phone number, vessel name, permit number, port of landing, and that the vessel has ended its trip. A DAS ends when the call has been received and confirmation has been given by the Regional Administrator, unless otherwise specified in paragraph (b)(2)(vi) of this section.

(d) Temporary authorization for use of the call-in system. The Regional Administrator may authorize or require, on a temporary basis, the use of the call-in system of notification specified in paragraph (c) of this section, instead of use of the VMS. If use of the call-in system is authorized or required, the Regional Administrator shall notify affected permit holders through a letter, notification in the Federal Register, or other appropriate means. A multispecies vessel issued an Individual DAS or Combination Vessel (regarding the multispecies fishery) permit are authorized to use the call-in system of notification specified in paragraph (c) of this section, unless otherwise notified as specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(e) Scallop vessels fishing under exemptions. Vessels fishing under the exemptions provided by §648.54 (a) and/or (b)(1) must notify the Regional Administrator by VMS notification or by call-in notification as follows:

(1) VMS notification. (i) Notify the Regional Administrator, via their VMS, prior to the vessel's first trip under the state waters exemption program, that the vessel will be fishing exclusively in state waters; and

(ii) Notify the Regional Administrator, via their VMS, prior to the vessel's first planned trip in the EEZ, that the vessel is to resume fishing under the vessel's DAS allocation.

(2) Call-in notification. (i) Notify the Regional Administrator by calling the Regional Administrator and providing the following information at least 7 days prior to fishing under the exemption: Owner and caller name and address, vessel name and permit number, and beginning and ending dates of the exemption period.

(ii) Remain under the exemption for a minimum of 7 days.

(iii) If, under the exemption for a minimum of 7 days and wishing to withdraw earlier than the designated end of the exemption period, notify the Regional Administrator of early withdrawal from the program by calling the Regional Administrator, providing the vessel's name and permit number and the name and phone number of the caller, and stating that the vessel is withdrawing from the exemption. The vessel may not leave port to fish in the EEZ until 48 hours after notification of early withdrawal is received by the Regional Administrator.

(iv) The Regional Administrator will furnish a phone number for call-ins upon request.

(v) Such vessels must comply with the VMS notification requirements specified in paragraph (b) of this section by notifying the Regional Administrator by entering the appropriate VMS code that the vessel is fishing outside of the scallop fishery. VMS codes and instructions are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(f) Additional NE multispecies call-in requirements—(1) Spawning season call-in. With the exception of vessels issued a valid Small Vessel category permit, or the Handgear A permit category, vessels subject to the spawning season restriction described in §648.82 must notify the Regional Administrator of the commencement date of their 20-day period out of the NE multispecies fishery through either the VMS system or by calling and providing the following information: Vessel name and permit number, owner and caller name and phone number, and the commencement date of the 20-day period.

(2) Gillnet call-in. Vessels subject to the gillnet restriction described in §648.82(j)(1)(ii) must notify the Regional Administrator of the commencement date of their time out of the NE multispecies gillnet fishery using the procedure described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section.

(3) Gillnet call-in. Vessels subject to the gillnet restriction described in §648.82(s)(1)(ii) must notify the Regional Administrator of the commencement date of their time out of the NE multispecies gillnet fishery using the procedure described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 14647, Mar. 27, 1997; 62 FR 15386, Apr. 1, 1997; 62 FR 51381, Oct. 1, 1997; 63 FR 11593, Mar. 10, 1998; 63 FR 15329, Mar. 31, 1998; 63 FR 42592, Aug. 10, 1998; 63 FR 58329, Oct. 30, 1998; 64 FR 24072, May 5, 1999; 64 FR 31149, June 10, 1999; 64 FR 54745, Oct. 7, 1999; 64 FR 55825, Oct. 15, 1999; 65 FR 21664, Apr. 24, 2000; 66 FR 24056, May 11, 2001; 67 FR 50305, Aug. 1, 2002; 67 FR 63232, Oct. 10, 2002; 69 FR 22947, Apr. 27, 2004; 69 FR 35214, June 23, 2004; 69 FR 63472, Nov. 2, 2004; 69 FR 67796, Nov. 19, 2004; 70 FR 2823, Jan. 18, 2005; 70 FR 21941, Apr. 28, 2005; 70 FR 31339, June 1, 2005; 70 FR 54306, Sept. 14, 2005; 70 FR 48867, Aug. 22, 2005; 71 FR 33224, June 8, 2006]

Effective Date Note:  At 71 FR 19372, Apr. 13, 2006, §648.10 was amended by suspending paragraphs (b)(1)(vii); (b)(2)(i), (iii), and (iv); (b)(3)(i)(A) and (C); (b)(3)(ii) and (iii); (c)(1) and (3); and (f)(2); and adding paragraphs (b)(1)(x); (b)(2)(v) through (vii); (b)(3)(i)(E) and (F); (b)(3)(iv) and (v); (c)(6) and (7); and (f)(3), effective May 1, 2006, through Oct. 10, 2006.

Editorial Note:  At 71 FR 33224, June 8, 2006, §648.10 was amended by revising paragraph (b)(2)(i). This amendment could not be incorporated because paragraph (b)(2)(i) was suspended at 71 FR 19372, Apr. 13, 2006, effective May 1, 2006, through Oct. 10, 2006.

Effective Date Note:  At 71 FR 34844, June 16, 2006, §648.10 was amended by suspending paragraphs (b)(4)(ii) through (iv), effective June 16, 2006 through Dec. 13, 2006.

§ 648.11   At-sea sea sampler/observer coverage.
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(a) The Regional Administrator may request any vessel holding a permit for Atlantic sea scallops, NE multispecies, monkfish, skates, Atlantic mackerel, squid, butterfish, scup, black sea bass, bluefish, spiny dogfish, Atlantic herring, tilefish, or Atlantic deep-sea red crab; or a moratorium permit for summer flounder; to carry a NMFS-approved sea sampler/observer.

(1) For the purpose of deploying at-sea observers, sea scallop vessels are required to notify NMFS of scallop trips as specified in §648.10(b)(4). Unless otherwise notified by the Regional Administrator, owners of scallop vessels shall be responsible for paying the cost of the observer for all scallop fishing trips on which an observer is carried onboard the vessel, regardless of whether the vessel lands or sells sea scallops on that trip, and regardless of the availability of set-aside for an increased possession limit, or reduced accrual rate of DAS.

(2) [Reserved]

(3) The Regional Administrator may request any vessel holding a permit for Atlantic sea scallops, NE multispecies, monkfish, skates, Atlantic mackerel, squid, butterfish, scup, black sea bass, bluefish, spiny dogfish, Atlantic herring, tilefish, or Atlantic deep-sea red crab; or a moratorium permit for summer flounder; to carry a NMFS certified fisheries observer. A vessel holding a permit for Atlantic sea scallops is subject to the additional requirements specified in paragraph (g) of this section.

(b) If requested by the Regional Administrator to carry an observer or sea sampler, it is the responsibility of the vessel owner to arrange for and facilitate observer or sea sampler placement. Owners of vessels selected for sea sampler/observer coverage must notify the appropriate Regional or Science and Research Director, as specified by the Regional Administrator, before commencing any fishing trip that may result in the harvest of resources of the respective fishery. Notification procedures will be specified in selection letters to vessel owners.

(c) The Regional Administrator may waive the requirement to carry a sea sampler or observer if the facilities on a vessel for housing the observer or sea sampler, or for carrying out observer or sea sampler functions, are so inadequate or unsafe that the health or safety of the observer or sea sampler, or the safe operation of the vessel, would be jeopardized.

(d) An owner or operator of a vessel on which a NMFS-approved sea sampler/observer is embarked must:

(1) Provide accommodations and food that are equivalent to those provided to the crew.

(2) Allow the sea sampler/observer access to and use of the vessel's communications equipment and personnel upon request for the transmission and receipt of messages related to the sea sampler's/observer's duties.

(3) Provide true vessel locations, by latitude and longitude or loran coordinates, as requested by the observer/sea sampler, and allow the sea sampler/observer access to and use of the vessel's navigation equipment and personnel upon request to determine the vessel's position.

(4) Notify the sea sampler/observer in a timely fashion of when fishing operations are to begin and end.

(5) Allow for the embarking and debarking of the sea sampler/observer, as specified by the Regional Administrator, ensuring that transfers of observers/sea samplers at sea are accomplished in a safe manner, via small boat or raft, during daylight hours as weather and sea conditions allow, and with the agreement of the sea samplers/ observers involved.

(6) Allow the sea sampler/observer free and unobstructed access to the vessel's bridge, working decks, holding bins, weight scales, holds, and any other space used to hold, process, weigh, or store fish.

(7) Allow the sea sampler/observer to inspect and copy any the vessel's log, communications log, and records associated with the catch and distribution of fish for that trip.

(e) The owner or operator of a vessel issued a summer flounder moratorium permit, a scup moratorium permit, a black sea bass moratorium permit, a bluefish permit, a spiny dogfish permit, an Atlantic herring permit, an Atlantic deep-sea red crab permit, a skate permit, or a tilefish permit, if requested by the sea sampler/observer, also must:

(1) Notify the sea sampler/observer of any sea turtles, marine mammals, summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, bluefish, spiny dogfish, Atlantic herring, Atlantic deep-sea red crab, tilefish, skates (including discards) or other specimens taken by the vessel.

(2) Provide the sea sampler/observer with sea turtles, marine mammals, summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, bluefish, spiny dogfish, Atlantic herring, Atlantic deep-sea red crab, skates, tilefish, or other specimens taken by the vessel.

(f) NMFS may accept observer coverage funded by outside sources if:

(1) All coverage conducted by such observers is determined by NMFS to be in compliance with NMFS' observer guidelines and procedures.

(2) The owner or operator of the vessel complies with all other provisions of this part.

(3) The observer is approved by the Regional Administrator.

(g) Atlantic sea scallop observer program—(1) General. Unless otherwise specified, owners, operators, and/or managers of vessels issued a Federal scallop permit under §648.4(a)(2), and specified in paragraph (b) of this section, must comply with this section and are jointly and severally responsible for their vessel's compliance with this section. To facilitate the deployment of at-sea observers, all sea scallop vessels issued limited access permits fishing in open areas or Sea Scallop Access Areas, and general category vessels fishing under the Sea Scallop Access Area program specified in §648.60, are required to comply with the additional notification requirements specified in paragraphs (g)(2) of this section, except that scallop vessels issued Occasional scallop permits not participating in the Area Access Program specified in §648.60 may provide the specified information to NMFS by calling NMFS. All sea scallop vessels issued a VMS general category or Non-VMS general scallop permit that are participating in the Area Access Program specified in §648.60 are required to comply with the additional VMS notification requirements specified in paragraph (g)(2) of this section. When NMFS notifies the vessel owner, operator, or the vessel manager of any requirement to carry an observer on a specified trip in either an Access Area or Open Area as specified in paragraph (g)(2) of this section, the vessel may not fish for, take, retain, possess, or land any scallops without carrying an observer. Vessels may only embark on a scallop trip in open areas or Access Areas without an observer if the owner, operator, or vessel manager has been notified that the vessel has received a waiver of the observer requirement for that trip pursuant to paragraphs (g)(3) and (5) of this section.

(2) Vessel notification procedures. For the purpose of determining if an observer will be deployed on a vessel for a specific trip, a vessel issued a limited access permit fishing in open areas or in the Sea Scallop Area Access program specified in §648.60, or a vessel issued a general category scallop permit and fishing in the Sea Scallop Area Access program specified in §648.60, is required to comply with the following notification requirements:

(i) Prior to the 25th day of the month preceding the month in which fishing for scallops is to take place, the vessel owner or operator must submit, through the VMS e-mail messaging system, notice of its intention to fish for scallops, along with the following information: Vessel name and permit number, owner and operator's name, owner and operator's phone numbers, and number of trips anticipated for open areas and each Sea Scallop Access Area or open area in which it intends to fish. General category vessels are required to submit this information only for Sea Scallop Access Area trips. The e-mail address shall be provided to vessels in a Small Entity Compliance Guide issued by the Regional Administrator. The Regional Administrator may waive this notification period if it is determined that there is insufficient time to provide such notification prior to a Sea Scallop Access Area opening or beginning of the fishing year. Notification of this waiver of a portion of the notification period shall be provided to the vessel through a permit holder letter issued by the Regional Administrator.

(ii) For each scallop trip, the vessel owner, operator, or vessel manager shall notify NMFS by telephone, using the phone number provided by the Regional Administrator in the Small Entity Compliance Guide, and provide the following information: Vessel Name; contact name and number; date and time of departure; port of departure; area to be fished (either open areas or the specific Sea Scallop Access Area), and fishing as a scallop dredge, scallop trawl or general category vessel.

(3) Selection of scallop fishing trips for observer coverage. Based on predetermined coverage levels for various sectors of the scallop fishery that are provided by NMFS in writing to all observer service provider approved pursuant to paragraph (h) of this section, NMFS shall notify the vessel owner, operator, or vessel manager whether the vessel must carry an observer, or if a waiver has been granted, on the specified trip within 24 hours of the vessel owner's, operator's, or vessel manager's notification of the prospective trip as specified in paragraph (g)(2)(ii) of this section. Any request to carry an observer may be waived by NMFS. With the exception of vessels issued a non-VMS general category scallop permit that are fishing in an access area, all waivers for observer coverage shall be issued to the vessel by VMS so as to have on-board verification of the waiver. Waivers for vessels issued a non-VMS general category scallop permit will be issued by fax, if possible, or by phone if no fax number is available.

(4) Procurement of observer services by scallop vessels. (i) An owner of a scallop vessel required to carry an observer under paragraph (g)(3) of this section must arrange for carrying an observer certified through the observer training class operated by the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program (herein after NMFS/NEFOP certified) from an observer service provider approved by NMFS under paragraph (h) of this section. A list of approved observer service providers shall be posted on the NOAA/NEFOP website at http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/femad/fsb/. The owner, operator, or vessel manager of a vessel selected to carry an observer must contact the observer service provider and must provide at least 72 hours notice in advance of the fishing trip for the provider to arrange for observer deployment for the specified trip.

(ii) An owner, operator, or vessel manager of a vessel that cannot procure a certified observer within 72 hours of the advance notification to the provider due to the unavailability of an observer, may request a waiver from NMFS from the requirement for observer coverage for that trip, but only if the owner, operator, or vessel manager has contacted all of the available observer service providers to secure observer coverage and no observer is available. NMFS shall issue such a waiver within 24 hours, if the conditions of this paragraph (g)(4)(ii) are met.

(5) Unless otherwise notified by the Regional Administrator, owners of scallop vessels shall be responsible for paying the cost of the observer for all scallop fishing trips on which an observer is carried onboard the vessel, regardless of whether the vessel lands or sells sea scallops on that trip, and regardless of the availability of set-aside for an increased possession limit or reduced DAS accrual rate. Vessels that carry an observer may be compensated with a reduced DAS accrual rate for open area trips or additional scallop catch per day in Access Areas in order to help defray the cost of the observer, under the program specified in §§648.53 and 648.60. Observer service providers are responsible for setting the daily rate for observer coverage on a vessel. NMFS shall determine the reduced DAS accrual rate and the amount of additional pounds of scallops per day fished in an access area for the applicable fishing year based on the economic conditions of the scallop fishery, as determined by best available information. Vessel owners and observer service providers shall be notified by Small Entity Compliance Guide of the DAS accrual rate and additional pounds of scallops determined by the Regional Administrator. The Regional Administrator may adjust the DAS accrual rate and additional pounds of scallops if necessary based on economic conditions of the scallop fishery. Vessel owners and observer providers shall by notified of any such adjustments through a letter.

(6) When the available DAS or TAC set-aside for observer coverage is exhausted, vessels shall still be required to carry an observer as specified in this section and shall be responsible for paying for the cost of the observer, unless otherwise waived by NMFS, but shall not be authorized to harvest additional pounds or fish at a reduced DAS accrual rate.

(h) Observer service provider approval and responsibilities—(1) General. An entity seeking to provide observer services to the Atlantic sea scallop fishery must apply for and obtain approval from NMFS following submission of a complete application to The Observer Program Branch Chief, 25 Bernard St Jean Drive, East Falmouth, MA 02536. A list of approved observer service providers shall be distributed to scallop vessel owners and shall be posted on NMFS's web page as specified in paragraph (g)(4) of this section.

(2) Existing observer service providers. Observer service providers that currently deploy certified observers in the Northeast must submit an application containing the information specified in paragraph (h)(3) of this section, excluding any information specified in paragraph (h)(3) of this section that has already been submitted to NMFS.

(3) Contents of application. An application to become an approved observer service provider shall contain the following:

(i) Identification of the management, organizational structure, and ownership structure of the applicant's business, including identification by name and general function of all controlling management interests in the company, including but not limited to owners, board members, officers, authorized agents, and staff. If the applicant is a corporation, the articles of incorporation must be provided. If the applicant is a partnership, the partnership agreement must be provided.

(ii) The permanent mailing address, phone and fax numbers where the owner(s) can be contacted for official correspondence, and the current physical location, business mailing address, business telephone and fax numbers, and business e-mail address for each office.

(iii) A statement, signed under penalty of perjury, from each owner or owners, board members, and officers, if a corporation, that they are free from a conflict of interest as described under paragraph (h)(6) of this section.

(iv) A statement, signed under penalty of perjury, from each owner or owners, board members, and officers, if a corporation, describing any criminal convictions, Federal contracts they have had, and the performance rating they received on the contract, and previous decertification action while working as an observer or observer service provider.

(v) A description of any prior experience the applicant may have in placing individuals in remote field and/or marine work environments. This includes, but is not limited to, recruiting, hiring, deployment, and personnel administration.

(vi) A description of the applicant's ability to carry out the responsibilities and duties of a scallop fishery observer services provider as set out under paragraph (h)(2) of this section, and the arrangements to be used.

(vii) Evidence of holding adequate insurance to cover injury, liability, and accidental death for observers during their period of employment (including during training). Workers' Compensation and Maritime Employer's Liability insurance must be provided to cover the observer, vessel owner, and observer provider. The minimum coverage required is $5 million. Observer service providers shall provide copies of the insurance policies to observers to display to the vessel owner, operator, or vessel manager, when requested.

(viii) Proof that its observers, either contracted or employed by the service provider, are compensated with salaries that meet or exceed the Department of Labor (DOL) guidelines for observers. Observers shall be compensated as a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) non-exempt employees. Observer providers shall provide any other benefits and personnel services in accordance with the terms of each observer's contract or employment status.

(ix) The names of its fully equipped, NMFS/NEFOP certified observers on staff or a list of its training candidates (with resumes) and a request for a NMFS/NEFOP Sea Scallop Observer Training class (minimum class size of eight).

(x) Am Emergency Action Plan (EAP) describing its response to an 'at sea' emergency with an observer, including, but not limited to, personal injury, death, harassment, or intimidation.

(4) Application evaluation. (i) NMFS shall review and evaluate each application submitted under paragraphs (h)(2) and (h)(3) of this section. Issuance of approval as an observer provider shall be based on completeness of the application, and a determination of the applicant's ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of a sea scallop fishery observer service provider as demonstrated in the application information. A decision to approve or deny an application shall be made by NMFS within 15 days of receipt of the application by NMFS.

(ii) If NMFS approves the application, the observer service provider's name will be added to the list of approved observer service providers found on NMFS website specified in paragraph (g)(4) of this section and in any outreach information to the industry. Approved observer service providers shall be notified in writing and provided with any information pertinent to its participation in the sea scallop fishery observer program.

(iii) An application shall be denied if NMFS determines that the information provided in the application is not complete or the evaluation criteria are not met. NMFS shall notify the applicant in writing of any deficiencies in the application or information submitted in support of the application. An applicant who receives a denial of his or her application may present additional information to rectify the deficiencies specified in the written denial, provided such information is submitted to NMFS within 30 days of the applicant's receipt of the denial notification from NMFS. In the absence of additional information, and after 30 days from an applicant's receipt of a denial, an observer provider is required to resubmit an application containing all of the information required under the application process specified in paragraph (h)(3) of this section to be re-considered for being added to the list of approved observer service providers.

(5) Responsibilities of observer service providers. (i) An observer service provider must provide observers certified by NMFS/NEFOP pursuant to paragraph (i) of this section for deployment in the sea scallop fishery when contacted and contracted by the owner, operator, or vessel manager of a vessel fishing in the scallop fishery unless the observer service provider rufuses to deploy an observer on a requesting vessel for any of the reasons specified at paragraph (viii) of this section.

(ii) An observer service provider must provide to each of its observers:

(A) All necessary transportation, including arrangements and logistics, of observers to the initial location of deployment, to all subsequent vessel assignments, and to any debriefing locations, if necessary;

(B) Lodging, per diem, and any other services necessary for observers assigned to a scallop vessel or to attend a NMFS/NEFOP Sea Scallop Observer Training class;

(C) The required observer equipment, in accordance with equipment requirements listed on NMFS website specified in paragraph (g)(4) of this section under the Sea Scallop Program, prior to any deployment and/or prior to NMFS observer certification training; and

(D) Individually assigned communication equipment, in working order, such as a cell phone or pager, for all necessary communication. An observer service provider may alternatively compensate observers for the use of the observer's personal cell phone or pager for communications made in support of, or necessary for, the observer's duties.

(iii) Observer deployment logistics. Each approved observer service provider must assign an available certified observer to a vessel upon request. Each approved observer service provider must provide for access by industry 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, to enable an owner, operator, or manager of a vessel to secure observer coverage when requested. The telephone system must be monitored a minimum of four times daily to ensure rapid response to industry requests. Observer service providers approved under paragraph (h) of this section are required to report observer deployments to NMFS daily for the purpose of determining whether the predetermined coverage levels are being achieved in the scallop fishery.

(iv) Observer deployment limitations. Unless alternative arrangements are approved by NMFS, an observer provider must not deploy any observer on the same vessel for two or more consecutive deployments, and not more than twice in any given month. A certified observer's first deployment shall be on a scallop closed area trip and the resulting data shall be immediately edited, and approved, by NMFS prior to any further deployments of that observer.

(v) Communications with observers. An observer service provider must have an employee responsible for observer activities on call 24 hours a day to handle emergencies involving observers or problems concerning observer logistics, whenever observers are at sea, stationed shoreside, in transit, or in port awaiting vessel assignment.

(vi) Observer training requirements. The following information must be submitted to NMFS to request a certified observer training class at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the proposed training class: Date of requested training; a list of observer candidates, with a minimum of eight individuals; observer candidate resumes; and a statement signed by the candidate, under penalty of perjury, that discloses the candidate's criminal convictions, if any. All observer trainees must complete a basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation/first aid course prior to the beginning of a NMFS/NEFOP Sea Scallop Observer Training class. NMFS may reject a candidate for training if the candidate does not meet the minimum qualification requirements as outlined by NMFS National Minimum Eligibility Standards for observers as described in paragraph (i)(1) of this section.

(vii) Reports—(A) Observer deployment reports. The observer service provider must report to NMFS when, where, to whom, and to what fishery (open or closed area) an observer has been deployed, within 24 hours of their departure. The observer service provider must ensure that the observer reports back to NMFS its Observer Contract (OBSCON) data, as described in the certified observer training, within 12 hours of landing. OBSCON data are to be submitted electronically or by other means as specified by NMFS. The observer service provider shall provide the raw (unedited) data collected by the observer to NMFS within 72 hours of the trip landing.

(B) Safety refusals. The observer service provider must report to NMFS any trip that has been refused due to safety issues, e.g., failure to hold a valid USCG Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Examination Decal or to meet the safety requirements of the observer's pre-trip vessel safety checklist, within 24 hours of the refusal.

(C) Biological samples. The observer service provider must ensure that biological samples, including whole marine mammals, turtles and sea birds, are stored/handled properly and transported to NMFS within 7 days of landing.

(D) Observer debriefing. The observer service provider must ensure that the observer remains available to NMFS, including NMFS Office for Law Enforcement, for debriefing for at least two weeks following any observed trip. An observer that is at sea during the 2–week period must contact NMFS upon his or her return, if requested by NMFS.

(E) Observer availability report. The observer service provider must report to NMFS any occurrence of inability to respond to an industry request for observer coverage due to the lack of available observers on staff by 5 pm, Eastern Standard Time, of any day on which the provider is unable to respond to an industry request for observer coverage.

(F) Other reports. The observer provider must report possible observer harassment, discrimination, concerns about vessel safety or marine casualty, observer illness or injury, and any information, allegations, or reports regarding observer conflict of interest or breach of the standards of behavior must be submitted to NMFS within 24 hours of the event or within 24 of learning of the event.

(viii) Refusal to deploy an observer.—(A) An observer service provider may refuse to deploy an observer on a requesting scallop vessel if the observer service provider does not have an available observer within 72 hours of receiving a request for an observer from a vessel.

(B) An observer service provider may refuse to deploy an observer on a requesting scallop vessel if the observer service provider has determined that the requesting vessel is inadequate or unsafe pursuant to the reasons described at §600.746.

(C) The observer service provider may refuse to deploy an observer on a scallop vessel that is otherwise eligible to carry an observer for any other reason including failure to pay for pervious observer deployments, provided the observer service provider has received prior written confirmation from NMFS authorizing such refusal.

(6) Limitations on conflict of interest. An observer service provider:

(i) Must not have a direct or indirect interest in a fishery managed under Federal regulations, including, but not limited to, a fishing vessel, fish dealer, fishery advocacy group, and/or fishery research;

(ii) Must assign observers without regard to any preference by representatives of vessels other than when an observer will be deployed; and

(iii) Must not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gratuity, gift, favor, entertainment, loan, or anything of monetary value from anyone who conducts fishing or fishing related activities that are regulated by NMFS, or who has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the official duties of observer providers.

(7) Removal of observer service provider from the list of approved observer service providers. An observer provider that fails to meet the requirements, conditions, and responsibilities specified in paragraphs (h)(5) and (h)(6) of this section shall be notified by NMFS, in writing, that it is subject to removal from the list of approved observer service providers. Such notification shall specify the reasons for the pending removal. An observer service provider that has received notification that it is subject to removal from the list of approved observer service providers may submit information to rebut the reasons for removal from the list. Such rebuttal must be submitted within 30 days of notification received by the observer service provider that the observer service provider is subject to removal and must be accompanied by written evidence that clearly disproves the reasons for removal. NMFS shall review information rebutting the pending removal and shall notify the observer service provider within 15 days of receipt of the rebuttal whether or not the removal is warranted. If no response to a pending removal is received by NMFS, the observer service provider shall be automatically removed from the list of approved observer service providers. The decision to remove the observer service provider from the list, either after reviewing a rebuttal, or if no rebuttal is submitted, shall be the final decision of NMFS and the Department of Commerce. Removal from the list of approved observer service providers does not necessarily prevent such observer service provider from obtaining an approval in the future if a new application is submitted that demonstrates that the reasons for removal are remedied. Certified observers under contract with an observer service provider that has been removed from the list of approved service providers must complete their assigned duties for any scallop trips on which the observers are deployed at the time the observer service provider is removed from the list of approved observer service providers. An observer service provider removed from the list of approved observer service providers is responsible for providing NMFS with the information required in paragraph (h)(5)(vii) of this section following completion of the trip. NMFS may consider, but is not limited to, the following in determining if an observer service provider may remain on the list of approved observer service providers:

(i) Failure to meet the requirements, conditions, and responsibilities of observer service providers specified in paragraphs (h)(5) and (h)(6) of this section;

(ii) Evidence of conflict of interest as defined under paragraph (h)(3) of this section;

(iii) Evidence of criminal convictions related to:

(A) Embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements or receiving stolen property; or

(B) The commission of any other crimes of dishonesty, as defined by state law or Federal law that would seriously and directly affect the fitness of an applicant in providing observer services under this section;

(iv) Unsatisfactory performance ratings on any Federal contracts held by the applicant; and

(v) Evidence of any history of decertification as either an observer or observer provider.

(i) Observer certification. (1) To be certified, employees or sub-contractors operating as observers for observer service providers approved under paragraph (h) of this section must meet NMFS National Minimum Eligibility Standards for observers. NMFS National Minimum Eligibility Standards are available at the National Observer Program website: http://www.st.nmfs.gov/st4/nop/.

(2) Observer training. In order to be deployed on any scallop vessel, a candidate observer must have passed a NMFS/NEFOP Sea Scallop Fisheries Observer Training course. If a candidate fails training, the candidate shall be notified in writing on or before the last day of training. The notification will indicate the reasons the candidate failed the training. Observer training shall include an observer training trip, paid for as part of the observer's training, aboard a scallop vessel with a trainer. A certified observer's first deployment shall be on a scallop closed area trip and the resulting data shall be immediately edited, and approved, by NMFS prior to any further deployments of that observer.

(3) Observer requirements. All observers must:

(i) Have a valid NMFS/NEFOP fisheries observer certification pursuant to paragraph (i)(1) of this section;

(ii) Be physically and mentally capable of carrying out the responsibilities of an observer on board scallop vessels, pursuant to standards established by NMFS. Such standards are available from NMFS website specified in paragraph (g)(4) of this section and shall be provided to each approved observer service provider; and

(iii) Have successfully completed all NMFS-required training and briefings for observers before deployment, pursuant to paragraph (i)(2) of this section.

(4) Probation and decertification. NMFS has the authority to review observer certifications and issue observer certification probation and/or decertification as described in NMFS policy found on the website at: http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/femad/fsb/.

(5) Issuance of decertification. Upon determination that decertification is warranted under paragraph (i)(3) of this section, NMFS shall issue a written decision to decertify the observer to the observer and approved observer service providers via certified mail at the observer's most current address provided to NMFS. The decision shall identify whether a certification is revoked and shall identify the specific reasons for the action taken. Decertification is effective immediately as of the date of issuance, unless the decertification official notes a compelling reason for maintaining certification for a specified period and under specified conditions. Decertification is the final decision of NMFS and the Department of Commerce and may not be appealed.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 43425, Aug. 23, 1996; 61 FR 58465, Nov. 15, 1996; 65 FR 1569, Jan. 11, 2000; 65 FR 45852, July 26, 2000; 65 FR 77466, Dec. 11, 2000; 66 FR 49144, Sept. 26, 2001; 68 FR 49700, Aug. 19, 2003; 71 FR 33225, June 8, 2006]

Effective Date Note:  At 71 FR 34844, June 16, 2006, §648.11 was amended by suspending paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2), and adding paragraphs (a)(3), (g), (h), and (i), effective June 16, 2006 through Dec. 13, 2006.

§ 648.12   Experimental fishing.
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The Regional Administrator may exempt any person or vessel from the requirements of subparts A (General provisions), B (Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish), D (Atlantic sea scallop), E (Atlantic surf clam and ocean quahog), F (NE multispecies and monkfish), G (summer flounder), H (scup), I (black sea bass), J (Atlantic bluefish), K (Atlantic herring), L (spiny dogfish), M (Atlantic deep-sea red crab), N (tilefish), and O (skates) of this part for the conduct of experimental fishing beneficial to the management of the resources or fishery managed under that subpart. The Regional Administrator shall consult with the Executive Director of the MAFMC regarding such exemptions for the Atlantic mackerel, squid, butterfish, summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, spiny dogfish, bluefish, and tilefish fisheries.

(a) The Regional Administrator may not grant such an exemption unless he/she determines that the purpose, design, and administration of the exemption is consistent with the management objectives of the respective FMP, the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, and that granting the exemption will not:

(1) Have a detrimental effect on the respective resources and fishery;

(2) Cause any quota to be exceeded; or

(3) Create significant enforcement problems.

(b) Each vessel participating in any exempted experimental fishing activity is subject to all provisions of the respective FMP, except those necessarily relating to the purpose and nature of the exemption. The exemption will be specified in a letter issued by the Regional Administrator to each vessel participating in the exempted activity. This letter must be carried on board the vessel seeking the benefit of such exemption.

(c) Experimental fishing for surf clams or ocean quahogs will not require an allocation permit.

[61 FR 58466, Nov. 15, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 37156, July 11, 1997; 65 FR 45852, July 26, 2000; 65 FR 77466, Dec. 11, 2000; 66 FR 49144, Sept. 26, 2001; 68 FR 49700, Aug. 19, 2003]

§ 648.13   Transfers at sea.
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(a) Only vessels issued a Loligo and butterfish moratorium or Illex moratorium permit under §648.4(a)(5) and vessels issued a mackerel or squid/butterfish incidental catch permit and authorized in writing by the Regional Administrator to do so, may transfer or attempt to transfer Loligo, Illex, or butterfish from one vessel to another vessel.

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, vessels issued a multispecies permit under §648.4(a)(1) or a scallop permit under §648.4(a)(2) are prohibited from transferring or attempting to transfer any fish from one vessel to another vessel, except that vessels issued a Federal multispecies permit under §648.4(a)(1) and specifically authorized in writing by the Regional Administrator to do so, may transfer species other than regulated species from one vessel to another vessel.

(2) Vessels issued a Federal multispecies permit under §648.4(a)(1) may transfer from one vessel to another, for use as bait, up to 500 lb (226.8 kg) of silver hake and unlimited amounts of red hake, per trip, provided:

(i) The transferring vessel possesses a Federal multispecies permit as specified under §648.4(a)(1);

(ii) The transferring vessel has a letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator on board; and

(iii) The receiving vessel possesses a written receipt for any small-mesh multispecies purchased at sea.

(c) All persons are prohibited from transferring or attempting to transfer NE multispecies or scallops from one vessel to another vessel, except in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section.

(d) All persons are prohibited from transferring or attempting to transfer at sea summer flounder from one vessel to another vessel.

(e) Vessels issued a letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator to transfer small-mesh multispecies at sea for use as bait will automatically have 500 lb (226.8 kg) deducted from the vessel's combined silver hake and offshore hake possession limit, as specified under §648.86(c), for every trip during the participation period specified on the letter of authorization, regardless of whether a transfer of small-mesh multispecies at sea occurred or whether the actual amount that was transferred was less than 500 lb (226.8 kg). This deduction shall be noted on the transferring vessel's letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator.

(f) Atlantic herring. Except for a person who purchases and/or receives Atlantic herring at sea for his own personal use as bait and who does not have purse seine, mid-water trawl, pelagic gillnet, sink gillnet, or bottom trawl gear on board, any person or vessel is prohibited from transferring, receiving, or attempting to transfer or receive any Atlantic herring taken from the EEZ, and any vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit is prohibited from transferring, receiving, or attempting to transfer or receive, Atlantic herring, unless the person or vessel complies with the following:

(1) The transferring and receiving vessels have been issued valid Atlantic herring permits and/or other applicable authorization, such as a letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator, to transfer or receive herring.

(2) The vessel does not transfer to a U.S. vessel, and a U.S. vessel does not receive, > 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring per day in or from a management area closed to directed fishing for Atlantic herring.

(3) The vessel does not transfer herring in or from an area closed to directed fishing for Atlantic herring to an IWP or Joint Venture vessel.

(4) The vessel does not transfer Atlantic herring to a Canadian transshipment vessel that is permitted in accordance with Pub. L. 104-297 after the amount of herring transshipped equals the amount of the BT specified pursuant to §648.200.

(g) All persons are prohibited from transferring at sea, either directly or indirectly, or attempting to transfer at sea to any vessel, any red crab or red crab parts, taken in or from the EEZ portion of the Red Crab Management Unit.

(h) Skates. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (h)(2) of this section, all persons or vessels issued a Federal skate permit are prohibited from transferring, or attempting to transfer, at sea any skates to any vessel, and all persons or vessels are prohibited from transferring, or attempting to transfer, at sea to any vessel any skates while in the EEZ, or skates taken in or from the EEZ portion of the Skate Management Unit.

(2) Vessels and vessel owners or operators issued Federal skate permits under §648.4(a)(14) may transfer at sea skates taken in or from the EEZ portion of the Skate Management Unit provided:

(i) The transferring vessel possesses on board a letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator as specified under §648.322(b);

(ii) The vessel and vessel owner or operator comply with the requirements specified at §648.322(b);

(iii) The transferring vessel maintains a record of the quantity of skates transferred according to the requirements at §648.7; and

(iv) The transferring vessel provides the receiving vessel documentation showing the date and the amount of skates transferred, whether or not a monetary exchange is involved in the transfer, and the transferring vessel maintains onboard, for a minimum of 1 year from the date of the transfer, a copy of said documentation.

(i) Scup. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (i)(2) of this section, all persons or vessels issued a Federal scup permit are prohibited from transferring, or attempting to transfer, at sea any scup to any vessel, and all persons or vessels are prohibited from transferring, or attempting to transfer, at sea to any vessel any scup while in the EEZ, or any scup taken in or from the EEZ portion of the Scup Management Unit.

(2) The owner or operator of a vessel issued a Federal scup permit under §648.4(a)(6)(i)(A) may transfer at sea scup taken in or from the EEZ portion of the Scup Management Unit, provided:

(i) The transfer occurs between two vessels with Federal scup permits;

(ii) The transfer occurs seaward of a boundary line that begins at 40°50' N. lat., 70°00' W. long., and runs south to connect points at 40°15' N. lat., 73°30' W. long.; 37°50' N. lat., 75°00' W. long.; and 35°30' N. lat., 75°00' W. long.;

(iii) The donating and receiving vessels possess gear that meets the requirements at §648.123(a)(2), (3), and (4) for commercial scup fishing gear;

(iv) The transfer occurs in the Winter I or Winter II periods of the scup fishing year;

(v) There is only one transfer per fishing trip for the donor vessel;

(vi) The donor vessel removes only enough scup from the net to attain the scup possession limit;

(vii) After removal of scup from the net by the donor vessel, the entire codend, with all its contents, is transferred to the receiving vessel;

(viii) Only scup in an amount not to exceed the possession limit are retained by the receiving vessel;

(ix) While fishing for scup, all other nets are stored in accordance with §648.23(b)(1); and

(x) The donating and receiving vessels report the transfer amount on the vessel trip report for each vessel.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 28642, May 27, 1997; 62 FR 63875, Dec. 3, 1997; 65 FR 16774, Mar. 29, 2000; 65 FR 77466, Dec. 11, 2000; 67 FR 63232, Oct. 10, 2002; 68 FR 22336, Apr. 28, 2003; 68 FR 49700, Aug. 19, 2003; 69 FR 16178, Mar. 29, 2004]

§ 648.14   Prohibitions.
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(a) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter, it is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(1) Fail to report to the Regional Administrator within 15 days any change in the information contained in an applicable vessel, operator, or dealer/processor permit application.

(2) Falsify or fail to affix and maintain vessel markings as required by §648.8.

(3) Make any false statement in connection with an application, declaration, or report under this part.

(4) Fail to comply in an accurate and timely fashion with the log report, reporting, record retention, inspection, and other requirements of §648.7, or submit or maintain false information in records and reports required to be kept or filed under §648.7.

(5) Alter, erase, or mutilate any permit issued under this part.

(6) Alter, erase, mutilate, duplicate or cause to be duplicated, or steal any cage tag issued under this part.

(7) Tamper with, damage, destroy, alter, or in any way distort, render useless, inoperative, ineffective, or inaccurate the VMS, VMS unit, or VMS signal required to be installed on or transmitted by vessel owners or operators required to use a VMS by this part.

(8) Assault, resist, oppose, impede, harass, intimidate, or interfere with or bar by command, impediment, threat, or coercion any NMFS-approved observer or sea sampler aboard a vessel conducting his or her duties aboard a vessel, or any authorized officer conducting any search, inspection, investigation, or seizure in connection with enforcement of this part, or any official designee of the Regional Administrator conducting his or her duties, including those duties authorized in §648.7(g).

(9) Refuse to carry an observer or sea sampler if requested to do so by the Regional Administrator.

(10) To refuse reasonable assistance to either a NMFS-approved observer or sea sampler conducting his or her duties aboard a vessel.

(11) Fish for surf clams or ocean quahogs in any area closed to surf clam or ocean quahog fishing.

(12) Fish for, take, catch, harvest or land any species of fish regulated by this part in or from the EEZ, unless the vessel has a valid and appropriate permit issued under this part and the permit is on board the vessel and has not been surrendered, revoked, or suspended.

(13) Purchase, possess or receive for a commercial purpose, or attempt to purchase possess or receive for a commercial purpose, any species regulated under this part unless in possession of a valid dealer permit issued under this part, except that this prohibition does not apply to species that are purchased or received from a vessel not issued a permit under this part that fished exclusively in state waters, or unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(14) Produce, or cause to be produced, cage tags required under this part without written authorization from the Regional Administrator.

(15) Tag a cage with a tag that has been rendered null and void or with a tag that has been previously used.

(16) Tag a cage of surf clams with an ocean quahog cage tag or tag a cage of ocean quahogs with a surf clam cage tag.

(17) Possess, import, export, transfer, land, have custody or control of any species of fish regulated pursuant to this part that do not meet the minimum size provisions in this part, unless such species were harvested exclusively within state waters by a vessel not issued a permit under this part or whose permit has been surrendered in accordance with applicable regulations.

(18) Possess an empty cage to which a cage tag required by §648.75 is affixed or possess any cage that does not contain surf clams or ocean quahogs and to which a cage tag required by §648.75 is affixed.

(19) Land or possess, after offloading, any cage holding surf clams or ocean quahogs without a cage tag or tags required by §648.75, unless the person can demonstrate the inapplicability of the presumptions set forth in §648.75(h).

(20) Sell null and void tags.

(21) Shuck surf clams or ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ at sea, unless permitted by the Regional Administrator under the terms of §648.74.

(22) Receive for a commercial purpose other than transport, surf clams or ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ, whether or not they are landed under an allocation under §648.70, unless issued a dealer/processor permit under this part.

(23) Land unshucked surf clams or ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ outside the Maine mahogany quahog zone in containers other than cages from vessels capable of carrying cages.

(24) Land unshucked surf clams and ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ within the Maine mahogany quahog zone in containers other than cages from vessels capable of carrying cages unless, with respect to ocean quahogs, the vessel has been issued a Maine mahogany quahog permit under this part and is not fishing for an individual allocation of quahogs under §648.70.

(25) Fail to comply with any of the notification requirements specified in §648.15(b).

(26) Fish for, retain, or land both surf clams and ocean quahogs in or from the EEZ on the same trip.

(27) Fish for, retain, or land ocean quahogs in or from the EEZ on a trip designated as a surf clam fishing trip under §648.15(b), or fish for, retain, or land surf clams in or from the EEZ on a trip designated as an ocean quahog fishing trip under §648.15(b).

(28) Fail to offload any surf clams or ocean quahogs harvested in the EEZ from a trip discontinued pursuant to §648.15(b) prior to commencing fishing operations in waters under the jurisdiction of any state.

(29) Land or possess any surf clams or ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ in excess of, or without, an individual allocation.

(30) Transfer any surf clams or ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ to any person for a commercial purpose, other than transport, without a surf clam or ocean quahog processor or dealer permit.

(31) Fish for, possess, or land NE multispecies, unless:

(i) The NE multispecies are being fished for or were harvested in or from the EEZ by a vessel holding a valid multispecies permit under this part, or a letter under §648.4(a)(1), and the operator on board such vessel has been issued an operator's permit and has a valid permit on board the vessel;

(ii) The NE multispecies were harvested by a vessel not issued a multispecies permit that fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters;

(iii) The NE multispecies were harvested in or from the EEZ by a recreational fishing vessel; or

(iv) Unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(32) Land, offload, remove, or otherwise transfer, or attempt to land, offload, remove or otherwise transfer multispecies from one vessel to another vessel, unless both vessels have not been issued multispecies permits and both fish exclusively in state waters, or unless authorized in writing by the Regional Administrator.

(33) Sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer; or attempt to sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer for a commercial purpose any NE multispecies from a trip, unless the vessel is holding a multispecies permit, or a letter under §648.4(a)(1), and is not fishing under the charter/party vessel restrictions specified in §648.89, or unless the NE multispecies were harvested by a vessel without a multispecies permit that fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters, or unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(34) Operate or act as an operator of a vessel fishing for or possessing NE multispecies in or from the EEZ, or holding a multispecies permit without having been issued and possessing a valid operator's permit.

(35) Fish with, use, or have on board, within the areas described in §648.80(a)(1) and (2), nets with mesh size smaller than the minimum mesh size specified in §648.80(a)(3) and (4), except as provided in §648.80(a)(5) through (8), (a)(9), (a)(10), (a)(15), (d), (e), and (i), unless the vessel has not been issued a NE multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters, or unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(36) Fish with, use, or have available for immediate use within the area described in §648.80(b)(1), nets of mesh size smaller than the minimum size specified in §648.80(b)(2), except as provided in §648.80(b)(3), (b)(9), (d), (e), and (i), or unless the vessel has not been issued a multispecies permit and fishes for multispecies exclusively in state waters, or unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(37) Fish with, use, or have available for immediate use within the area described in §648.80(c)(1), nets of mesh size smaller that the minimum mesh size specified in §648.80(c)(2), except as provided in §648.80(c)(3), (d), (e), and (i), or unless the vessel has not been issued a multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters, or unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(38) Enter or be in the area described in §648.81(a)(1) on a fishing vessel, except as provided in §648.81(a)(2) and (d).

(39) Enter or be in the area described in §648.81(b)(1) on a fishing vessel, except as provided in §648.81(b)(2) and (b)(2)(i).

(40) Enter or be in the area described in §648.81(c)(1) on a fishing vessel, except as allowed under §648.81(c)(2) and (i).

(41) Fail to comply with the gear-marking requirements of §648.84.

(42) Fish within the areas described in §648.80(a)(6) with nets of mesh smaller than the minimum size specified in §648.80(a)(3) or (4).

(43) Violate any of the provisions of §648.80, including paragraphs (a)(5), the small-mesh northern shrimp fishery exemption area; (a)(6), the Cultivator Shoal whiting fishery exemption area; (a)(9), Small-mesh Area 1/Small-mesh Area 2; (a)(10), the Nantucket Shoals dogfish fishery exemption area; (a)(12), the Nantucket Shoals mussel and sea urchin dredge exemption area; (a)(13), the GOM/GB monkfish gillnet exemption area; (a)(14), the GOM/GB dogfish gillnet exemption area; (a)(15), the Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery; (b)(3), exemptions (small mesh); (b)(5), the SNE monkfish and skate trawl exemption area; (b)(6), the SNE monkfish and skate gillnet exemption area; (b)(8), the SNE mussel and sea urchin dredge exemption area; (b)(9), the SNE little tunny gillnet exemption area; and (b)(11), the SNE Scallop Dredge Exemption Area. Each violation of any provision in §648.80 constitutes a separate violation.

(44) Fish for, land, or possess NE multispecies harvested by means of pair trawling or with pair trawl gear, except under the provisions of §648.80(d), or unless the vessels that engaged in pair trawling have not been issued multispecies permits and fish for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(45) Fish for, harvest, possess, or land in or from the EEZ northern shrimp, unless such shrimp were fished for or harvested by a vessel meeting the requirements specified in §648.80(a)(5).

(46) Violate any terms of a letter authorizing experimental fishing pursuant to §648.12 or fail to keep such letter on board the vessel during the period of the experiment.

(47) Fish for the species specified in §648.80(d) or (e) with a net of mesh size smaller than the applicable mesh size specified in §648.80(a)(3) or (4), (b)(2), or (c)(2), or possess or land such species, unless the vessel is in compliance with the requirements specified in §648.80(d) or (e), or unless the vessel has not been issued a NE multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters, or unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(48) Violate any provision of the open access permit restrictions as provided in §648.88.

(49) Violate any of the possession or landing restrictions on fishing with scallop dredge gear specified in §§648.80(h) and 648.94.

(50) Violate any provision of the state waters winter flounder exemption program as provided in §648.80(i).

(51) Obstruct or constrict a net as described in §648.80(g) (1) or (2).

(52) Enter, be on a fishing vessel in, or fail to remove gear from the EEZ portion of the areas described in §648.81(d)(1) through (g)(1), except as provided in §648.81(d)(2), (e)(2), (f)(2), (g)(2), and (i).

(53) Possess, land, or fish for regulated species, except winter flounder as provided for in accordance with §648.80(i) and from or within the areas described in §648.80(i), while in possession of scallop dredge gear on a vessel not fishing under the scallop DAS program as described in §648.53, or fishing under a general scallop permit, unless the vessel and the dredge gear conform with the stowage requirements of §648.51 (a)(2)(ii) and (e)(2), or unless the vessel has not been issued a multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(54) Possess or land fish caught with nets of mesh smaller than the minimum size specified in §648.51, or with scallop dredge gear on a vessel not fishing under the scallop DAS program described in §648.54 of this chapter, or fishing under a general scallop permit, unless said fish are caught, possessed or landed in accordance with §§648.80 and 648.86, or unless the vessel has not been issued a multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(55) Purchase, possess, or receive as a dealer, or in the capacity of a dealer, regulated species in excess of the possession limits specified in §648.85 or §648.86 applicable to a vessel issued a NE multispecies permit, unless otherwise specified in §648.17, or unless the regulated species are purchased or received from a member of an approved Sector as specified at §648.87 that is exempt from such possession limits in accordance with an approved Sector Operations Plan.

(56) Fish for, possess, or land per trip, scallops in excess of 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked, or 5 bu (176.2 L) of in-shell scallops unless:

(i) The scallops were fished for and harvested by a vessel that has been issued and carries on board a VMS general scallop or limited access scallop permit;

(ii) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has not been issued a scallop permit and fishes for scallops exclusively in state waters.

(iii) The scallops were fished for and harvested by a vessel issued a VMS general scallop permit with an operator on board who has been issued an operator's permit and the permit is on board the vessel and is valid.

(57) Fish for or land per trip, or possess at any time prior to a transfer to another person for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport, in excess of 400 lb (181.4 kg) shucked, or 50 bu (17.6 hl) in-shell scallops, unless:

(i) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has been issued and carries on board a limited access scallop permit and is fishing under scallop DAS; or

(ii) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has not been issued a scallop permit and fishes for scallops exclusively in state waters.

(iii) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has been issued and carries on board a limited access or General Category scallop permit and the vessel is fishing under the provisions of the state waters exemption program specified in §648.54.

(58) [Reserved]

(59) Have a shucking or sorting machine on board a vessel that shucks scallops at sea, while in possession of more than 400 lb (181.44 kg) of shucked scallops, unless that vessel has not been issued a scallop permit and fishes exclusively in state waters.

(60) Land, offload, remove, or otherwise transfer, or attempt to land, offload, remove or otherwise transfer, scallops from one vessel to another, unless that vessel has not been issued a scallop permit and fishes exclusively in state waters.

(61) Sell, barter or trade, or otherwise transfer, or attempt to sell, barter or trade, or otherwise transfer, for a commercial purpose, any scallops from a trip whose catch is 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked scallops or less, or 5 bu (176.1 L) of in-shell scallops, unless the vessel has been issued a valid general or limited access scallop permit, or the scallops were harvested by a vessel that has not been issued a scallop permit and fishes for scallops exclusively in state waters.

(62) Purchase, possess, or receive for a commercial purpose, or attempt to purchase, possess, or receive for a commercial purpose, in the capacity of a dealer, scallops taken from a fishing vessel that were harvested in or from the EEZ, unless issued, and in possession of, a valid scallop dealer's permit.

(63) Purchase, possess, or receive for commercial purposes, or attempt to purchase or receive for commercial purposes, scallops caught by a vessel other than one issued a valid limited access or general scallop permit unless the scallops were harvested by a vessel that has not been issued a scallop permit and fishes for scallops exclusively in state waters.

(64) Operate or act as an operator of a vessel fishing for or possessing any species of fish regulated by this part in or from the EEZ, or issued a permit pursuant to this part, without having been issued and possessing a valid operator's permit.

(65) Possess in or harvest from the EEZ summer flounder, either in excess of the possession limit specified in §648.105, or before or after the time period specified in §648.102, unless the vessel was issued a summer flounder moratorium permit and the moratorium permit is on board the vessel and has not been surrendered, revoked, or suspended.

(66) Possess nets or netting with mesh not meeting the minimum mesh requirement of §648.104 if the person possesses summer flounder harvested in or from the EEZ in excess of the threshold limit of §648.105(a).

(67) Purchase or otherwise receive, except for transport, summer flounder from the owner or operator of a vessel issued a summer flounder moratorium permit, unless in possession of a valid summer flounder dealer permit.

(68) Purchase or otherwise receive for commercial purposes summer flounder caught by other than a vessel with a summer flounder moratorium permit not subject to the possession limit of §648.105.

(69) Purchase or otherwise receive for a commercial purpose summer flounder landed in a state after the effective date published in the Federal Register notifying permit holders that commercial quota is no longer available in that state.

(70) Fail to comply with any sea turtle conservation measure specified in §648.106, including any sea turtle conservation measure implemented by notification in the Federal Register in accordance with §648.106(d).

(71) Use any vessel of the United States for taking, catching, harvesting, fishing for, or landing any Atlantic salmon taken from or in the EEZ.

(72) Transfer, directly or indirectly, or attempt to transfer to any vessel any Atlantic salmon taken in or from the EEZ.

(73) Take, retain, possess, or land more mackerel, squid or butterfish than specified under a notification issued under §648.22.

(74) [Reserved]

(75) Transfer Loligo, Illex, or butterfish within the EEZ, unless the vessels participating in the transfer have been issued a valid Loligo and butterfish or Illex moratorium permit and are transferring the species for which the vessels are permitted or have a valid squid/butterfish incidental catch permit and a letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator.

(76) Purchase, possess or receive for a commercial purpose, or attempt to purchase, possess, or receive for a commercial purpose, in the capacity of a dealer, except for transport on land, mackerel, squid, and butterfish taken from a fishing vessel unless issued, and in possession of a valid mackerel, squid, and butterfish fishery dealer permit.

(77) Purchase or otherwise receive for a commercial purpose, mackerel, squid, and butterfish caught by other than a vessel issued a mackerel, squid, and butterfish permit, unless the vessel has not been issued a permit under this part and fishes exclusively within the waters under the jurisdiction of any state.

(78) [Reserved]

(79) Violate any other provision of this part, the Magnuson Act, or any regulation, notice, or permit issued under the Magnuson Act.

(80) Possess scup in or harvested from the EEZ north of 35°15.3' N. lat. in an area closed, or before or after a season established pursuant to §648.122, or in excess of the possession limit established pursuant to §648.125.

(81) To purchase or otherwise receive for a commercial purpose scup harvested from the EEZ north of 35°15.3' N. lat., or from a vessel issued a scup moratorium permit after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial quota has been harvested.

(82) Land scup harvested in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3' N. lat. after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial quota has been harvested.

(83) Possess scup harvested in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3' N. lat. that do not meet the minimum fish size specified in §648.124.

(84) Fish for, catch, possess, or retain scup in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3' N. lat. in excess of the amount specified in §648.123 (500 lb (226.8 kg) or more from November 1– April 30, or 100 lb (45.4 kg) or more from May 1–October 31), unless the vessel meets the gear restrictions in §648.123.

(85) Fish for, catch, or retain scup in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3' N. lat. for sale, barter, or trade, after January 1, 1997, unless the vessel has been issued a valid moratorium permit pursuant to §648.4(a)(6).

(86) Sell or transfer scup harvested in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3' N. lat. after January 1, 1997, unless the vessel has been issued a valid moratorium permit pursuant to §648.4(a)(6).

(87) Fish for, catch, or retain scup in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3' N. lat. on board a party or charter boat after January 1, 1997, unless the vessel has been issued a valid party or charter boat permit pursuant to §648.4(a)(6)(ii).

(88) Fish with or possess scup pots or traps in the EEZ north of 35°15.3' N. lat. that have a rectangular escape vent, any side of which is less than 2.25 inches (5.7 cm) in length.

(89) Fish for, catch, and retain, or land scup in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3' N. lat. in excess of the landing limit established pursuant to §648.120(b)(3) and (b)(4).

(90) Use, set, haul back, fish with, possess on board a vessel, unless stowed in accordance with §648.23(b), or fail to remove, sink gillnet gear and other gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies, with the exception of single pelagic gillnets (as described in §648.81(f)(2)(ii)), in the areas and for the times specified in §648.80(g)(6)(i) and (ii), except as provided in §§648.80(g)(6)(i) and (ii) and 648.81(f)(2)(ii), or unless otherwise authorized in writing by the Regional Administrator.

(91) Possess in or harvest from the EEZ from 35°15.3' N. lat., the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, northward to the U.S.-Canada border, black sea bass either in excess of the possession limit established pursuant to §648.145 or before or after the time period established pursuant to §648.142, unless the person is operating a vessel issued a moratorium permit under §648.4 and the moratorium permit is on board the vessel and has not been surrendered, revoked, or suspended;

(92) Fish for, catch, possess, land, or retain black sea bass in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3 N. lat. (the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, to the U.S.-Canadian border) in excess of the amount specified in §648.144(a)(1)(i) (i.e., 500 lb (226.8 kg) from January 1 through March 31, or 100 lb (45.4 kg) from April 1 through December 31), unless the vessel meets the gear restrictions of §648.144(a).

(93) Purchase or otherwise receive for commercial purposes black sea bass caught in the EEZ from 35°15.3' N. lat., the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, North Carolina, northward to the U.S.-Canada border, by other than a vessel with a moratorium permit not subject to the possession limit established pursuant to §648.145 unless the vessel has not been issued a permit under this part and is fishing exclusively within the waters under the jurisdiction of any state.

(94) Possess or use rollers used in roller rig or rock hopper trawl gear that do not meet the minimum size requirement of §648.144 if the person possesses black sea bass harvested in or from the EEZ from 35°15.3' N. lat., the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, northward to the U.S.-Canada border.

(95) Possess or use pot and trap gear not meeting the requirements of §648.144 if the person possesses black sea bass harvested in or from the EEZ from 35°15.3' N. lat., the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, northward to the U.S.-Canada border.

(96) Purchase or otherwise receive for commercial purposes black sea bass landed for sale by a moratorium vessel in any state, or part thereof, north of 35°15.3' N. lat., after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial annual quota has been harvested and the EEZ is closed to the harvest of black sea bass.

(97) Fail to comply with any of the provisions specified in §648.56.

(98) Fish, or be in the areas described in §648.81(j)(1), (k)(1), (l)(1), and (m)(1) on a fishing vessel with mobile gear during the time periods specified in §648.81(j)(2), (k)(2), (l)(2), and (m)(2), except as provided in §648.81(j)(2), (k)(2), (l)(2), and (m)(2).

(99) Fish, or be in the areas described in §648.81(j)(1), (k)(1), and (l)(1) on a fishing vessel with lobster pot gear during the time periods specified in §648.81(j)(2), (k)(2), and (l)(2).

(100) Deploy in or fail to remove lobster pot gear from the areas described in §648.81(j)(1), (k)(1), and (l)(1), during the time periods specified in §648.81(j)(2), (k)(2), and (l)(2).

(101) Enter, fail to remove gear from, or be in the areas described in §648.81(g)(1) through (i)(1) during the time period specified, except as provided in §648.81(d), (g)(2), (h)(2), and (i)(2).

(102) Enter or fish in the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, and Southern New England Regulated Mesh Areas, except as provided in §§648.80(a)(3)(vi) and (b)(2)(vi), and for purposes of transiting, provided that all gear (other than exempted gear) is stowed in accordance with §648.23(b).

(103) Sell, barter, trade, or transfer, or attempt to sell, barter, trade, or transfer, other than solely for transport, any Atlantic herring, multispecies, or monkfish, unless the dealer or transferee has a valid dealer permit issued under §648.6. A person who purchases and/or receives Atlantic herring at sea for his own personal use as bait, and does not have purse seine, mid-water trawl, pelagic gillnet, sink gillnet, or bottom trawl gear on board, is exempt from the requirement to possess an Atlantic herring dealer permit.

(104) Fish for, harvest, possess, or land regulated species in or from the closed areas specified in §648.81(a) through (f), unless otherwise specified in §648.81(c)(2)(iii), (f)(2)(i), (f)(2)(iii), or as authorized under §648.85.

(105) Offload unshucked surf clams or ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ outside the Maine mahogany quahog zone from vessels not capable of carrying cages, other than directly into cages.

(106) Offload unshucked surf clams harvested in or from the EEZ within the Maine mahogany quahog zone from vessels not capable of carrying cages, other than directly into cages.

(107) Offload unshucked ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ within the Maine mahogany quahog zone from vessels not capable of carrying cages, other than directly into cages, unless the vessel has been issued a Maine mahogany quahog permit under this part and is not fishing for an individual allocation of quahogs under §648.70.

(108) Purchase, receive for a commercial purpose other than transport to a testing facility, or process, or attempt to purchase, receive for commercial purpose other than transport to a testing facility, or process, outside Maine, ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ within the Maine mahogany quahog zone, except at a facility participating in an overall food safety program, operated by the official state agency having jurisdiction, that utilizes food safety-based procedures including sampling and analyzing for PSP toxin consistent with procedures used by the State of Maine for such purpose.

(109) Land or possess ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ within the Maine mahogany quahog zone after the effective date published in the Federal Register notifying participants that Maine mahogany quahog quota is no longer available, unless the vessel is fishing for an individual allocation of ocean quahogs under §648.70.

(110) Fish for sea scallops in, or possess or land sea scallops from, the areas specified in §§648.58 and 648.61.

(111) Transit or be in the areas described in §§648.58 and 648.61 in possession of scallops, except when all fishing gear is unavailable for immediate use as defined in §648.23(b), unless there is a compelling safety reason to be in such areas.

(112) Fish for, harvest, possess, or land in or from the EEZ, when fishing with trawl gear, any of the exempted species specified in §648.80(a)(9)(i), unless such species were fished for or harvested by a vessel meeting the requirements specified in §648.80(a)(5)(ii) or (a)(9)(ii).

(113) Land ocean quahogs outside Maine that are harvested in or from the EEZ within the Maine mahogany quahog zone, except at a facility participating in an overall food safety program, operated by the official state agency having jurisdiction, that utilizes food safety-based procedures including sampling and analyzing for PSP toxin consistent with procedures used by the State of Maine for such purpose.

(114) Fish for, possess, or land species regulated under this part with or from a vessel that is issued a limited access permit under §§648.4(a)(1)(i), 648.4(a)(2)(i), 648.4(a)(3)(i), 648.4(a)(4)(i), 648.4(a)(5)(i), 648.4(a)(6)(i), or §648.4(a)(7)(i), and that has had the horsepower of such vessel or its replacement upgraded or increased in excess of the limitations specified in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(E) and (F).

(115) Fish for, possess, or land species regulated under this part with or from a vessel issued a limited access permit under §§648.4(a)(1)(i), 648.4(a)(2)(i), 648.4(a)(3)(i), 648.4(a)(4)(i), 648.4(a)(5)(i), 648.4(a)(6)(i), or §648.4(a)(7)(i), that has had the length, GRT, or NT of such vessel or its replacement upgraded or increased in excess of the limitations specified in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(E) and (F).

(116) Fish for, harvest, possess, or land any species of fish in or from the GOM/GB Inshore Restricted Roller Gear Area described in §648.80(a)(3)(vii) with trawl gear where the diameter of any part of the trawl footrope, including discs, rollers or rockhoppers, is greater than 12 inches (30.5 cm).

(117) Fish for, land, or possess NE multispecies harvested with brush-sweep trawl gear unless the vessel has not been issued a multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(118) Possess brush-sweep trawl gear while in possession of NE multispecies, unless the vessel has not been issued a multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(119) Purchase or otherwise receive, except for transport, spiny dogfish from any person on board a vessel issued a spiny dogfish permit, unless the purchaser/receiver is in possession of a valid spiny dogfish dealer permit.

(120) Purchase or otherwise receive for a commercial purpose spiny dogfish landed by a federally permitted vessel in any state, from Maine to Florida, after the effective date of notification published in the Federal Register stating that the semi-annual quota has been harvested and the EEZ is closed to the harvest of spiny dogfish.

(121) Enter, be on a fishing vessel in, or fail to remove gear from, the EEZ portion of the areas described in §648.81(n) during the time periods specified, except as provided in §648.81(d) and (n)(2).

(122) Fish for, catch, possess, retain or land Loligo squid, silver hake, or black sea bass in or from the areas and during the time periods described in §648.122(a) or (b) while in possession of any trawl nets or netting that do not meet the minimum mesh restrictions or that are obstructed or constricted as specified in §§648.122 and 648.123(a), unless the nets or netting are stowed in accordance with §648.123(b).

(123) Fish for, land, or possess NE multispecies harvested with the use of de-hookers (“crucifiers”) with less than 6-inch (15.2-cm) spacing between the fairlead rollers unless the vessel has not been issued a multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(124) Possess or use de-hookers (“crucifiers”) with less than 6-inch (15.2-cm) spacing between the fairlead rollers while in possession of NE multispecies, unless the vessel has not been issued a multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(125) For vessels issued a limited access NE multispecies permit, or those issued a limited access NE multispecies permit and a limited access monkfish permit (Category C, D, F, G, or H), but are not fishing under the limited access monkfish Category A or B provisions as allowed under §648.92(b)(2), call into the DAS program prior to 1 hour before leaving port.

(126) Call in DAS in excess of that allocated, leased, or permanently transferred, in accordance with the restrictions and conditions of §648.82.

(127) [Reserved]

(128) Fish for, harvest, possess or land any regulated NE multispecies from the areas specified in §648.85(a)(1), unless in compliance with the restrictions and conditions specified in §648.85(a)(3).

(129) Enter or fish in the Western U.S./Canada Area or Eastern U.S./Canada Area specified in §648.85(a)(1), unless declared into the area in accordance with §648.85(a)(3)(ii).

(130) If declared into one of the areas specified in §648.85(a)(1), fish during that same trip outside of the declared area, unless in compliance with the restrictions specified under §648.85(a)(3)(ii)(B).

(131) If the vessel has been issued a limited access NE multispecies DAS permit, and is in the area specified in §648.85(a), fail to comply with the VMS requirements in §648.85(a)(3)(i).

(132) If fishing with trawl gear under a NE multispecies DAS in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area defined in §648.85(a)(1)(ii), fail to fish with a haddock separator trawl or a flounder trawl net, as specified in §648.85(a)(3)(iii).

(133) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Western U.S./Canada Area or Eastern U.S./Canada Area specified in §648.85(a)(1), exceed the trip limits specified in §648.85(a)(3)(iv), unless further restricted under §648.85(b).

(134) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, enter or fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area specified in §648.85(a)(1), if the area is closed under the authority of the Regional Administrator as described in §648.85(a)(3)(iv)(D) or (E), unless fishing in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP specified in §648.85(b)(3) or the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(8).

(135) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Western U.S./Canada Area or Eastern U.S./Canada Area specified in §648.85(a)(1), fail to report landings in accordance with §648.85(a)(3)(v).

(136) If fishing under the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP, fish for, harvest, possess or land any regulated NE multispecies from the area specified in §648.85(b)(3)(ii), unless in compliance with the restrictions and conditions specified in §§648.85(b)(3)(i) through (xi).

(137) Enter or fish in Closed Area II as specified in §648.81(b), unless declared into the area in accordance with §648.85(b)(3)(v).

(138) Enter or fish in Closed Area II under the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP outside of the season specified in §648.85(b)(3)(iii).

(139) If fishing in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP specified in §648.85(b)(3), exceed the number of trips specified under §648.85(b)(3)(vi) or (vii).

(140) If fishing in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP specified in §648.85(b)(3), exceed the trip limits specified in §648.85(b)(3)(viii).

(141) If declared into the areas specified in §648.85(b), enter or exit the declared areas more than once per trip.

(142) If the vessel has been issued a limited access NE multispecies DAS permit and is in the area specified in §648.85(b)(8)(ii), fail to comply with the VMS requirements in §648.85(b)(8)(v)(B).

(143) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(8), unless declared into the program in accordance with §648.85(b)(8)(v)(D).

(144) Enter or fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program outside of the season specified in §648.85(b)(8)(iv).

(145) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program, exceed the possession limits specified in §648.85(b)(8)(v)(H).

(146) If fishing under the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program, fish for, harvest, possess or land any regulated NE multispecies from the area specified in §648.85(b)(8)(ii), unless in compliance with the restrictions and conditions specified in §648.85(b)(8)(v)(A) through (G).

(147) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area specified in §648.85(a)(1), both outside and inside of the areas specified for a SAP under §648.85(b)(3) and (8), fail to abide by the DAS and possession restrictions under §648.85(b)(8)(v)(A)(2) through (4).

(148) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(8), in the area specified in §648.85(b)(8)(ii), during the season specified in §648.85(b)(8)(iv), fail to comply with the restrictions specified in §648.85(b)(8)(v).

(149) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area specified in §648.85(a)(1)(ii), and not in a SAP specified in §648.85(b) on the same trip, fail to comply with the requirements specified in §648.85(a)(3).

(150) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area specified in §648.85(a)(1)(ii), and in one of the SAPs specified in §648.85(b)(3) or (8), fail to comply with the no discard and DAS flip provisions specified in §648.85(b)(8)(v)(I) or the minimum Category A DAS requirement specified in §648.85(b)(8)(v)(J).

(151) If fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(8), fail to comply with the reporting requirements specified in §648.85(b)(8)(v)(G).

(152) If fishing under the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(8), fail to comply with the observer notification requirements specified in §648.85(b)(8)(v)(C).

(153) If fishing under the SNE/MA Winter Flounder SAP, described in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with the restrictions and conditions under §648.85(b)(6)(i) through (iv).

(154) If fishing under an approved Sector, as authorized under §648.87, fail to abide by the restrictions specified in §648.87(b)(1).

(155) If fishing under an approved Sector, as authorized under §648.87, fail to remain in the sector for the remainder of the fishing year as required under §648.87(b)(1).

(156) If fishing under the Georges Bank (GB) Cod Hook Sector, as authorized under §648.87, fish in the NE multispecies DAS program in a given fishing year, unless authorized by an approved Sector Operations Plan, or if fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, fish under the GB Cod Hook Sector in a given fishing year, unless as otherwise provided under §648.87(b)(1)(xii).

(157) If a vessel has agreed to participate in a Sector, fail to remain in the Sector for the entire fishing year, as required under §648.87(b)(1)(xi).

(158) If a vessel is removed from a Sector for violation of the Sector rules, fish under the NE Multispecies regulations for non-Sector vessels.

(159) If fishing under the GB Cod Hook Sector, fish with gear other than jigs, demersal longline, or handgear.

(160) Land or possess on board a vessel, more than the possession or landing limits specified in §648.88(a)(1), if fishing under an open access Handgear permit.

(161) Possess on board gear other than that specified under §648.88(a)(2)(i), or fish with hooks greater than the number specified under §648.88(a)(2)(iii), if fishing under an open access Handgear permit.

(162) Fish for, possess, or land regulated multispecies from March 1 to March 20, if issued an open access Handgear permit.

(163) Sell or transfer to another person for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport, any NE multispecies harvested from the EEZ by a vessel issued a Federal NE multispecies permit, unless the transferee has a valid NE multispecies dealer permit.

(164) Sell or transfer to another person for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport, any Atlantic sea scallops harvested from the EEZ by a vessel issued a Federal Atlantic sea scallop permit, unless the transferee has a valid Atlantic sea scallop dealer permit.

(165) If a vessel is fishing under a Category B DAS in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP specified in §648.85(b)(3), the Regular B DAS Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), or the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(8), remove any fish caught with any gear, including dumping the contents of a net, except on board the vessel.

(166) Sell, purchase, receive, trade, barter, or transfer haddock or other regulated multispecies, or attempt to sell, purchase, receive, trade, barter, or transfer haddock or other regulated multispecies (cod, witch flounder, plaice, yellowtail flounder, pollock, winter flounder, windowpane flounder, redfish, and white hake) for, or intended for, human consumption landed by a Category 1 herring vessel as defined in §648.2.

(167) Fail to comply with requirements for herring processors/dealers that handle individual fish to separate out and retain all haddock offloaded from a Category 1 herring vessel, and to retain such catch for at least 12 hr, with the vessel that landed the haddock clearly identified by name.

(168) Sell, purchase, receive, trade, barter, or transfer, or attempt to sell, purchase, receive, trade, barter, or transfer to another person any haddock or other regulated multispecies (cod, witch flounder, plaice, yellowtail flounder, pollock, winter flounder, windowpane flounder, redfish, and white hake) separated out from a herring catch offloaded from a Category 1 herring vessel as defined in §648.2.

(169) While operating an at-sea herring processor, fail to comply with requirements for herring processors/dealers that handle individual fish to separate out and retain all haddock offloaded from a Category 1 herring vessel, and to retain such catch for at least 12 hr after landing, with the vessel that offloaded the haddock clearly identified by name.

(170) Fish for, harvest, catch, possess or attempt to fish for, harvest, catch, or possess any bivalve shellfish, including Atlantic surfclams, ocean quahogs, and mussels with the exception of sea scallops harvested only for adductor muscles and shucked at sea, or a vessel issued and possessing on board a Letter of Authorization (LOA) from the Regional Administrator authorizing the collection of shellfish for biological sampling and operating under the terms and conditions of said LOA, in the are of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone bound by the following coordinates in the order stated: (1) 43° 00' N. lat., 71° 00' W. long.,; (2) 43° 00' N. lat., 69° 00' W. long.; (3) 41° 39' N. lat., 69° 00' W. long; (4) 41° 39' N. lat., 71° 00' W. long., and then ending at the first point.

(171) Fish for, harvest, catch, possess, or attempt to fish for, harvest, catch, or possess any sea scallops except for sea scallops harvested only for adductor muscles and shucked at sea, or a vessel issued and possessing on board a Letter of Authorization (LOA) from the Regional Administrator authorizing collection of shellfish for biological sampling and operating under the terms and conditions of said LOA, in the area of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone bound by the following coordinates in the order stated: (1) 41° 39' N. lat., 71° 00' W. long.; (2) 41° 39' N. lat., 69° 00' W. long.; (3) 40° 00' N. lat., 69° 00' W. long.; (4) 40° 00' N. lat., 71° 00' W. long., and then ending at the first point.

(172) If, upon the end of a fishing trip as specified under §648.10(b)(2)(iii) or (c)(3), fail to offload regulated species subject to a landing limit based on a DAS fished under §648.85 or §648.86, as required by §648.86(i).

(173) If, upon the end of a fishing trip as specified under §648.10(b)(2)(vi) or (c)(3), fail to offload regulated species subject to a landing limit based on a DAS fished under §648.85 or §648.86, as required by §648.86(i).

(174) Fail to comply with the reporting requirements under §648.85(a)(3)(viii)(A)(2) when fishing inside and outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on a trip.

(175) Fail to notify NMFS via VMS prior to departing the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, when fishing inside and outside of the area on the same trip, in accordance with §648.85(a)(3)(viii)(A)(1).

(176) When fishing inside and outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, fail to abide by the most restrictive regulations that apply as described in §648.85(a)(3)(viii)(A).

(177) If fishing inside the Eastern U.S./Canada Area and in possession of fish in excess of what is allowed under more restrictive regulations that apply outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, fish within the CC/GOM or SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder Areas on the same trip, as prohibited under §648.85(a)(3)(viii)(A).

(178) Discard legal-sized yellowtail flounder prior to declaring the intent to fish inside and outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, in accordance with §648.85(a)(3)(viii)(A).

(b) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, it is unlawful for any owner or operator of a vessel holding a valid multispecies permit, or any person issued an operator's permit or issued a letter under §648.4(a)(1)(i)(M)(3), to do any of the following:

(1) Land, or possess on board a vessel, more than the possession or landing limits specified in §648.86 (a), (b), (c), (d), (g), and (h), or to violate any of the other provisions of §648.86, unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(2) [Reserved]

(3) While fishing in the areas specified in §648.86(g)(1)(i) or (g)(2)(i), with a NE multispecies Handgear A permit, or under the NE multispecies DAS program, or under the limited access monkfish Category C or D permit provisions, possess yellowtail flounder in excess of the limits specified under §648.86(g)(1)(ii) or (g)(2)(ii), respectively, unless fishing under the recreational or charter/party regulations, or transiting in accordance with §648.23(b).

(4) If fishing in the areas specified in §648.86(g)(1)(i) or (g)(2)(i), with a NE multispecies Handgear A permit, or under the NE multispecies DAS program, or under the limited access monkfish Category C or D permit provisions, fail to comply with the requirements specified in §648.81(g)(1)(ii) or (g)(2)(ii), respectively.

(c) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, it is unlawful for any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid limited access multispecies permit or a letter under §648.4(a)(1)(i)(M)(3), unless otherwise specified in §648.17, to do any of the following:

(1) Fish for, possess at any time during a trip, or land per trip more than the possession limit of NE multispecies specified in §648.86(d) after using up the vessel's annual DAS allocation or when not participating in the DAS program pursuant to §648.82, unless otherwise exempted under §648.82(b)(5) or §648.89.

(2) For purposes of DAS notification, if required or electing to have a VMS unit under §648.10:

(i) Fail to have a certified, operational, and functioning VMS unit that meets the specifications of §648.9 on board the vessel at all times.

(ii) Fail to comply with the notification, replacement, or any other requirements regarding VMS usage as specified in §648.10(b).

(3) Combine, transfer, or consolidate DAS allocations, except as provided for under the DAS Leasing Program or the DAS Transfer Program, as specified under §648.82(k) and (l), respectively.

(4) Fish for, possess, or land NE multispecies with or from a vessel that has had the horsepower of such vessel or its replacement upgraded or increased in excess of the limitations specified in §648.4(a)(1)(i) (E) and (F).

(5) Fish for, possess, or land NE multispecies with or from a vessel that has had the length, GRT, or NT of such vessel or its replacement increased or upgraded in excess of limitations specified in §648.4(a)(1)(i) (E) and (F).

(6) Fail to comply with any provision of the DAS notification program as specified in §648.10.

(7) Possess or land per trip more than the possession or landing limits specified under §648.86(a), (b), (c), (d), (g), and (h), and under §648.82(b)(5) or (6), if the vessel has been issued a limited access NE multispecies permit.

(8) Fail to comply with the restrictions on fishing and gear specified in §648.80(a)(3)(v), (a)(4)(v), (b)(2)(v), and (c)(2)(iv) if the vessel has been issued a limited access NE multispecies permit and fishes with hook-gear in areas specified in §648.80(a), (b), or (c), unless allowed under §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(F).

(9) Fail to declare, and be, out of the NE multispecies DAS program as required by §648.82(g), using the procedure described under §648.82(h), as applicable.

(10) Enter, fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies from, or be in the areas, and for the times, described in §648.80(g)(6)(i) and (ii), except as provided in §§648.80(g)(6)(i) and 648.81(i).

(11) If the vessel has been issued a limited access NE multispecies permit and fishes under a NE multispecies DAS, fail to comply with gillnet requirements and restrictions specified in §648.82(j).

(12) If the vessel has been issued a limited access Day gillnet category designation, fail to comply with the restriction and requirements specified in §648.82(j)(1).

(13) If the vessel has been issued a limited access Trip gillnet category designation, fail to comply with the restrictions and requirements specified in §648.82(j)(2).

(14) If the vessel has been issued a limited access NE multispecies permit and fishes under a NE multispecies DAS with gillnet gear, fail to comply with gillnet tagging requirements specified in §§648.80(a)(3)(iv)(B)(4), (a)(3)(iv)(C), (a)(4)(iv)(B)(3), (b)(2)(iv)(B)(3), and (c)(2)(v)(B)(3), or fail to produce, or cause to be produced, gillnet tags when requested by an authorized officer.

(15) Produce, or cause to be produced, gillnet tags under §648.80(a)(3)(iv)(C), without the written confirmation from the Regional Administrator described in §648.80(a)(3)(iv)(C).

(16) Tag a gillnet or use a gillnet tag that has been reported lost, missing, destroyed, or issued to another vessel.

(17) Sell, transfer, or give away gillnet tags that have been reported lost, missing, destroyed, or issued to another vessel.

(18) [Reserved]

(19) Fail to comply with the exemption specifications as described in §648.86(b)(4).

(20) [Reserved]

(21) Fail to declare, and be, out of the non-exempt gillnet fishery as required by §648.82(j)(1)(ii), using the procedure specified in §648.82(h).

(22) Fail to comply with the exemption specifications as described in §648.17.

(23) [Reserved]

(24) Enter port, while on a NE multispecies DAS trip, in possession of more than the allowable limit of cod specified in §648.86(b)(1)(i), unless the vessel is fishing under the cod exemption specified in §648.86(b)(4).

(25) Fail to remain in port for the appropriate time specified in §648.86(b)(1)(ii)(A), except for transiting purposes, provided the vessel complies with §648.86(b)(3).

(26) Enter port, while on a NE multispecies DAS trip, in possession of more than the allowable limit of cod specified in §648.86(b)(2)(ii) or (iii).

(27) Possess or land per trip more than the possession or landing limit specified under §648.86(c).

(28) Participate in the DAS program pursuant to §648.82 when carrying passengers for hire on board the vessel during any portion of a fishing trip.

(29) Enter, be on a fishing vessel in, or fail to remove gear from the areas described in §648.81(d)(1), (e)(1), (f)(1), and (g)(1) during the time periods specified, except as provided in §648.81(d)(2), (e)(2), (f)(2), (g)(2), and (i).

(30) If fishing with bottom tending mobile gear, fish in, enter, be on a fishing vessel in, the Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Closure Areas described in §648.81(h)(1)(i) through (vi).

(31) If the vessel has been issued a Charter/party permit or is fishing under charter/party regulations, fail to comply with the requirements specified in §648.81(f)(2)(iii) when fishing in the areas described in §648.81(d)(1) through (f)(1) during the time periods specified in those sections.

(32) [Reserved]

(33) Fail to remain in port for the appropriate time specified in §648.86(b)(2)(iii)(A), except for transiting purposes, provided the vessel complies with §648.86(b)(3).

(34) Lease NE multispecies DAS or use leased DAS that have not been approved for leasing by the Regional Administrator as specified in §648.82(k).

(35) Provide false information on the application for NE multispecies DAS leasing, as required under §648.82(k)(3).

(36) Act as lessor or lessee of a NE multispecies Category B DAS, or Category C DAS.

(37) Act as lessor or lessee of NE multispecies DAS, if the vessels are not in accordance with the size restrictions specified in §648.82(k)(4)(ix).

(38) Sub-lease NE multispecies DAS.

(39) Lease more than the maximum number of DAS allowable under §648.82(k)(4)(iv).

(40) Lease NE multispecies DAS to a vessel that does not have a valid limited access multispecies permit.

(41) Lease NE multispecies DAS associated with a Confirmation of Permit History.

(42) Lease NE multispecies DAS if the number of unused allocated DAS is less than the number of DAS requested to be leased.

(43) Lease NE multispecies DAS in excess of the duration specified in §648.82(k)(4)(viii).

(44) Transfer NE multispecies DAS or use transferred DAS that have not been approved for transfer by the Regional Administrator as specified under §648.82(l).

(45) Provide false information on the application for NE multispecies DAS Transfer, as required under §648.82(l)(2).

(46) Permanently transfer only a portion of a vessels total allocation of DAS.

(47) Permanently transfer NE multispecies DAS between vessels, if such vessels are not in accordance with the size restrictions specified in §648.82(l)(1)(ii).

(48) If permanently transferring NE multispecies DAS to another vessel, fail to forfeit all state and Federal fishing permits, or fish in any state or Federal commercial fishery indefinitely.

(49) If fishing under the cod trip limit specified in §648.86(b)(2)(ii), fail to obtain an annual declaration, or fish north of the exemption line specified in §648.86(b)(4).

(50) Discard legal-sized regulated multispecies while fishing under a Regular B DAS in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, as described in §648.85(b)(6).

(51) If fishing under a Regular B DAS in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, fail to comply with the DAS flip requirements of §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(E) if the vessel harvests and brings on board more than the landing limit for a groundfish stock of concern specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(D).

(52) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, fail to comply with the restriction on DAS use as specified in §648.82(d)(2)(i)(A).

(53) If fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Area, and other portions of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, fail to comply with the restrictions in §648.85(b)(8)(v)(A).

(54) If fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Area, discard legal-sized cod while fishing under a Category B DAS, as described in §648.85(b)(8)(v)(I).

(55) If fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Area under a Category B DAS, fail to comply with the DAS flip requirements of §648.85(b)(8)(v)(I), if the vessel possesses more than the landing limit for cod specified in §648.85(b)(8)(v)(F).

(56) If fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Area under a Category B DAS, fail to have the minimum number of Category A DAS available as required under §648.85(b)(8)(v)(J).

(57) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with the requirements and restrictions specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(A) through (F), and (I).

(58) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with the VMS requirement specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(A).

(59) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with the observer notification requirement specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(B).

(60) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with the VMS declaration requirement specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(C).

(61) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with the landing limits specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(D).

(62) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with the no discard and DAS flip requirements specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(E).

(63) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with the minimum Category A DAS and Category B DAS accrual requirements specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(F).

(64) Use a Regular B DAS in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), if the program has been closed as specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(H) or (b)(6)(vi).

(65) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), use a Regular B DAS in a stock area that has been closed, as specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(G).

(66) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with the reporting requirements specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(I).

(67) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the requirements and conditions specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv), and (b)(7)(v) or (b)(7)(vi), whichever is applicable.

(68) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area specified in §648.85(b)(7)(ii), fail to comply with the requirements and conditions specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv), and (b)(7)(v) or (b)(7)(vi), whichever is applicable.

(69) Fish in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), outside of the season specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iii).

(70) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the DAS use restrictions specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(A), and (b)(7)(v)(A) or (b)(7)(vi)(A), whichever is applicable.

(71) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the VMS requirements specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(B).

(72) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the observer notification requirements specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(C).

(73) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the VMS declaration requirement specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(D).

(74) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the gear restrictions specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(E), and (b)(7)(v)(B) or (b)(7)(vi)(B), whichever is applicable.

(75) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the landing limits specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(H), and (b)(7)(v)(C) or (b)(7)(vi)(C), whichever is applicable.

(76) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the reporting requirement specified in §648.85(b)(7)(v)(D) or (b)(7)(vi)(D), whichever is applicable.

(77) Fish in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area specified in §648.85(b)(7)(ii), if that area is closed as specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(I) or (b)(7)(vi)(F).

(78) Fish in the U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(8), if the SAP Pilot Program is closed as specified in §648.85(b)(8)(v)(K) or (L).

(79) If fishing in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP specified in §48.85(b)(3), fail to comply with the no discard and DAS flip provision specified under §648.85(b)(3)(xi).

(80) Provide false information on the application to downgrade the DAS Leasing Program baseline, as required under §648.82(k)(4)(xi).

(81) Fail to comply with the exemption specifications as described in §648.86(i)(4).

(82) Fail to declare, and be, out of the non-exempt gillnet fishery as required by §648.82(s)(1)(ii), using the procedure specified in §648.82(q).

(83) Enter port, while on a NE multispecies DAS trip, in possession of more than the allowable limit of cod specified in §648.86(i)(1)(i), unless the vessel is fishing under the cod exemption specified in §648.86(i)(4).

(84) Fail to remain in port for the appropriate time specified in §648.86(i)(1)(ii)(A), except for transiting purposes, provided the vessel complies with §648.86(i)(3).

(85) Enter port, while on a NE multispecies DAS trip, in possession of more than the allowable limit of cod specified in §648.86(i)(2)(ii) or (iii).

(86) Fail to remain in port for the appropriate time specified in §648.86(i)(2)(iii)(A), except for transiting purposes, provided the vessel complies with §648.86(i)(3).

(87) Lease NE multispecies DAS or use leased DAS that have not been approved for leasing by the Regional Administrator as specified in §648.82(t).

(88) Provide false information on the application for NE multispecies DAS leasing, as required under §648.82(t)(3).

(89) Act as lessor or lessee of NE multispecies DAS, if the vessels are not in accordance with the size restrictions specified in §648.82(t)(4)(ix).

(90) Lease more than the maximum number of DAS allowable under §648.82(t)(4)(iv).

(91) Lease NE multispecies DAS in excess of the duration specified in §648.82(t)(4)(viii).

(92) If fishing under the cod trip limit specified in §648.86(i)(2)(ii), fail to obtain an annual declaration, or fish north of the exemption line specified in §648.86(i)(4).

(93) Discard legal-sized regulated multispecies while fishing under a Regular B DAS in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, as described in §648.85(b)(10).

(94) If fishing under a Regular B DAS in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, fail to comply with the DAS flip requirements of §648.85(b)(10)(iv)(E) if the vessel harvests and brings on board more than the landing limit for a groundfish stock of concern specified in §648.85(b)(10)(iv)(D).

(95) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, fail to comply with the restriction on DAS use as specified in §648.82(v)(2)(i)(A).

(96) If fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Area, discard legal-sized cod, GB winter flounder, or GB yellowtail flounder while fishing under a Category B DAS, as described in §648.85(b)(8)(vii)(F).

(97) If fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Area under a Category B DAS, fail to comply with the DAS flip requirements of §648.85(b)(8)(viii)(I), if the vessel possesses more than the landing limit for cod, GB winter flounder, or GB yellowtail flounder specified in §648.85(b)(8)(vii)(F).

(98) If fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Area under a Category B DAS, fail to have the minimum number of Category A DAS available as required under §648.85(b)(8)(viii)(J).

(99) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10), fail to comply with the requirements and restrictions specified in §648.85(b)(10)(iv)(A) through (F), and (I).

(100) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10), fail to comply with the VMS requirement specified in §648.85(b)(10)(iv)(A).

(101) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10), fail to comply with the observer notification requirement specified in §648.85(b)(10)(iv)(B).

(102) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10), fail to comply with the VMS declaration requirement specified in §648.85(b)(10)(iv)(C).

(103) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10), fail to comply with the landing limits specified in §648.85(b)(10)(iv)(D).

(104) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10), fail to comply with the no discard and DAS flip requirements specified in §648.85(b)(10)(iv)(E).

(105) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10), fail to comply with the minimum Category A DAS and Category B DAS accrual requirements specified in §648.85(b)(10)(iv)(F).

(106) Use a Regular B DAS in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10), if the program has been closed as specified in §648.85(b)(10)(iv)(H) or (b)(10)(vi).

(107) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10), use a Regular B DAS in a stock area that has been closed, as specified in §648.85(b)(10)(iv)(G).

(108) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10), fail to comply with the reporting requirements specified in §648.85(b)(10)(iv)(I).

(109) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10), use a Regular B DAS outside the U.S./Canada Management Area specified under §648.85(a)(1), or after the program has closed, as required under §648.85(10)(iv)(G) or (H).

(110) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10), fail to use a haddock separator trawl as required by §648.85(b)(10)(iv)(J) and described under §648.85(a)(3)(iii)(A).

(111) Use a Regular B DAS and a monkfish DAS on the same trip, if issued a limited access Category C, D, or F monkfish permit and fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10).

(112) If issued a limited access monkfish Category C, D, or F permit and fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10), possess more than the incidental catch amounts of monkfish, as specified at §648.94(b)(7).

(113) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10), discard legal-sized monkfish.

(114) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the DAS use restrictions specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(J), and (b)(7)(v)(F) or (b)(7)(vi)(G), whichever is applicable.

(115) Fish in the U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program specified in §648.85(b)(8), if the SAP Pilot Program is closed as specified in §648.85(b)(8)(viii)(K) or (L).

(116) Provide false information on the application to downgrade the DAS Leasing Program baseline, as required under §648.82(t)(4)(xi).

(d) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section, it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued an open access multispecies handgear permit to do any of the following, unless otherwise specified in §648.17:

(1) Possess, at any time during a trip, or land per trip, more than the possession limit of NE multispecies specified in §648.88(a), unless the vessel is a charter or party vessel fishing under the charter/party restrictions specified in §648.89.

(2) Use or possess on board, gear capable of harvesting NE multispecies, other than rod and reel, or handline gear, or tub-trawls, while in possession of, or fishing for, NE multispecies.

(3) Possess or land NE multispecies during the time period specified in §648.88(a)(2).

(4) Violate any provision of the open access handgear permit restrictions as provided in §648.88(a).

(e) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section, it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a scallop multispecies possession limit permit to possess or land more than the possession limit of NE multispecies specified in §648.88(c), or to possess or land regulated species when not fishing under a scallop DAS, unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(f) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit or a general scallop permit under §648.4(a)(2) to land, or possess at or after landing, in-shell scallops smaller than the minimum shell height specified in §648.50(a).

(g) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and the prohibitions specified in paragraphs (a) through (f) of this section, it is unlawful for the owner or operator of a charter or party boat issued a multispecies permit, or of a recreational vessel, as applicable, unless otherwise specified in §648.17, to:

(1) Fish with gear in violation of the restrictions specified in §648.89(a).

(2) Possess cod, haddock, and Atlantic halibut in excess of the possession limits specified in §648.89(c).

(3) Sell, trade, barter, or otherwise transfer, or attempt to sell, trade, barter or otherwise transfer, NE multispecies for a commercial purpose as specified in §648.89(d).

(4) If the vessel is a private recreational fishing vessel, fail to comply with the seasonal cod closure described in §648.89(c)(1)(v) or, if the vessel has been issued a charter/party permit or is fishing under charter/party regulations, fail to comply with the prohibition on fishing described under §648.89(c)(2)(vi).

(h) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraphs (a) and (g) of this section, it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit under §648.4(a)(2) to do any of the following:

(1) Possess, or land per trip, more than 400 lb (181.44 kg) of shucked, or 50 bu (17.62 hl) of in-shell scallops after using up the vessel's annual DAS allocation or when not participating under the DAS program pursuant to §648.10, unless exempted from DAS allocations as provided in §648.54.

(2) Land scallops on more than one trip per calendar day after using up the vessel's annual DAS allocation or when not participating under the DAS program pursuant to §648.10, unless exempted from DAS allocations as provided in §648.54.

(3) Fail to have an approved, operational, and functioning VMS unit that meets the specifications of §648.9 on board the vessel at all times, unless the vessel is not subject to the VMS requirements specified in §648.10.

(4) If the vessel is not subject to VMS requirements specified in §648.10(b), fail to comply with the requirements of the call-in system specified in §648.10(c).

(5) Combine, transfer, or consolidate DAS allocations, except as allowed for one-for-one Access Area trip exchanges as specified in §648.60(a)(3)(ii).

(6) Have an ownership interest in more than 5 percent of the total number of vessels issued limited access scallop permits, except as provided in §648.4(a)(2)(i)(M).

(7) Fish for, possess, or land scallops with or from a vessel that has had the horsepower of such vessel or its replacement upgraded or increased in excess of the limitations specified in §648.4(a)(2)(i) (E) or (F).

(8) Fish for, possess, or land scallops with or from a vessel that has had the length, GRT, or NT of such vessel or its replacement increased or upgraded in excess of limitations specified in §648.4(a)(2)(i) (E) or (F).

(9) Possess more than 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked, or 5 bu (176.2 l) of in-shell scallops, or participate in the DAS allocation program, while in the possession of trawl nets that have a maximum sweep exceeding 144 ft (43.9 m), as measured by the total length of the footrope that is directly attached to the webbing of the net, except as specified in §648.51(a)(1).

(10) Fish under the DAS allocation program with, or have available for immediate use, trawl nets of mesh smaller than the minimum size specified in §648.51(a)(2).

(11) Fish under the DAS allocation program with trawl nets that use chafing gear or other means or devices that do not meet the requirements of §648.51(a)(3).

(12) Possess or use dredge gear that does not comply with the provisions and specifications in §648.51(b).

(13) Participate in the DAS allocation program with more persons on board the vessel than the number specified in §648.51(c), including the operator, when the vessel is not docked or moored in port, unless otherwise authorized by the Regional Administrator, or unless participating in the Area Access Program pursuant to the requirements specified in §648.60.

(14) Fish under the small dredge program specified in §648.51(e), with, or while in possession of, a dredge that exceeds 10.5 ft (3.2 m) in overall width, as measured at the widest point in the bail of the dredge.

(15) Fish under the small dredge program specified in §648.51(e) with more than five persons on board the vessel, including the operator, unless otherwise authorized by the Regional Administrator or unless participating in the Area Access Program pursuant to the requirements specified in §648.60.

(16) Have a shucking or sorting machine on board a vessel that shucks scallops at sea while fishing under the DAS allocation program, unless otherwise authorized by the Regional Administrator.

(17) Fail to comply with the notification requirements specified in §648.10(b)(4) or refuse or fail to carry an observer after being requested to carry an observer by the Regional Administrator or Regional Administrator's designee.

(18) Fail to provide an observer with required food, accommodations, access, and assistance, as specified in §648.11.

(19) Fail to comply with any requirement for declaring in and out of the DAS allocation program or other notification requirements specified in §648.10.

(20) Fail to comply with any requirement for participating in the DAS Exemption Program specified in §648.54.

(21) Fish with, possess on board, or land scallops while in possession of trawl nets, when fishing for scallops under the DAS allocation program, unless exempted as provided for in §648.51(f).

(22) Fail to comply with the restriction on twine top described in §648.51(b)(4)(iv).

(23) Fail to comply with any of the provisions and specifications of §648.60.

(24) Possess or land more than 50 bu (17.62 hL) of in-shell scallops, as specified in §648.52(d), once inside the VMS Demarcation Line by a vessel that, at any time during the trip, fished in or transited any area south of 42°20' N. Lat; or fished in any Sea Scallop Area Access Program specified in §648.60, except as provided in §648.54.

(25) Declare and initiate a trip into or fish in the areas specified in §648.59(b) through (d) after the effective date of the notice in the Federal Register stating that the yellowtail flounder TAC has been harvested as specified in §648.85(c).

(26) Retain yellowtail flounder in the areas specified in §648.59(b) through (d) after the effective date of the notice in the Federal Register stating that the yellowtail flounder TAC has been harvested as specified in §648.85(c).

(i) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraphs (a), (f), and (g) of this section, it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a general scallop permit to do any of the following:

(1) Fish for or land per trip, or possess at any time, in excess of 400 lb (181.4 kg) of shucked or 50 bu (17.6 hl) of in-shell scallops.

(2) Fish for, possess, or land scallops on more than one trip per calendar day.

(3) Possess or use dredge gear that does not comply with any of the provisions or specifications in §648.51(b).

(4) Refuse, or fail, to carry an observer after being requested to carry an observer by the Regional Administrator.

(5) Fail to provide an observer with required food, accommodations, access, and assistance, as specified in §648.11.

(6) Fail to comply with the VMS requirements specified in §§648.10 and 648.60.

(7) Fail to comply with the requirements specified in §648.60.

(8) Declare and initiate a trip into the areas specified in §648.59(b) through (d) after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register stating that the general category scallop TAC has been harvested as specified in §648.60.

(9) Declare and initiate a trip into the areas specified in §648.59(b) through (d) after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register stating that the number of general category trips have been taken as specified in §648.60.

(10) Declare or initiate a trip into areas specified in §648.59(b) through (d) after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register stating that the yellowtail flounder TAC has been harvested as specified in §648.85(c).

(11) Fail to comply with any requirement for declaring in and out of the general category scallop fishery or other notification requirements specified in §648.10(b).

(12) Fish for or land per trip, or possess at any time, in excess of 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked or 5 bu (176.2 L) of in-shell scallops unless the vessel has been issued a VMS general scallop permit and has declared into the general category scallop fishery as specified in §648.10(b)(4).

(j) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.100(f), it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a summer flounder permit (including a moratorium permit) to do any of the following:

(1) Possess 100 lb or more (45.4 kg or more) of summer flounder between May 1 and October 31, or 200 lb or more (90.7 kg or more) of summer flounder between November 1 and April 30, unless the vessel meets the minimum mesh size requirement specified in §648.104(a), or is fishing in the exempted area with an exemption permit as specified in §648.104(b)(1), or holds an exemption permit and is in transit from the exemption area with nets properly stowed as specified in §648.104(f), or is fishing with exempted gear specified in §648.104(b)(2).

(2) Possess summer flounder in other than a box specified in §648.105(d) if fishing with nets having mesh that does not meet the minimum mesh-size requirement specified in §648.104(a), unless the vessel is fishing pursuant to the exemptions specified in §648.104(b).

(3) Land summer flounder for sale in a state after the effective date of the notification in the Federal Register notifying permit holders that commercial quota is no longer available in that state.

(4) Fish with or possess nets or netting that do not meet the minimum mesh requirement, or that are modified, obstructed or constricted, if subject to the minimum mesh requirement specified in §648.104, unless the nets or netting are stowed in accordance with §648.104(f).

(5) Fish with or possess nets or netting that do not meet the minimum mesh requirement, or that are modified, obstructed or constricted, if fishing with an exempted net described in §648.104, unless the nets or netting are stowed in accordance with §648.104(f).

(6) Fish west or south, as appropriate, of the line specified in §648.104(b)(1) if exempted from the minimum mesh requirement specified in §648.104 by a summer flounder exemption permit.

(7) Sell or transfer to another person for a commercial purpose, other than transport, any summer flounder, unless the transferee has a valid summer flounder dealer permit.

(8) Carry passengers for hire, or carry more than three crew members for a charter boat or five crew members for a party boat, while fishing commercially pursuant to a summer flounder moratorium permit.

(9) Offload, remove, or otherwise transfer, or attempt to offload, remove or otherwise transfer summer flounder from one vessel to another, unless that vessel has not been issued a summer flounder permit and fishes exclusively in state waters.

(k) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.120(e), it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a scup permit (including a moratorium permit) to do any of the following:

(1) Possess scup in excess of the threshold amount specified in §648.123, unless the vessel meets the minimum mesh-size restrictions specified in §648.123.

(2) Fail to keep scup separate from other species if fishing with nets having mesh that does not meet the minimum mesh-size restrictions specified in §648.123(a).

(3) Land scup for sale after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial quota has been harvested.

(4) Possess nets or netting that do not meet the minimum mesh restrictions or that are modified, obstructed or constricted, if subject to the minimum mesh requirements specified in §648.123(a), unless the nets or netting are stowed in accordance with §648.23(b).

(5) Fish with nets or netting that do not meet the minimum mesh restriction or that are modified, obstructed or constricted while in possession of scup in excess of the threshold amount specified in §648.123.

(6) As of January 1, 1997, sell or transfer to another person for a commercial purpose, other than transport on land, any scup, unless the transferee has a dealer permit issued under §648.6.

(7) Carry passengers for hire, or carry more than three crew members for a charter boat or five crew members for a party boat, while fishing for scup under the terms of a moratorium permit issued pursuant to §648.4(a)(6).

(8) Use a scup pot or trap that does not have the hinges and fasteners made of degradable materials as specified in §648.123.

(9) Use a scup trap or pot that does not have a minimum escape vent of the size specified in §648.123.

(10) Use roller rig trawl gear equipped with rollers greater than the size specified in §648.123.

(11) Possess scup in, or harvested from, the EEZ in an area closed, or before or after a season established pursuant to §648.122.

(12) Use a scup trap or pot that is not marked in accordance with §648.123(b)(3).

(13) Transfer scup at sea, or attempt to transfer at sea to any vessel, any scup taken from the EEZ, unless in compliance with the provisions of §648.13(i).

(l) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.120(e), it is unlawful for the owner or operator of a party or charter boat issued a scup permit (including a moratorium permit), when the boat is carrying passengers for hire or carrying more than three crew members if a charter boat or more than five members if a party boat to:

(1) Possess scup in excess of the possession limit established pursuant to §648.125.

(2) Fish for scup other than during a season established pursuant to §648.122.

(3) Sell scup or transfer scup to another person for a commercial purpose.

(4) Possess scup that do not meet the minimum fish size specified in §648.124(b).

(m) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.100(f), it is unlawful for the owner and operator of a party or charter boat issued a summer flounder permit (including a moratorium permit), when the boat is carrying passengers for hire or carrying more than three crew members if a charter boat or more than five members if a party boat, to:

(1) Possess summer flounder in excess of the possession limit established pursuant to §648.105.

(2) Fish for summer flounder other than during a season specified pursuant to §648.102.

(3) Sell or transfer summer flounder to another person for a commercial purpose.

(n) It is unlawful to violate any terms of a letter authorizing experimental fishing pursuant to §648.12 or to fail to keep such letter aboard the vessel during the time period of the experimental fishing.

(o) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a surf clam and ocean quahog permit or issued a surf clam and ocean quahog allocation permit under §648.70, to land or possess any surf clams or ocean quahogs in excess of, or without, an individual allocation, or to transfer any surf clams or ocean quahogs to any person for a commercial purpose other than transport, unless that person has a surf clam and ocean quahog processor/dealer permit.

(p) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.21(g), it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a valid mackerel, squid, and butterfish fishery permit, or issued an operator's permit, to do any of the following:

(1) Possess more than the incidental catch allowance of Loligo or butterfish, unless issued a Loligo squid and butterfish fishery moratorium permit.

(2) Possess more than the incidental catch allowance of Illex squid unless issued an Illex squid moratorium permit.

(3) Take, retain, possess, or land mackerel, squid or butterfish in excess of a possession allowance specified under §648.22.

(4) Take, retain, possess, or land mackerel, squid or butterfish after a total closure specified under §648.22.

(5) [Reserved]

(6) Transfer squid or butterfish at sea to another vessel unless that other vessel has been issued a valid Loligo and butterfish or Illex moratorium permit and are transferring the species for which the vessel is permitted or a valid squid/butterfish incidental catch permit and a letter of authorization by the Regional Administrator.

(7) Fail to comply with any measures implemented pursuant to §648.21.

(8) Carry passengers for hire while fishing commercially under a mackerel, squid, and butterfish fishery permit.

(9) Fail to carry on board a letter of authorization, if fishing in an experimental fishery pursuant to §648.12.

(10) Fish for, retain, or possess Atlantic mackerel in or from the EEZ with a vessel that exceeds either 165 ft (50.3 m) in length overall and 750 GRT, or a shaft horsepower of 3000 shp, except for the retention and possession of Atlantic mackerel for processing by a vessel holding a valid at-sea processor permit pursuant to §648.6(a)(2).

(q) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.21(g), it is unlawful for the owner and operator of a party or charter boat issued a mackerel, squid, and butterfish fishery permit (including a moratorium permit), when the boat is carrying passengers for hire, to do any of the following:

(1) Violate any recreational fishing measures established pursuant to §648.21(d).

(2) Sell or transfer mackerel, squid, or butterfish to another person for a commercial purpose.

(r) [Reserved]

(s) Any person possessing or landing per trip, scallops in excess of 40 lb (18.1 kg) of shucked, or 5 bu (176.1 L) of in-shell scallops, at or prior to the time when those scallops are received or possessed by a dealer, is subject to all of the scallop prohibitions specified in this section, unless the scallops were harvested by a vessel without a scallop permit that fishes for scallops exclusively in state waters.

(t) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraphs (a) through (h) of this section, it is unlawful for any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid open access multispecies permit to possess or land any regulated species as defined in §648.2, or to violate any applicable provisions of §648.88, unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(u) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.140(e), it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a black sea bass permit (including a moratorium permit) to do any of the following:

(1) Fish for, catch, possess, land, or retain black sea bass in excess of the amount specified in §648.144(a)(1)(i)(i.e. 500 lb (226.8 kg) from January 1 through March 31, or 100 lb (45.4 kg) from April 1 through December 31), unless the vessel meets the minimum mesh requirement specified in §648.144 (a).

(2) Possess black sea bass in other than a box specified in §648.145(d) if fishing with nets having mesh that does not meet the minimum mesh-size requirement specified in §648.144 (a).

(3) Land black sea bass for sale in any state, or part thereof, north of 35°15.3' N. lat. after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial annual quota has been harvested and the EEZ is closed to the harvest of black sea bass.

(4) Fish with or possess nets or netting that do not meet the minimum mesh requirement, or that are modified, obstructed or constricted, if subject to the minimum mesh requirement specified in §648.144, unless the nets or netting are stowed in accordance with §648.23(b).

(5) Fish with or possess rollers used in roller rig or rock hopper trawl gear that do not meet the requirements specified in §648.144(a)(5).

(6) Fish with or possess pots or traps that do not meet the requirements specified in §648.144(b).

(7) Sell or transfer to another person for a commercial purpose, other than transport on land, any black sea bass, unless the transferee has a valid black sea bass dealer permit.

(8) Carry passengers for hire, or carry more than three crew members for a charter boat or five crew members for a party boat, while fishing commercially pursuant to a black sea bass moratorium permit.

(9) Possess, retain, or land black sea bass harvested in or from the EEZ in excess of the commercial possession limit established at §648.140.

(10) Land black sea bass for sale in any state south of North Carolina.

(11) Possess black sea bass after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial annual quota has been harvested and the EEZ is closed to the harvest of black sea bass, unless the vessel has been issued a Southeast Region Snapper/Grouper Permit and fishes for and possess black sea bass south of 35°15.3' N. lat.

(v) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.140(e), it is unlawful for the owner and operator of a party or charter boat issued a black sea bass permit (including a moratorium permit), when the boat is carrying passengers for hire or carrying more than three crew members if a charter boat or more than five members if a party boat, to:

(1) Possess black sea bass in excess of the possession limit established pursuant to §648.145.

(2) Fish for black sea bass other than during a season specified pursuant to §648.142.

(3) Sell black sea bass or transfer black sea bass to another person for a commercial purpose.

(w) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.160(h), it is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(1) Possess in or harvest from the EEZ, Atlantic bluefish, in excess of the daily possession limit found at §648.164, unless the vessel is issued a valid Atlantic bluefish vessel permit under §648.4(a)(8)(i) and the permit is on board the vessel and has not been surrendered, revoked, or suspended.

(2) Purchase, possess or receive for a commercial purpose, or attempt to purchase, possess, or receive for a commercial purpose, in the capacity of a dealer, except solely for transport on land, Atlantic bluefish taken from a fishing vessel that were harvested in or from the EEZ unless issued, and in possession of, a valid Atlantic bluefish fishery dealer permit issued under §648.6(a).

(3) Sell, barter, trade or transfer, or attempt to sell, barter, trade or otherwise transfer, other than for transport, Atlantic bluefish that were harvested in or from the EEZ, unless the vessel has been issued a valid bluefish permit under §648.4(a)(8)(i).

(4) Land Atlantic bluefish for sale in a state after the effective date of the notification in the Federal Register , pursuant to §648.161(b), which notifies permit holders that the commercial quota is no longer available in that state.

(5) Carry passengers for hire, or carry more than three crew members for a charter boat or five crew members for a party boat, while fishing commercially pursuant to an Atlantic bluefish permit issued under §648.4(a)(8).

(6) Land Atlantic bluefish for sale after the effective date of the notification in the Federal Register pursuant to §648.161(a), which notifies permit holders that the Atlantic bluefish fishery is closed.

(7) To purchase or otherwise receive for a commercial purpose bluefish harvested from the EEZ after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial quota has been harvested.

(8) To purchase or otherwise receive for a commercial purpose bluefish harvested by a federally permitted vessel after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial quota has been harvested.

(x) For purposes of this section, the following presumptions apply:

(1) Surf clams and ocean quahogs. (i) Possession of surf clams or ocean quahogs on the deck of any fishing vessel in closed areas, or the presence of any part of a vessel's gear in the water in closed areas, or the presence of any part of a vessel's gear in the water more than 12 hours after an announcement closing the entire fishery becomes effective, is prima facie evidence that such vessel was fishing in violation of the provisions of the Magnuson Act and these regulations.

(ii) Surf clams or ocean quahogs landed from a trip for which notification was provided under §648.15(b) or §648.70(b) are deemed to have been harvested in the EEZ and count against the individual's annual allocation unless the vessel has a valid Maine mahogany quahog permit issued pursuant to §648.4(a)(4)(i) and is not fishing for an individual allocation under §648.70.

(iii) Surf clams or ocean quahogs found in cages without a valid state tag are deemed to have been harvested in the EEZ and are deemed to be part of an individual's allocation, unless the vessel has a valid Maine mahogany quahog permit issued pursuant to §648.4(a)(4)(i) and is not fishing for an individual allocation under §648.70; or, unless the preponderance of available evidence demonstrates that he/she has surrendered his/her surf clam and ocean quahog permit issued under §648.4 and he/she conducted fishing operations exclusively within waters under the jurisdiction of any state. Surf clams and ocean quahogs in cages with a Federal tag or tags, issued and still valid pursuant to this section, affixed thereto are deemed to have been harvested by the individual allocation holder to whom the tags were issued or transferred under §648.(70) or §648.75(b).

(2) Scallops. Scallops that are possessed or landed at or prior to the time when the scallops are received by a dealer, or scallops that are possessed by a dealer, are deemed to be harvested from the EEZ, unless the preponderance of all submitted evidence demonstrates that such scallops were harvested by a vessel without a scallop permit and fishing exclusively for scallops in state waters.

(3) Summer flounder. All summer flounder retained or possessed on a vessel issued a permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested in the EEZ.

(4) NE multispecies. (i) Regulated species possessed for sale that do not meet the minimum sizes specified in §648.83 for sale are deemed to have been taken or imported in violation of these regulations, unless the preponderance of all submitted evidence demonstrates that such fish were harvested by a vessel not issued a permit under this part and fishing exclusively within state waters, or by a vessel that fished exclusively in the NAFO Regulatory Area. This presumption does not apply to fish being sorted on deck.

(ii) Regulated species possessed for sale that do not meet the minimum sizes specified in §648.83 for sale are deemed taken from the EEZ or imported in violation of these regulations, unless the preponderance of all submitted evidence demonstrates that such fish were harvested by a vessel not issued a permit under this part and fishing exclusively within state waters, or by a vessel that fished exclusively in the NAFO Regulatory Area. This presumption does not apply to fish being sorted on deck.

(iii) All small-mesh multispecies retained or possessed on a vessel issued any permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested from the EEZ.

(5) Mackerel, squid, and butterfish. All mackerel and butterfish possessed on board a party or charter boat issued a mackerel, squid, and butterfish fishery permit are deemed to have been harvested from the EEZ.

(6) Scup. All scup retained or possessed on a vessel issued a permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested in the EEZ.

(7) Black sea bass. All black sea bass retained or possessed on a vessel issued a permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested in the EEZ, unless the vessel also has been issued a Southeast Region Snapper/Grouper permit and fishes for, retains, or possesses black sea bass south of 35°15.3' N. lat.

(8) Monkfish. All monkfish retained or possessed on a vessel issued any permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested from the EEZ, unless the preponderance of evidence demonstrates that such fish were harvested by a vessel that fished exclusively in the NAFO Regulatory Area, as authorized under §648.17.

(9) All bluefish possessed on board a party or charter vessel issued a permit under §648.4(a)(8)(ii) are deemed to have been harvested from the EEZ.

(10) Atlantic herring. All Atlantic herring retained or possessed on a vessel issued any permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested from the EEZ, unless the preponderance of all submitted evidence demonstrates that such Atlantic herring were harvested by a vessel fishing exclusively in state waters.

(11) Tilefish. All tilefish retained or possessed on a vessel issued any permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested in or from the tilefish management unit, unless the preponderance of all submitted evidence demonstrates that such tilefish were harvested by a vessel fishing exclusively in state waters.

(12) Red crab. All red crab retained or possessed on a vessel issued any permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested in or from the Red Crab Management Unit, unless the preponderance of all submitted evidence demonstrates that such red crab were harvested by a vessel fishing exclusively outside of the Red Crab Management Unit or in state waters.

(13) Skates. All skates retained or possessed on a vessel are deemed to have been harvested in or from the Skate Management Unit, unless the preponderance of all submitted evidence demonstrates that such skates were harvested by a vessel, that has not been issued a Federal skate permit, fishing exclusively outside of the EEZ portion of the Skate Management Unit or only in state waters.

(y) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel that engages in fishing for monkfish to do any of the following, unless otherwise fishing in accordance with, and exempted under, the provisions of §648.17:

(1) Fish for, possess, retain or land monkfish, unless:

(i) The monkfish are being fished for, or were harvested, in or from the EEZ by a vessel issued a valid monkfish permit under §648.4(a)(9); or

(ii) The monkfish were harvested by a vessel not issued a Federal monkfish permit that fishes for or possesses monkfish exclusively in state waters; or

(iii) The monkfish were harvested in or from the EEZ by a vessel not issued a Federal monkfish permit that engaged in recreational fishing; or

(iv) The monkfish were harvested from the NAFO Regulatory Area in accordance with the provisions specified under §648.17.

(2) Land, offload, or otherwise transfer, or attempt to land, offload, or otherwise transfer, monkfish from one vessel to another vessel, unless each vessel has not been issued a monkfish permit and fishes exclusively in state waters.

(3) Sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer, or attempt to sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer for a commercial purpose, any monkfish without having been issued a valid monkfish vessel permit, unless the vessel fishes for monkfish exclusively in state waters, or exclusively in the NAFO Regulatory Area in accordance with the provisions specified under §648.17.

(4) Operate or act as an operator of a vessel fishing for, possessing, retaining, or landing monkfish in or from the EEZ without having been issued and possessing a valid operator permit pursuant to §648.5, and this permit is onboard the vessel.

(5) Fish with, use, or have on board, while fishing under a monkfish DAS within the Northern Fishery Management Area or Southern Fishery Management Area as described in §648.91(a) and (b), nets with mesh size smaller than the minimum mesh size specified in §648.91(c).

(6) Violate any provision of the monkfish incidental catch permit restrictions as provided in §§648.4(a)(9)(ii) or 648.94(c).

(7) Fail to comply with the area restrictions applicable to limited access Category G and H vessels specified under §648.92(b)(9).

(8) Purchase, possess, or receive as a dealer, or in the capacity of a dealer, monkfish in excess of the possession or trip limits specified in §648.94 as is applicable to a vessel issued a monkfish limited access or incidental catch permit.

(9) Fail to comply with the monkfish size limit restrictions of §648.93 when issued a valid monkfish permit under §648.4(a)(9).

(10) Fail to comply with the monkfish possession limits and landing restrictions, including liver landing restrictions, specified under §648.94 when issued a valid monkfish permit under §648.4(a)(9).

(11) Fail to comply with the monkfish DAS provisions specified at §648.92 when issued a valid limited access monkfish permit, and fishing for, possessing, or landing monkfish in excess of the incidental catch limits specified at §648.94 (c).

(12) If carrying a VMS unit under §648.10:

(i) Fail to have a certified, operational, and functioning VMS unit that meets the specifications of §648.9 on board the vessel at all times.

(ii) Fail to comply with the notification, replacement, or any other requirements regarding VMS usage as specified in §648.10.

(13) Combine, transfer, or consolidate monkfish DAS allocations.

(14) Fish for, possess, or land monkfish with or from a vessel that has had the horsepower of such vessel or its replacement upgraded or increased in excess of the limitations specified in §648.4(a)(9)(i)(E) and (F).

(15) Fish for, possess, or land monkfish with or from a vessel that has had the length, GRT, or NT of such vessel or its replacement upgraded or increased in excess of the limitations specified in §648.4(a)(9)(i)(E) and (F).

(16) Fail to comply with any provision of the DAS notification program as specified in §648.10.

(17) If the vessel has been issued a valid limited access monkfish permit, and fishes under a monkfish DAS, fail to comply with gillnet requirements and restrictions specified in §648.92(b)(8).

(18) Fail to produce gillnet tags when requested by an authorized officer.

(19) Tagging a gillnet with or otherwise using or possessing a gillnet tag that has been reported lost, missing, destroyed, or issued to another vessel, or using or possessing a false gillnet tag.

(20) Selling, transferring, or giving away gillnet tags that have been reported lost, missing, destroyed, or issued to another vessel.

(21) Fail to comply with the area declaration requirements specified at §§648.93(b)(2) and 648.94(f) when fishing under a scallop, NE multispecies, or monkfish DAS exclusively in the NFMA under the less restrictive monkfish possession limits of that area.

(22) Fish for, possess, or land monkfish with or from a vessel that has had the length, GRT, or NT of such vessel or its replacement upgraded or increased in excess of the limitations specified in §648.4(a)(9)(i)(O) and (F).

(z) Small-mesh multispecies. (1) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, and subject to paragraph (a)(32) of this section, it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a valid Federal multispecies permit to land, offload, or otherwise transfer, or attempt to land, offload, or otherwise transfer, small-mesh multispecies from one vessel to another in excess of the limits specified in §648.13.

(2) [Reserved]

(aa) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter, it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a valid spiny dogfish permit or issued an operator's permit to do any of the following:

(1) Sell, barter, trade or transfer, or attempt to sell, barter, trade or otherwise transfer, other than for transport, spiny dogfish, unless the dealer or transferee has a dealer permit issued under §648.6(a).

(2) Fish for or possess spiny dogfish harvested in or from the EEZ after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register stating that the semi-annual quota has been harvested and that the EEZ is closed to the harvest of spiny dogfish.

(3) Land spiny dogfish for a commercial purpose after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register stating that the semi-annual quota has been harvested and that the EEZ is closed to the harvest of spiny dogfish.

(4) Violate any of the provisions prohibiting finning in §§600.1203 and 600.1204, part 600, subpart N that are applicable to the dogfish fishery.

(5)–(6) [Reserved]

(7) Possess more than the possession limit of spiny dogfish specified under §648.235. The possession limit is the maximum amount that may be landed in any 1 calendar day.

(bb) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, it is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(1) Fish for, possess, retain or land Atlantic herring, unless:

(i) The Atlantic herring are being fished for or were harvested in or from the EEZ by a vessel holding a valid Atlantic herring permit under this part, and the operator on board such vessel has been issued an operator permit that is on board the vessel; or

(ii) The Atlantic herring were harvested by a vessel not issued an Atlantic herring permit that was fishing exclusively in state waters; or

(iii) The Atlantic herring were harvested in or from the EEZ by a vessel engaged in recreational fishing; or

(iv) Unless otherwise specified in accordance with §648.17.

(2) Operate, or act as an operator of, a vessel with an Atlantic herring permit, or a vessel fishing for or possessing Atlantic herring in or from the EEZ, unless the operator has been issued, and is in possession of, a valid operator permit.

(3) Purchase, possess, receive, or attempt to purchase, possess, or receive, as a dealer, or in the capacity of a dealer, Atlantic herring that were harvested in or from the EEZ, without having been issued, and in possession of, a valid Atlantic herring dealer permit.

(4) Purchase, possess, receive, or attempt to purchase, possess, or receive, as a processor, or in the capacity of a processor, Atlantic herring from a fishing vessel with an Atlantic herring permit or from a dealer with an Atlantic herring dealer permit, without having been issued, and in possession of, a valid Atlantic herring processor permit.

(5) Sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer, or attempt to sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer, for a commercial purpose, any Atlantic herring, unless the vessel has been issued an Atlantic herring permit, or unless the Atlantic herring were harvested by a vessel without an Atlantic herring permit that fished exclusively in state waters.

(6) Purchase, possess, or receive, for a commercial purpose, or attempt to purchase, possess or receive, for a commercial purpose, Atlantic herring caught by a vessel without an Atlantic herring permit, unless the Atlantic herring were harvested by a vessel without an Atlantic herring permit that fished exclusively in state waters.

(7) Possess, transfer, receive, or sell, or attempt to transfer, receive, or sell > 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring per trip, or land, or attempt to land > 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring per day in or from an area of the EEZ subject to restrictions pursuant to §648.202(a).

(8) Possess, transfer, receive, or sell, or attempt to transfer, receive, or sell > 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring per trip, or land, or attempt to land > 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring per day in or from state waters subject to restrictions pursuant to §648.202(a), if the vessel has been issued a valid Atlantic herring permit.

(9) Transfer or attempt to transfer Atlantic herring to a Canadian transshipment vessel that is permitted in accordance with Pub. L. 104-297 after the amount of herring transshipped equals the amount of the BT specified pursuant to §648.200.

(10) Transit an area of the EEZ that is subject to a closure to directed fishing for Atlantic herring or restrictions pursuant to §648.202(a) with > 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring on board, unless all fishing gear is stowed as specified by §648.23(b).

(11) Catch, take, or harvest Atlantic herring in or from the EEZ with a U.S. vessel that exceeds the size limits specified in §648.203.

(12) Process Atlantic herring caught in or from the EEZ in excess of the specification of USAP with a U.S. vessel that exceeds the size limits specified in §648.203(b).

(13) Discard herring carcasses in the EEZ, or at sea if a federally-permitted vessel, after removing the roe.

(14) Catch, take, or harvest Atlantic herring in or from the EEZ for roe in excess of any allowed limit that may be established pursuant to §648.204(b).

(15) Catch, take, or harvest Atlantic herring in or from the EEZ, unless equipped with an operable VMS unit if a vessel caught > 500 mt of Atlantic herring in the previous fishing year, or intends to catch > 500 mt of Atlantic herring in the current fishing year, as required by §648.205(a).

(16) Catch, take, or harvest > 500 mt of Atlantic herring in or from the EEZ during the fishing year, unless equipped with an operable VMS unit as required by §648.205(a).

(17) Receive Atlantic herring in or from the EEZ solely for transport, unless issued a letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator.

(18) Fail to comply with any of the requirements of a letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator.

(19) [Reserved]

(20) If the vessel has been issued a Category 1 herring permit and is fishing for herring, fail to notify the NMFS Office of Law Enforcement of the time and date of landing via VMS at least 6 hr prior to landing or crossing the VMS demarcation line on its return trip to port.

(21)–(23) [Reserved]

(24) If a Category 1 herring vessel, discard haddock at sea that has been brought on deck or pumped into the hold.

(25) If fishing with midwater trawl or a purse seine gear, fail to comply with the requirements of §648.80 (d) and (e).

(26) Transit the GOM/GB Herring Exemption Area when that area is limited to the 2,000 lb (907 kg) limit specified in §648.86(a)(3)(ii)(A)(1) with more than 2,000 lb (907 kg) of herring, unless all the herring on board was caught outside of that area and all fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as required by §648.23 (b).

(cc) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter, unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.290(e), it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel to do any of the following:

(1) Fish for, possess, retain or land tilefish, unless:

(i) The tilefish are being fished for or were harvested in or from the tilefish management unit by a vessel holding a valid tilefish permit under this part, and the operator on board such vessel has been issued an operator permit that is on board the vessel; or

(ii) The tilefish were harvested by a vessel not issued a tilefish permit that was fishing exclusively in state waters; or

(iii) The tilefish were harvested in or from the tilefish management unit by a vessel engaged in recreational fishing.

(2) Operate, or act as an operator of, a vessel with a tilefish permit, or a vessel fishing for or possessing tilefish in or from the tilefish management unit, unless the operator has been issued, and is in possession of, a valid operator permit.

(3) Purchase, possess, receive, or attempt to purchase, possess, or receive, as a dealer, or in the capacity of a dealer, tilefish that were harvested in or from the tilefish management unit, without having been issued, and in possession of, a valid tilefish dealer permit.

(4) Sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer, or attempt to sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer, for a commercial purpose, any tilefish, unless the vessel has been issued a tilefish permit, or unless the tilefish were harvested by a vessel without a tilefish permit that fished exclusively in state waters.

(5) Purchase, possess, or receive, for a commercial purpose, or attempt to purchase, possess, or receive, for a commercial purpose, tilefish caught by a vessel without a tilefish permit, unless the tilefish were harvested by a vessel without a tilefish permit that fished exclusively in state waters.

(6) [Reserved]

(7) Possess tilefish harvested in or from the tilefish management unit in excess of the trip limit, pursuant to §648.292, unless issued a limited access tilefish permit.

(8) Land tilefish harvested in or from the tilefish management unit for sale after the effective date of the notification in the Federal Register, pursuant to §648.291, which notifies permit holders in a limited access category that the quota for that category is no longer available.

(9) Land tilefish in or from the tilefish management unit, in excess of the trip limit pursuant to §648.292, unless the vessel holds a valid limited access tilefish permit.

(dd) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, it is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(1) Catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, or barter, any red crab or red crab parts in or from the EEZ portion of the Red Crab Management Unit, unless in possession of a valid limited access red crab vessel permit or red crab incidental catch permit issued by the Regional Administrator under this subpart.

(2) Land, or possess on board a vessel, greater than the possession or landing limits specified in §648.263.

(3) Fail to comply with the recordkeeping and reporting requirements of §648.7.

(4) Transfer at sea, either directly or indirectly, or attempt to transfer at sea to any vessel, any red crab or red crab parts, taken in or from the EEZ portion of the Red Crab Management Unit.

(5) Purchase, possess, or receive greater than 500 lb (226.8 kg) of whole red crab, or its equivalent in weight as specified at §648.263(a)(2)(i) and (ii), caught in the EEZ portion of the Red Crab Management Unit by a vessel that has not been issued a valid limited access red crab permit under this subpart.

(6) Purchase, possess, or receive up to 500 lb (226.8 kg) of whole red crab, or its equivalent in weight as specified at §648.263(a)(2)(i) and (ii), caught in the EEZ portion of the Red Crab Management Unit by a vessel that has not been issued a valid limited access red crab permit or red crab incidental catch permit under this subpart.

(7) Fish for, catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, or barter, greater than 500 lb (226.8 kg) of whole red crab, or its equivalent in weight as specified at §648.263(a)(2)(i) and (ii), per fishing trip, in or from the Red Crab Management Unit, unless in possession of a valid limited access red crab vessel permit issued by the Regional Administrator under this subpart and fishing under a red crab DAS.

(8) Fail to comply with the provisions of the DAS notification program specified in §§648.262(b)(5) and 648.10, if the vessel has been issued a valid limited access red crab permit.

(9) Fish for, catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, or barter, in the Red Crab Management Unit under a red crab DAS if the vessel has declared out of the fishery prior to the start of the fishing year.

(10) Fish for, catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, or barter, red crab in excess of landing limits specified in §648.263.

(11) Possess, deploy, fish with, haul, harvest red crab from, or carry on board a vessel in excess of the trap/pot and/or string limit specified at §648.264(a)(2) when fishing under a red crab DAS.

(12) Retain, possess, or land female red crabs in excess of one standard U.S. fish tote if the vessel has been issued a valid limited access red crab permit and is fishing under a red crab DAS.

(13) Retain, possess, or land red crab claws and legs separate from crab bodies in excess of one standard U.S. fish tote if the vessel has been issued a valid limited access red crab permit and is fishing under a red crab DAS.

(14) Retain, possess, or land any red crab claws and legs separate from crab bodies if the vessel has not been issued a valid limited access red crab permit or has been issued a valid limited access red crab permit and is not fishing under a red crab DAS.

(15) Retain, possess, or land in excess of two claws and eight legs per crab if the vessel has been issued a valid red crab incidental catch permit or has been issued a valid limited access red crab permit and is not fishing under a red crab DAS.

(16) Fully process red crabs at sea, i.e., any activity that removes meat from any part of a red crab, unless a preponderance of the evidence shows that the vessel fished exclusively in state waters and has not been issued a valid federal permit.

(17) Fail to comply with any gear marking requirement specified at §648.264(a)(5).

(18) Possess, fish, or deploy parlor traps/pots if the vessel has been issued a valid limited access red crab permit and is fishing under a red crab DAS.

(19) Possess, fish, or deploy red crab traps/pots larger than the maximum size specified at §648.263(a)(4), if the vessel has been issued a valid limited access red crab permit and is fishing under a red crab DAS.

(ee) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, it is unlawful for any person to fish for, possess, or land skates in or from the EEZ portion of the Skate Management Unit, unless in possession of a valid Federal skate vessel permit or onboard a federally permitted lobster vessel (i.e., transfer at sea recipient) while in possession of whole skates as bait only less than the maximum size specified at §648.322(b)(2) and in accordance with §648.322(c).

(ff) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, it is unlawful for any owner or operator of a vessel holding a valid Federal skate permit to do any of the following:

(1) Fail to comply with the conditions of the skate wing possession and landing limits for winter skates specified at §648.322, unless holding a letter of authorization to fish for and land skates as bait only at §648.322(b).

(2) Fail to comply with the recordkeeping and reporting requirements of §648.7(a)(1)(iii) and (b)(1)(iii).

(3) Transfer at sea or attempt to transfer at sea to any vessel, any skates taken in or from the EEZ portion of the Skate Management Unit, unless in compliance with the provisions of §§648.13(b) and 648.322(b).

(4) Purchase, possess, trade, barter or receive skates caught in the EEZ portion of the Skate Management Unit by a vessel that has not been issued a valid Federal skate permit under this part.

(5) Fail to comply with the provisions of the DAS notification program specified in §§648.53, 648.82, and 648.92, for the Atlantic sea scallop, NE multispecies, and monkfish fisheries, respectively, when issued a valid skate permit and fishing under the skate wing possession limits at §648.322.

(6) Fish for, catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, or barter whole skates and skate wings in excess of the possession limits specified at §648.322.

(7) Fail to comply with the restrictions under the SNE Trawl and Gillnet Exemption areas for the NE skate fisheries at §§648.80(b)(5)(i)(B) and 648.80(b)(6)(i)(B).

(gg) In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter and in paragraph (a) of this section, it is unlawful for any owner or operator of a vessel holding a valid Federal permit to do any of the following:

(1) Retain, possess, or land barndoor or thorny skates taken in or from the EEZ portion of the Skate Management Unit specified at §648.2.

(2) Retain, possess, or land smooth skates taken in or from the GOM RMA described at §648.80(a)(1)(i).

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996]

Editorial Note:  For Federal Register citations affection §648.14, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on GPO Access.

Effective Date Note:  At 70 FR 60451, Oct. 18, 2005, §648.14 was amended by adding paragraphs (a)(170) through (171), effective Oct. 18, 2005, through Dec. 31, 2005. At 70 FR 76426, Dec. 27, 2005, paragraphs (a)(170) and (a)(171) were removed, effective Jan. 26, 2006. At 70 FR 76713, Dec. 28, 2005, the effective date was extended through June 30, 2006. At 71 FR 37505, June 30, 2006, the effective date was extended through Dec. 31, 2006.

Effective Date Note:  At 71 FR 19373, Apr. 13, 2006, §648.14 was amended by suspending paragraphs (a)(172), (c)(19), (c)(21) through (23), (c)(33) through (35), (c)(37), (c)(39), (c)(43), (c)(49) through (52), (c)(54) through (66), (c)(70), (c)(78), (c)(80), (y)(15), and (bb)(22); and adding paragraphs (a)(173) through (178), (c)(81) through (116), (g)(4), (y)(22), and (bb)(23), effective May 1, 2006, through Oct. 10, 2006.

§ 648.15   Facilitation of enforcement.
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(a) General. See §600.504 of this chapter.

(b) Special notification requirements applicable to surf clam and ocean quahog vessel owners and operators. (1) Vessel owners or operators are required to call the NMFS Office of Law Enforcement nearest to the point of offloading (contact the Regional Administrator for locations and phone numbers) and accurately provide the following information prior to the departure of their vessel from the dock to fish for surf clams or ocean quahogs in the EEZ: Name of the vessel; NMFS permit number assigned to the vessel; expected date and time of departure from port; whether the trip will be directed on surf clams or ocean quahogs; expected date, time, and location of landing; and name of the individual providing notice.

(2) Owners or operators that have given notification of a fishing trip under this paragraph (b) who decide to cancel or postpone the trip prior to departure must immediately provide notice of cancellation by telephone to the Office of Law Enforcement to which the original notification was provided. A separate notification shall be provided for the next fishing trip. Owners or operators that discontinue a fishing trip in the EEZ must immediately provide notice of discontinuance by telephone to the Office of Law Enforcement to which the original notification was provided. The owner or operator providing notice of discontinuance shall advise of any changes in landing time or port of landing. The owner or operator discontinuing a fishing trip in the EEZ must return to port and offload any surf clams or ocean quahogs prior to commencing fishing operations in the waters under the jurisdiction of any state.

(3) The vessel permits, the vessel, its gear, and catch shall be subject to inspection upon request by an authorized officer.

(4) Suspension of notification requirements. The Regional Administrator may suspend notification requirements for vessels fishing under a Maine mahogany quahog permit issued pursuant to §648.4(a)(4)(i) if he determines that such notification is not necessary to enforce effectively the management measures in the Maine mahogany quahog zone. The Regional Administrator may rescind such suspension if he concludes that the original determination is no longer valid. A suspension or recision of suspension of the notification requirements by the Regional Administrator shall be published in the Federal Register.

(c) Radio hails. Permit holders, while underway, must be alert for communication conveying enforcement instructions and immediately answer via VHF-FM radio, channel 16 when hailed by an authorized officer. Vessels not required to have VHF-FM radios by the Coast Guard are exempt from this requirement.

(d) Retention of haddock by herring dealers and processors. (1) Federally permitted herring dealers and processors, including at-sea processors, that receive herring from Category 1 herring vessels, and that cull or separate out from the herring catch all fish other than herring in the course of normal operations, must separate out and retain all haddock offloaded from a Category 1 herring vessel. Such haddock may not be sold, purchased, received, traded, bartered, or transferred, and must be retained, after they have been separated, for at least 12 hr for dealers and processors on land, and for 12 hr after landing by at-sea processors. The dealer or processor, including at-sea processors, must clearly indicate the vessel that landed the retained haddock or transferred the retained haddock to an at-sea processor. Law enforcement officials must be given access to inspect the haddock.

(2) All haddock separated out and retained is subject to reporting requirements specified at §648.7.

(e) Prohibition on discarding haddock by Category 1 herring vessels. A Category 1 herring vessel may not discard any haddock that has been brought on the deck or pumped into the hold.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 14648, Mar. 27, 1997; 63 FR 27485, May 19, 1998; 71 FR 46875, Aug. 15, 2006]

§ 648.16   Penalties.
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See §600.735.

§ 648.17   Exemptions for vessels fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area.
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(a) Fisheries included under exemption—(1) NE multispecies. A vessel issued a valid High Seas Fishing Compliance Permit under part 300 of this title and that complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (b) of this section, is exempt from NE multispecies permit, mesh size, effort-control, and possession limit restrictions, specified in §§648.4, 648.80, 648.82 and 648.86, respectively, while transiting the EEZ with NE multispecies on board the vessel, or landing NE multispecies in U.S. ports that were caught while fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area.

(2) Monkfish. A vessel issued a valid High Seas Fishing Compliance Permit under part 300 of this title and that complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (b) of this section is exempt from monkfish permit, mesh size, effort-control, and possession limit restrictions, specified in §§648.4, 648.91, 648.92 and 648.94, respectively, while transiting the EEZ with monkfish on board the vessel, or landing monkfish in U.S. ports that were caught while fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area.

(b) General requirements. (1) The vessel operator has a valid letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator on board the vessel;

(2) For the duration of the trip, the vessel fishes, except for transiting purposes, exclusively in the NAFO Regulatory Area and does not harvest fish in, or possess fish harvested in, or from, the EEZ;

(3) When transiting the EEZ, all gear is properly stowed in accordance with one of the applicable methods specified in §648.23(b); and

(4) The vessel operator complies with the High Seas Fishing Compliance Permit and all NAFO conservation and enforcement measures while fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area.

[70 FR 21942, Apr. 28, 2005]

Subpart B—Management Measures for the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Fisheries
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§ 648.20   Maximum optimum yield (OYs).
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The OYs specified pursuant to §648.21 during a fishing year may not exceed the following amounts:

(a) Mackerel—that quantity of mackerel that is less than or equal to the allowable biological catch (ABC) in U.S. waters specified pursuant to §648.21.

(b) Loligo—the catch associated with a fishing mortality rate of Fmax.

(c) Illex—catch associated with a fishing mortality rate of FMSY.

(d) Butterfish—the catch associated with a fishing mortality rate of FMSY.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 8637, Feb. 26, 1997; 64 FR 57593, Oct. 26, 1999]

§ 648.21   Procedures for determining initial annual amounts.
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(a) Initial recommended annual specifications. The Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Monitoring Committee (Monitoring Committee) shall meet annually to develop and recommend the following specifications for consideration by the Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Committee of the MAFMC:

(1) Initial OY (IOY), including research quota (RQ), domestic annual harvest (DAH), and domestic annual processing (DAP) for Illex squid;

(2) IOY, including RQ, DAH, DAP, and bycatch level of the total allowable level of foreign fishing (TALFF), if any, for butterfish; and

(3) IOY, including RQ, DAH, DAP, joint venture processing (JVP), if any, and TALFF, if any, for mackerel. The Monitoring Committee may also recommend that certain ratios of TALFF, if any, for mackerel to purchases of domestic harvested fish and/or domestic processed fish be established in relation to the initial annual amounts.

(4) Initial OY (IOY), including research quota (RQ), domestic annual harvest (DAH), and domestic annual processing (DAP) for Loligo squid, which, subject to annual review, may be specified for a period of up to 3 years;

(5) Inseason adjustment, upward or downward, to the specifications for Loligo squid as specified in paragraph (e) of this section.

(b) Guidelines. As the basis for its recommendations under paragraph (a) of this section, the Monitoring Committee shall review available data pertaining to: Commercial, recreational, and research project landings; discards; current estimates of fishing mortality; stock status; the most recent estimates of recruitment; virtual population analysis results; levels of noncompliance by harvesters or individual states; impact of size/mesh regulations; results of a survey of domestic processors and joint venture operators of estimated mackerel processing capacity and intent to use that capacity; results of a survey of fishermen's trade associations of estimated mackerel harvesting capacity and intent to use that capacity; and any other relevant information. The specifications recommended pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section must be consistent with the following:

(1) Squid. (i) The ABC for any fishing year must be either the maximum OY specified in §648.20, or a lower amount, if stock assessments indicate that the potential yield is less than the maximum OY.

(ii) IOY is a modification of ABC based on social and economic factors. The IOY is composed of a RQ and DAH. RQ will be based on requests for research quota as described in paragraph (g) of this section. DAH will be set after deduction for RQ, if applicable.

(2) Mackerel. (i) Mackerel ABC must be calculated using the formula ABC = T - C, where C is the estimated catch of mackerel in Canadian waters for the upcoming fishing year and T is the catch associated with a fishing mortality rate that is equal to Ftarget (F = 0.25) at an 890,000 mt spawning stock biomass (or greater) and decreases linearly to zero at a 450,000 mt spawning stock biomass (1/2 BMSY) or below.

(ii) IOY is a modification of ABC, based on social and economic factors, and must be less than or equal to ABC.

(iii) IOY is composed of RQ, DAH and TALFF. RQ will be based on requests for research quota as described in paragraph (g) of this section. DAH, DAP, and JVP will be set after deduction for RQ, if applicable, and must be projected by reviewing data from sources specified in paragraph (a) of this section and other relevant data, including past domestic landings, projected amounts of mackerel necessary for domestic processing and for joint ventures during the fishing year, projected recreational landings, and other data pertinent for such a projection. The JVP component of DAH is the portion of DAH that domestic processors either cannot or will not use. In addition, IOY is based on the criteria set forth in the Magnuson-Stevens Act, specifically section 201(e), and on the following economic factors:

(A) Total world export potential of mackerel producing countries.

(B) Total world import demand of mackerel consuming countries.

(C) U.S. export potential based on expected U.S. harvests, expected U.S. consumption, relative prices, exchange rates, and foreign trade barriers.

(D) Increased/decreased revenues to the United States from foreign fees.

(E) Increased/decreased revenues to U.S. harvesters (with/without joint ventures).

(F) Increased/decreased revenues to U.S. processors and exporters.

(G) Increases/decreases in U.S. harvesting productivity due to decreases/increases in foreign harvest.

(H) Increases/decreases in U.S. processing productivity.

(I) Potential impact of increased/decreased TALFF on foreign purchases of U.S. products and services and U.S.-caught fish, changes in trade barriers, technology transfer, and other considerations.

(3) Butterfish. (i) If the Monitoring Committee's review indicates that the stock cannot support a level of harvest equal to the maximum OY, the Monitoring Committee shall recommend establishing an ABC less than the maximum OY for the fishing year. This level represents the modification of maximum OY to reflect biological and ecological factors. If the stock is able to support a harvest level equivalent to the maximum OY, the ABC must be set at that level.

(ii) IOY is a modification of ABC based on social and economic factors. The IOY is composed of a RQ, DAH, and bycatch TALFF that is equal to 0.08 percent of the allocated portion of the mackerel TALFF. RQ will be based on requests for research quota as described in paragraph (g) of this section. DAH and bycatch TALFF will be set after deduction for RQ, if applicable.

(c) Recommended measures. Based on the review of the data described in paragraph (a) of this section and requests for research quota as described in paragraph (g) of this section, the Monitoring Committee will recommend to the Squid, Mackerel, and Butterfish Committee the measures from the following list that it determines are necessary to ensure that the specifications are not exceeded:

(1) Research quotas set from a range of 0 to 3 percent of IOY.

(2) Commercial quotas, set after reductions for research quotas.

(3) The amount of Loligo and butterfish that may be retained, possessed and landed by vessels issued the incidental catch permit specified in §648.4(a)(5).

(4) Commercial minimum fish sizes.

(5) Commercial trip limits.

(6) Commercial seasonal quotas/closures for Loligo and Illex.

(7) Minimum mesh sizes.

(8) Commercial gear restrictions.

(9) Recreational harvest limit, set after reductions for research quotas.

(10) Recreational minimum fish size.

(11) Recreational possession limits.

(12) Recreational season.

(d) [Reserved]

(e) Inseason adjustments. The specifications established pursuant to this section may be adjusted by the Regional Administrator, in consultation with the MAFMC, during the fishing year by publishing notification in the Federal Register stating the reasons for such an action and providing a 30–day public comment period.

(f) Distribution of annual Loligo squid commercial quota. (1) Beginning January 1, 2001, a commercial quota will be allocated annually for Loligo squid into quarterly periods, based on the following percentages:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------                           Quarter                              Percent------------------------------------------------------------------------I_January-March..............................................      33.23II_April-June................................................      17.61III_July-September...........................................      17.30IV_October-December..........................................      31.86------------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) Beginning January 1, 2001, any overages of commercial quota landed from Quarter I will be subtracted from Quarter III and any overages of commercial quota landed from Quarter II will be subtracted from Quarter IV.

(3) Beginning January 1, 2003, if commercial landings in Quarter I are determined to be less than 80 percent of the Quarter I quota allocation, any remaining Quarter I quota that is less than 80 percent will be reallocated to Quarter III (e.g., if the Quarter I quota was 100,000 lb (220,462 kg) and 50,000 lb (110,231 kg) was landed, then the remaining Quarter I quota, up to 80 percent, or 30,000 lb (66,139 kg), would be reallocated to Quarter III. A balance of 20 percent, or 20,000 lb (44,092 kg), would remain in Quarter I).

(g) Research quota. Prior to the Council's quota-setting meetings:

(1) NMFS will publish a Request for Proposals (RFP) in the Federal Register, consistent with procedures and requirements established by the NOAA Grants Office, to solicit proposals from industry for the upcoming fishing year, based on research priorities identified by the Council.

(2) NMFS will convene a review panel including the Council's Comprehensive Management Committee, as well as technical experts, to review proposals submitted in response to the RFP.

(i) Each panel member will recommend which research proposals should be authorized to utilize research quota, based on the selection criteria described in the RFP.

(ii) The Regional Administrator and the NOAA Grants Office will consider each panel member's recommendation, provide final approval of the projects and exempt selected vessel(s) from regulations specified in each of the respective FMPs through written notification to the project proponent.

(3) The grant awards approved under the RFPs will be for the upcoming fishing year. Proposals to fund research that would start prior to, or that would end after the fishing year, will not be eligible for consideration. All research and/or compensation trips will have to be completed within the fishing year for which the research grant was awarded.

(4) Research projects will be conducted in accordance with provisions approved and provided in an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) issued by the Regional Administrator.

(5) If a proposal is disapproved by the Regional Administrator or the NOAA Grants Office, or if the Regional Administrator determines that the allocated research quota cannot be utilized by a project, the Regional Administrator shall reallocate the unallocated or unused amount of research quota to the respective commercial and recreational fisheries by publication of a notice in the Federal Register in compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act, provided:

(i) The reallocation of the unallocated or unused amount of research quota is in accord with National Standard 1, and can be available for harvest before the end of the fishing year for which the research quota is specified; and

(ii) Any reallocation of unallocated or unused research quota shall be consistent with the proportional division of quota between the commercial and recreational fisheries in the relevant FMP and allocated to the remaining quota periods for the fishing year proportionally.

(6) Vessels participating in approved research projects may be exempted from certain management measures by the Regional Administrator, provided that one of the following analyses of the impacts associated with the exemptions is provided:

(i) The analysis of the impacts of the requested exemptions is included as part of the annual quota specification packages submitted by the Council; or

(ii) For proposals that require exemptions that extend beyond the scope of the analysis provided by the Council, applicants may be required to provide additional analysis of impacts of the exemptions before issuance of an EFP will be considered, as specified in the EFP regulations at §648.745(b).

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 8637, Feb. 26, 1997; 64 FR 57593, Oct. 26, 1999; 65 FR 16345, Mar. 28, 2000; 65 FR 55927, Sept. 15, 2000; 66 FR 13028, Mar. 2, 2001; 66 FR 35566, July 6, 2001; 66 FR 42159, Aug. 10, 2001; 67 FR 3627, Jan. 25, 2002; 67 FR 44394, July 2, 2002; 68 FR 60, Jan. 2, 2003; 69 FR 16178, Mar. 29, 2004]

§ 648.22   Closure of the fishery.
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(a) General. NMFS shall close the directed mackerel fishery in the EEZ when U.S. fishermen have harvested 80 percent of the DAH of that fishery if such closure is necessary to prevent the DAH from being exceeded. The closure shall remain in effect for the remainder of the fishing year, with incidental catches allowed as specified in paragraph (c) of this section, until the entire DAH is attained. When the Regional Administrator projects that DAH will be attained for mackerel, NMFS will close the mackerel fishery in the EEZ, and the incidental catches specified for mackerel in paragraph (c) of this section will be prohibited. NMFS will close the directed fishery in the EEZ for Loligo when 80 percent is harvested in Quarters I, II and III, and when 95 percent of the total annual DAH has been harvested. The closure of the directed fishery will be in effect for the remainder of the fishing year, with incidental catches allowed as specified in paragraph (c) of this section. NMFS will close the directed fishery in the EEZ for Illex or butterfish when 95 percent of the DAH has been harvested. The closure of the directed fishery will be in effect for the remainder of the fishing year, with incidental catches allowed as specified in paragraph (c) of this section.

(b) Notification. Upon determining that a closure is necessary, the Assistant Administrator will notify, in advance of the closure, the Executive Directors of the MAFMC, NEFMC, and SAFMC; mail notification of the closure to all holders of mackerel, squid, and butterfish fishery permits at least 72 hours before the effective date of the closure; provide adequate notice of the closure to recreational participants in the fishery; and publish notification of closure in the Federal Register.

(c) Incidental catches. During the closure of the directed fishery for mackerel, the possession limit for mackerel is 10 percent by weight of the total amount of fish on board. During a period of closure of the directed fishery for Loligo, Illex, or butterfish, the possession limit for Loligo and butterfish is 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) each, and the possession limit for Illex is 10,000 lb (4.54 mt). Vessels may not land more than these limits during any single calendar day, which is defined as the 24–hour period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 8637, Feb. 26, 1997; 65 FR 16345, Mar. 28, 2000; 65 FR 81765, Dec. 27, 2000; 66 FR 13028, Mar. 2, 2001; 69 FR 4864, Feb. 2, 2004]

§ 648.23   Gear restrictions.
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(a) [Reserved]

(b) Definition of “not available for immediate use.” Gear that is shown not to have been in recent use and that is stowed in conformance with one of the following methods is considered to be not available for immediate use:

(1) Nets. (i) Below deck stowage. (A) It is stored below the main working deck from which it is deployed and retrieved;

(B) The towing wires, including the leg wires, are detached from the net; and

(C) It is fan-folded (flaked) and bound around its circumference.

(ii) On-deck stowage. (A) It is fan-folded (flaked) and bound around its circumference;

(B) It is securely fastened to the deck or rail of the vessel; and

(C) The towing wires, including the leg wires, are detached from the net.

(iii) On-reel stowage. (A) The net is on a reel, its entire surface is covered with canvas or other similar opaque material, and the canvas or other material is securely bound;

(B) The towing wires are detached from the net; and

(C) The codend is removed and stored below deck.

(iv) On-reel stowage for vessels transiting the Gulf of Maine Rolling Closure Areas, the Georges Bank Seasonal Area Closure, and the Conditional Gulf of Maine Rolling Closure Area. (A) The net is on a reel, its entire surface is covered with canvas or other similar opaque material, and the canvas or other material is securely bound;

(B) The towing wires are detached from the doors; and

(C) No containment rope, codend tripping device, or other mechanism to close off the codend is attached to the codend.

(2) Scallop dredges. (i) The towing wire is detached from the scallop dredge, the towing wire is completely reeled up onto the winch, the dredge is secured and the dredge or the winch is covered so that it is rendered unuseable for fishing; or

(ii) The towing wire is detached from the dredge and attached to a bright-colored poly ball no less than 24 inches (60.9 cm) in diameter, with the towing wire left in its normal operating position (through the various blocks) and either is wound back to the first block (in the gallows) or is suspended at the end of the lifting block where its retrieval does not present a hazard to the crew and where it is readily visible from above.

(3) Hook gear (other than pelagic). All anchors and buoys are secured and all hook gear, including jigging machines, is covered.

(4) Sink gillnet gear. All nets are covered with canvas or other similar material and lashed or otherwise securely fastened to the deck or rail, and all buoys larger than 6 inches (15.24 cm) in diameter, high flyers, and anchors are disconnected.

(5) Other methods of stowage. Any other method of stowage authorized in writing by the Regional Administrator and subsequently published in the Federal Register.

(c) Mesh obstruction or constriction. The owner or operator of a fishing vessel shall not use any mesh construction, mesh configuration or other means that effectively decreases the mesh size below the minimum mesh size, except that a liner may be used to close the opening created by the rings in the aftermost portion of the net, provided the liner extends no more than 10 meshes forward of the aftermost portion of the net. The inside webbing of the codend shall be the same circumference or less than the outside webbing (strengthener). In addition, the inside webbing shall not be more than 2 ft (61 cm) longer than the outside webbing.

(d) Net obstruction or constriction. The owner or operator of a fishing vessel shall not use any device, gear, or material, including, but not limited to, nets, net strengtheners, ropes, lines, or chafing gear, on the top of the regulated portion of a trawl net that results in an effective mesh opening of less than 17/8 inches (48 mm) diamond mesh, inside stretch measure. Net strengtheners (covers), splitting straps and/or bull ropes or wire may be used, provided they do not constrict the top of the regulated portion of the net to less than an effective mesh opening of 17/8 inches (48 mm), diamond mesh, inside stretch measure. Net strengtheners (covers) may not have an effective mesh opening of less than 4.5 inches (11.43 cm), diamond mesh, inside stretch measure. “Top of the regulated portion of the net” means the 50 percent of the entire regulated portion of the net that (in a hypothetical situation) would not be in contact with the ocean bottom during a tow if the regulated portion of the net were laid flat on the ocean floor. For the purpose of this paragraph (d), head ropes are not to be considered part of the top of the regulated portion of a trawl net.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 14648, Mar. 27, 1997; 63 FR 1774, Jan. 12, 1998; 64 FR 24073, May 5, 1999; 65 FR 16345, Mar. 28, 2000; 65 FR 37911, June 19, 2000; 68 FR 9586, Feb. 28, 2003; 69 FR 22951, Apr. 27, 2004]

§ 648.24   Framework adjustments to management measures.
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(a) Within season management action. The Council, at any time, may initiate action to add or adjust management measures within the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP if it finds that action is necessary to meet or be consistent with the goals and objectives of the plan.

(1) Adjustment process. The Council shall develop and analyze appropriate management actions over the span of at least two Council meetings. The Council must provide the public with advance notice of the availability of the recommendation(s), appropriate justification(s) and economic and biological analyses, and the opportunity to comment on the proposed adjustment(s) at the first meeting and prior to and at the second Council meeting. The Council's recommendations on adjustments or additions to management measures must come from one or more of the following categories: Minimum fish size, maximum fish size, gear restrictions, gear requirements or prohibitions, permitting restrictions, recreational possession limit, recreational seasons, closed areas, commercial seasons, commercial trip limits, commercial quota system including commercial quota allocation procedure and possible quota set asides to mitigate bycatch, recreational harvest limit, annual specification quota setting process, FMP Monitoring Committee composition and process, description and identification of essential fish habitat (and fishing gear management measures that impact EFH), description and identification of habitat areas of particular concern, overfishing definition and related thresholds and targets, regional gear restrictions, regional season restrictions (including option to split seasons), restrictions on vessel size (LOA and GRT) or shaft horsepower, any other management measures currently included in the FMP, set aside quota for scientific research, regional management, and process for inseason adjustment to the annual specification.

(2) Council recommendation. After developing management actions and receiving public testimony, the Council shall make a recommendation to the Regional Administrator. The Council's recommendation must include supporting rationale, if management measures are recommended, an analysis of impacts, and a recommendation to the Regional Administrator on whether to issue the management measures as a final rule. If the Council recommends that the management measures should be issued as a final rule, the Council must consider at least the following factors, and provide support and analysis for each factor considered:

(i) Whether the availability of data on which the recommended management measures are based allows for adequate time to publish a proposed rule, and whether the regulations would have to be in place for an entire harvest/fishing season.

(ii) Whether there has been adequate notice and opportunity for participation by the public and members of the affected industry in the development of the recommended management measures.

(iii) Whether there is an immediate need to protect the resource.

(iv) Whether there will be a continuing evaluation of management measures following their implementation as a final rule.

(3) NMFS action. If the Council's recommendation includes adjustments or additions to management measures and, after reviewing the Council's recommendation and supporting information:

(i) If NMFS concurs with the Council's recommended management measures and determines that the recommended management measures should be issued as a final rule based on the factors specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the measures will be issued as a final rule in the Federal Register.

(ii) If NMFS concurs with the Council's recommended management measures and determines that the recommended management measures should be published first as a proposed rule, the measures will be published as a proposed rule in the Federal Register. After additional public comment, if NMFS concurs with the Council recommendation, the measures will be issued as a final rule in the Federal Register.

(iii) If NMFS does not concur, the Council will be notified in writing of the reasons for the non-concurrence.

(4) Emergency actions. Nothing in this section is meant to derogate from the authority of the Secretary to take emergency action under section 305(e) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

(b) [Reserved]

[64 FR 57593, Oct. 26, 1999]

Subpart C—Management Measures for Atlantic Salmon
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§ 648.40   Prohibition on possession.
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(a) Incidental catch. All Atlantic salmon caught incidental to a directed fishery for other species in the EEZ must be released in such a manner as to insure maximum probability of survival.

(b) Presumption. The possession of Atlantic salmon is prima facie evidence that such Atlantic salmon were taken in violation of this regulation. Evidence that such fish were harvested in state waters, or from foreign waters, or from aquaculture enterprises, will be sufficient to rebut the presumption. This presumption does not apply to fish being sorted on deck.

§ 648.41   Framework specifications.
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(a) Within season management action. The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) may, at any time, initiate action to implement, add to or adjust Atlantic salmon management measures to allow for Atlantic salmon aquaculture projects in the EEZ, provided such an action is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Atlantic Salmon FMP.

(b) Framework process. After initiation of an action to implement, add to or adjust an Atlantic salmon management measure to allow for an Atlantic salmon aquaculture project in the EEZ, the NEFMC shall develop and analyze Atlantic salmon management measures to allow for Atlantic salmon aquaculture projects in the EEZ over the span of at least two NEFMC meetings. The NEFMC shall provide the public with advance notice of the availability of both the proposals and the analysis and opportunity to comment on them prior to and at the second NEFMC meeting. The NEFMC's recommendation on aquaculture management measures must come from one or more of the following categories: minimum fish sizes, gear restrictions, minimum mesh sizes, possession limits, tagging requirements, monitoring requirements, reporting requirements, permit restrictions, area closures, establishment of special management areas or zones and any other management measures currently included in the FMP.

(c) NEFMC recommendation. After developing Atlantic salmon management measures and receiving public testimony, the NEFMC shall make a recommendation to NMFS. The NEFMC's recommendation must include supporting rationale and, if management measures are recommended, an analysis of impacts and a recommendation to NMFS on whether to issue the management measures as a final rule. If NMFS concurs with the NEFMC's recommendation to issue the management measures as a final rule, the NEFMC must consider at least the following factors and provide support and analysis for each factor considered:

(1) Whether the availability of data on which the recommended management measures are based allows for adequate time to publish a proposed rule, and whether regulations have to be in place for an entire harvest/fishing season.

(2) Whether there has been adequate notice and opportunity for participation by the public and members of the affected industry in the development of the NEFMC's recommended management measures.

(3) Whether there is an immediate need to protect the resource.

(4) Whether there will be a continuing evaluation of measures adopted following their implementation as a final rule.

(d) NMFS action. If the NEFMC's recommendation includes implementation of management measures and, after reviewing the NEFMC's recommendation and supporting information:

(1) NMFS concurs with the NEFMC's recommended management measures and determines that the recommended measures should be issued as a final rule based on the factors specified in paragraph (c)(1) through (4) of this section, the measures will be issued as a final rule in the Federal Register.

(2) NMFS concurs with the NEFMC's recommendation and determines that the recommended management measures should be published first as a proposed rule, the measures will be published as a proposed rule in the Federal Register. After additional public comment, if NMFS concurs with the NEFMC recommendation, the measures will be issued as a final rule in the Federal Register.

(3) NMFS does not concur, the NEFMC will be notified in writing of the reasons for the non-concurrence.

(e) Emergency action. Nothing in this section is meant to derogate from the authority of the Secretary to take emergency action under section 305(e) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

[64 FR 40520, July 27, 1999]

Subpart D—Management Measures for the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery
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Source:  69 FR 35215, June 23, 2004, unless otherwise noted.

§ 648.50   Shell-height standard.
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(a) Minimum shell height. The minimum shell height for in-shell scallops that may be landed, or possessed at or after landing, is 3.5 inches (8.9 cm). Shell height is a straight line measurement from the hinge to the part of the shell that is farthest away from the hinge.

(b) Compliance and sampling. Any time at landing or after, including when the scallops are received or possessed by a dealer or person acting in the capacity of a dealer, compliance with the minimum shell-height standard shall be determined as follows: Samples of 40 scallops each shall be taken at random from the total amount of scallops in possession. The person in possession of the scallops may request that as many as 10 sample groups (400 scallops) be examined. A sample group fails to comply with the standard if more than 10 percent of all scallops sampled are shorter than the shell height specified. The total amount of scallops in possession shall be deemed in violation of this subpart and subject to forfeiture, if the sample group fails to comply with the minimum standard.

§ 648.51   Gear and crew restrictions.
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(a) Trawl vessel gear restrictions. Trawl vessels issued a limited access scallop permit under §648.4(a)(2) while fishing under or subject to the DAS allocation program for scallops and authorized to fish with or possess on board trawl nets pursuant to §648.51(f), any trawl vessels in possession of more than 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked, or 5 bu (176.2 L) of in-shell scallops in or from the EEZ, and any trawl vessels fishing for scallops in the EEZ, must comply with the following:

(1) Maximum sweep. The trawl sweep of nets shall not exceed 144 ft (43.9 m), as measured by the total length of the footrope that is directly attached to the webbing, unless the net is stowed and not available for immediate use, as specified in §648.23.

(2) Net requirements—(i) Minimum mesh size. The mesh size for any scallop trawl net in all areas shall not be smaller than 5.5 inches (13.97 cm).

(ii) Measurement of mesh size. Mesh size is measured by using a wedge-shaped gauge having a taper of 2 cm (0.79 inches) in 8 cm (3.15 inches) and a thickness of 2.3 mm (0.09 inches), inserted into the meshes under a pressure or pull of 5 kg (11.02 lb). The mesh size is the average of the measurements of any series of 20 consecutive meshes for nets having 75 or more meshes, and 10 consecutive meshes for nets having fewer than 75 meshes. The mesh in the regulated portion of the net shall be measured at least five meshes away from the lacings running parallel to the long axis of the net.

(3) Chafing gear and other gear obstructions—(i) Net obstruction or constriction. A fishing vessel may not use any device or material, including, but not limited to, nets, net strengtheners, ropes, lines, or chafing gear, on the top of a trawl net, except that one splitting strap and one bull rope (if present), consisting of line and rope no more than 3 inches (7.62 cm) in diameter, may be used if such splitting strap and/or bull rope does not constrict in any manner the top of the trawl net. “The top of the trawl net” means the 50 percent of the net that (in a hypothetical situation) would not be in contact with the ocean bottom during a tow if the net were laid flat on the ocean floor. For the purpose of this paragraph (a)(3), head ropes shall not be considered part of the top of the trawl net.

(ii) Mesh obstruction or constriction. A fishing vessel may not use any mesh configuration, mesh construction, or other means on or in the top of the net, as defined in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section, if it obstructs the meshes of the net in any manner.

(iii) A fishing vessel may not use or possess a net capable of catching scallops in which the bars entering or exiting the knots twist around each other.

(b) Dredge vessel gear restrictions. All vessels issued limited access and General Category scallop permits and fishing with scallop dredges, with the exception of hydraulic clam dredges and mahogany quahog dredges in possession of 400 lb (181.44 kg), or less, of scallops, must comply with the following restrictions, unless otherwise specified:

(1) Maximum dredge width. The combined dredge width in use by or in possession on board such vessels shall not exceed 31 ft (9.4 m) measured at the widest point in the bail of the dredge, except as provided under paragraph (e) of this section. However, component parts may be on board the vessel such that they do not conform with the definition of “dredge or dredge gear” in §648.2, i.e., the metal ring bag and the mouth frame, or bail, of the dredge are not attached, and such that no more than one complete spare dredge could be made from these component's parts.

(2) Minimum mesh size. The mesh size of 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 shall not be smaller than 10-inch (25.4-cm) square or diamond mesh.

(3) Minimum ring size. (i) Unless otherwise required under the Sea Scallop Area Access program specified in §648.60(a)(6), the ring size used in a scallop dredge possessed or used by scallop vessels shall not be smaller than 4 inches (10.2 cm).

(ii) Ring size is determined by measuring the shortest straight line passing through the center of the ring from one inside edge to the opposite inside edge of the ring. The measurement shall not include normal welds from ring manufacturing or links. The rings to be measured will be at least five rings away from the mouth, and at least two rings away from other rigid portions of the dredge.

(iii) Ring size is determined by measuring the shortest straight line passing through the center of the ring from one inside edge to the opposite inside edge of the ring. The measurement shall not include normal welds from ring manufacturing or links. The rings to be measured will be at least five rings away from the mouth, and at least two rings away from other rigid portions of the dredge.

(4) Chafing gear and other gear obstructions—(i) Chafing gear restrictions. No chafing gear or cookies shall be used on the top of a scallop dredge.

(ii) Link restrictions. No more than double links between rings shall be used in or on all parts of the dredge bag, except the dredge bottom. No more than triple linking shall be used in or on the dredge bottom portion and the diamonds. Damaged links that are connected to only one ring, i.e., “hangers,” are allowed, unless they occur between two links that both couple the same two rings. Dredge rings may not be attached via links to more than four adjacent rings. Thus, dredge rings must be rigged in a configuration such that, when a series of adjacent rings are held horizontally, the neighboring rings form a pattern of horizontal rows and vertical columns. A copy of a diagram showing a schematic of a legal dredge ring pattern is available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(iii) Dredge or net obstructions. No material, device, net, dredge, ring, or link configuration or design shall be used if it results in obstructing the release of scallops that would have passed through a legal sized and configured net and dredge, as described in this part, that did not have in use any such material, device, net, dredge, ring link configuration or design.

(iv) Twine top restrictions. In addition to the minimum twine top mesh size specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, vessels issued limited access scallop permits that are fishing for scallops under the DAS Program are also subject to the following restrictions:

(A) If a vessel is rigged with more than one dredge, or if a vessel is rigged with only one dredge and such dredge is greater than 8 ft (2.4 m) in width, there must be at least seven rows of non-overlapping steel rings unobstructed by netting or any other material between the terminus of the dredge (club stick) and the net material on the top of the dredge (twine top).

(B) If a vessel is rigged with only one dredge, and such dredge is less than 8 ft (2.4 m) in width, there must be at least four rows of non-overlapping steel rings unobstructed by netting or any other material between the club stick and the twine top of the dredge. (A copy of a diagram showing a schematic of a legal dredge with twine top is available from the Regional Administrator upon request).

(c) Crew restrictions. Limited access vessels participating in or subject to the scallop DAS allocation program may have no more than seven people aboard, including the operator, when not docked or moored in port, except as follows:

(1) There is no restriction on the number of people on board for vessels participating in the Sea Scallop Area Access Program as specified in §648.60;

(2) Vessels participating in the small dredge program are restricted as specified in paragraph (e) of this section;

(3) The Regional Administrator may authorize additional people to be on board through issuance of a letter of authorization.

(4) A certified at-sea observer is on board, as required by §648.11(g).

(d) Sorting and shucking machines. (1) Shucking machines are prohibited on all limited access vessels fishing under the scallop DAS program, or any vessel in possession of more than 400 lb (181.44 kg) of scallops, unless the vessel has not been issued a limited access scallop permit and fishes exclusively in state waters.

(2) Sorting machines are prohibited on limited access vessels fishing under the scallop DAS program.

(e) Small dredge program restrictions. Any vessel owner whose vessel is assigned to either the part-time or Occasional category may request, in the application for the vessel's annual permit, to be placed in one category higher. Vessel owners making such request may be placed in the appropriate higher category for the entire year, if they agree to comply with the following restrictions, in addition to and notwithstanding other restrictions of this part, when fishing under the DAS program described in §648.53, or in possession of more than 400 lb (181.44 kg) of shucked, or 50 bu (17.62 hl) of in-shell scallops:

(1) The vessel must fish exclusively with one dredge no more than 10.5 ft (3.2 m) in width.

(2) The vessel may not use or have more than one dredge on board.

(3) The vessel may have no more than five people, including the operator, on board, except as follows:

(i) There is no restriction on the number of people on board for vessels participating in the Sea Scallop Area Access Program as specified in §648.60;

(ii) The Regional Administrator may authorize additional people to be on board through issuance of a letter of authorization.

(iii) A certified at-sea observer is on board, as required by §648.11(g).

(f) Restrictions on the use of trawl nets. (1) A vessel issued a limited access scallop permit fishing for scallops under the scallop DAS allocation program may not fish with, possess on board, or land scallops while in possession of a trawl net, unless such vessel has been issued a limited access trawl vessel permit that endorses the vessel to fish for scallops with a trawl net. A limited access scallop vessel issued a trawl vessel permit that endorses the vessel to fish for scallops with a trawl net and general category scallop vessels enrolled in the Area Access Program as specified in §648.60, may not fish with a trawl net in the Access Areas specified in §648.59(b) through (d).

(2) Replacement vessels. A vessel that is replacing a vessel authorized to use trawl nets to fish for scallops under scallop DAS may also be authorized to use trawl nets to fish for scallops under scallop DAS if it meets the following criteria:

(i) Has not fished for scallops with a scallop dredge after December 31, 1987; or

(ii) Has fished for scallops with a scallop dredge on no more than 10 trips from January 1, 1988, through December 31, 1994, has an engine horsepower no greater than 450.

[69 FR 35215, June 23, 2004, as amended at 69 FR 63473, Nov. 2, 2004; 71 FR 33226, June 8, 2006]

Effective Date Note:  At 71 FR 34848, June 16, 2006, §648.51 was amended by adding paragraphs (c)(4) and (e)(3)(iii), effective June 16, 2006 through Dec. 13, 2006.

§ 648.52   Possession and landing limits.
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(a) Owners or operators of vessels with a limited access scallop permit that have declared out of the DAS program as specified in §648.10 or that have used up their DAS allocations, and vessels issued a VMS general scallop permit, unless exempted under the state waters exemption program described under §648.54, are prohibited from possessing or landing per trip more than 400 lb (181.44 kg) of shucked, or 50 bu (17.62 hL) of in-shell scallops, with no more than one scallop trip of 400 lb (181.44 kg) of shucked, or 50 bu (17.62 hL) of in-shell scallops, allowable in any calendar day.

(b) Owners or operators of vessels without a scallop permit, vessels issued a Non-VMS general scallop permit, and vessels issued a VMS general scallop permit that have declared out of the general scallop fishery as described in §648.10(b)(4), except vessels fishing for scallops exclusively in state waters, are prohibited from possessing or landing per trip, more than 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked, or 5 bu (176.2 L) of in-shell scallops. Owners or operators of vessels without a scallop permit are prohibited from fishing for or possessing more than 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked, or 5 bu (176.2 L) if in-shell scallops and from selling, bartering, or trading scallops harvested from Federal waters.

(c) Owners or operators of vessels with a limited access scallop permit that have declared into the Sea Scallop Area Access Program as described in §648.60 are prohibited from fishing for or landing per trip, or possessing at any time, more than any sea scallop possession and landing limit specified in or specified by the Regional Administrator in accordance with §648.60(a)(5).

(d) Owners or operators of vessels issued limited access or general category scallop permits fishing in or transiting the area south of 42°20'N. Latitude at any time during a trip are prohibited from fishing for, possessing, or landing per trip more than 50 bu (17.62 hl) of in-shell scallops shoreward of the VMS Demarcation Line, unless when fishing under the state waters exemption specified under §648.54.

[69 FR 35215, June 23, 2004, as amended at 69 FR 63473, Nov. 2, 2004; 70 FR 48867, Aug. 22, 2005; 71 FR 33226, June 8, 2006]

§ 648.53   DAS allocations.
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(a) Assignment to DAS categories. Subject to the vessel permit application requirements specified in §648.4, for each fishing year, each vessel issued a limited access scallop permit shall be assigned to the DAS category (full-time, part-time, or Occasional) it was assigned to in the preceding year, except as provided under the small dredge program specified in §648.51(e).

(b) Open area DAS allocations. (1) Total DAS to be used in all areas other than those specified in §648.59, are specified through the framework process as specified in §648.55.

(2) Each vessel qualifying for one of the three DAS categories specified in the table in this paragraph (b)(2) (Full-time, Part-time, or Occasional) shall be allocated the maximum number of DAS for each fishing year it may participate in the open area limited access scallop fishery, according to its category. A vessel whose owner/operator has declared out of the scallop fishery, pursuant to the provisions of §648.10, or that has used up its maximum allocated DAS, may leave port without being assessed a DAS, as long as it has made appropriate VMS declaration as specified in §648.10(b)(4), does not fish for or land per trip, or possess at any time, more than 400 lb (181.4 kg) of shucked or 50 bu (17.6 hL) of in-shell scallops and complies with all other requirements of this part. The annual open area DAS allocations for each category of vessel for the fishing years indicated, after deducting DAS for observer and research DAS set-asides, are as follows:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------                      DAS category                         2006    2007------------------------------------------------------------------------Full-time...............................................      52      51Part-time...............................................      21      20Occasional..............................................       4       4------------------------------------------------------------------------

(3) Prior to setting the DAS allocations specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, one percent of total available DAS will be set aside to help defray the cost of observers, as specified in paragraph (h)(i) of this section. Two percent of total available DAS will be set aside to pay for scallop related research, as outlined in paragraph (h)(ii) of this section.

(4) Additional open area DAS. If a TAC for yellowtail flounder specified in §648.85(c) is harvested for an Access Area specified in §648.59(b) through (d), a scallop vessel with remaining trips in the affected Access Area shall be allocated additional open area DAS according to the calculations specified in paragraphs (b)(4)(i) through (iii) of this section.

(i) For each remaining complete trip in Closed Area I, a vessel may fish an additional 5.5 DAS in open areas during the same fishing year. A complete trip is deemed to be a trip that is not subject to a reduced possession limit under the broken trip provision in §648.60(c). For example, a full-time scallop vessel with two complete trips remaining in Closed Area I would be allocated 11 additional open area DAS (2 × 5.5 = 11 DAS) if the TAC for yellowtail flounder allocated to the scallop fishery is harvested in that area. Vessels allocated compensation trips as specified in §648.60(c) that cannot be made because the yellowtail TAC in Closed Area I allocated to the scallop fishery is harvested shall be allocated 0.458 additional DAS for each unused DAS in the affected access area. Unused DAS shall be calculated by dividing the compensation trip possession limit by 1,500 lb (680 kg), (the catch rate per DAS). For example, a vessel with a 10,000-lb (4,536-kg) compensation trip remaining in Closed Area I would be allocated 3.05 additional open area DAS in that same fishing year (0.458 times 10,000 lb (4,536 kg)/1,500 lb (680 kg) per day).

(ii) For each remaining complete trip in Closed Area II, a vessel may fish an additional 5.4 DAS in open areas during the same fishing year. A complete trip is deemed to be a trip that is not subject to a reduced possession limit under the broken trip provision in §648.60(c). For example, a full-time scallop vessel with two complete trips remaining in Closed Area II would be allocated 10.8 additional open area DAS (2 × 5.4 = 10.8 DAS) if the TAC for yellowtail flounder allocated to the scallop fishery is harvested in that area. Vessels allocated compensation trips as specified in §648.60(c) that cannot be made because the yellowtail TAC in Closed Area II allocated to the scallop fishery is harvested shall be allocated 0.450 additional DAS for each unused DAS in the affected access area. Unused DAS shall be calculated by dividing the compensation trip possession limit by 1,500 lb (680 kg), (the catch rate per DAS). For example, a vessel with a 10,000-lb (4,536-kg) compensation trip remaining in Closed Area II would be allocated 3 additional open area DAS in that same fishing year (0.450 times 10,000 lb (4,536 kg)/1,500 lb (680 kg) per day).

(iii) For each remaining complete trip in the Nantucket Lightship Access Area, a vessel may fish an additional 4.9 DAS in open areas during the same fishing year. A complete trip is deemed to be a trip that is not subject to a reduced possession limit under the broken trip provision in §648.60(c). For example, a full-time scallop vessel with two complete trips remaining in Nantucket Lightship Access Area would be allocated 9.8 additional open area DAS (2 × 4.9 = 9.8 DAS) if the TAC for yellowtail flounder allocated to the scallop fishery is harvested in that area. Vessels allocated compensation trips as specified in §648.60(c) that cannot be made because the yellowtail TAC in Nantucket Lightship Access Area allocated to the scallop fishery is harvested shall be allocated 0.408 additional DAS for each unused DAS in the affected access area. Unused DAS shall be calculated by dividing the compensation trip possession limit by 1,500 lb (680 kg), (the catch rate per DAS). For example, a vessel with a 10,000-lb (4,536-kg) compensation trip remaining in Nantucket Lightship Access Area would be allocated 2.7 additional open area DAS in that same fishing year (0.458 times 10,000 lb (4,536 kg)/1,500 lb (680 kg) per day).

(5) DAS allocations and other management measures are specified for each scallop fishing year, which begins on March 1 and ends on February 28 (or February 29), unless otherwise noted. For example, the 2006 fishing year refers to the period March 1, 2006, through February 28, 2007.

(c) DAS used in excess of 2006 DAS allocations. Limited access vessels that lawfully use more open area DAS in the 2006 fishing year than specified in this section shall have the DAS used in excess of the 2006 DAS allocation specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section deducted from their 2007 open area DAS allocation specified in paragraph (b)(2).

(d) Adjustments in annual DAS allocations. Annual DAS allocations shall be established for 2 fishing years through biennial framework adjustments as specified in §648.55. If a biennial framework action is not undertaken by the Council and implemented by NMFS, the DAS allocations and Access Area trip allocations from the most recent fishing year shall remain in effect for the next fishing year. The Council may also recommend adjustments to DAS allocations through a framework action at any time.

(e) End-of-year carry-over for open area DAS. With the exception of vessels that held a Confirmation of Permit History as described in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(J) for the entire fishing year preceding the carry-over year, limited access vessels that have unused Open Area DAS on the last day of February of any year may carry over a maximum of 10 DAS, not to exceed the total Open Area DAS allocation by permit category, into the next year. DAS carried over into the next fishing year may only be used in Open Areas. DAS sanctioned vessels will be credited with unused DAS based on their unused DAS allocation, minus total DAS sanctioned.

(f) Accrual of DAS. Unless the vessel is carrying an observer and is authorized to be charged fewer DAS in Open Areas based on the total available DAS set aside under paragraph (h)(1) of this section, and unless participating in the Area Access Program described in §648.60, DAS shall accrue to the nearest minute.

(g) Good Samaritan credit. Limited access vessels fishing under the DAS program and that spend time at sea assisting in a USCG search and rescue operation or assisting the USCG in towing a disabled vessel, and that can document the occurrence through the USCG, will not accrue DAS for the time documented.

(h) DAS set-asides—(1) DAS set-aside for observer coverage. As specified in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, to help defray the cost of carrying an observer, 1 percent of the total DAS shall be set aside from the total DAS available for allocation, to be used by vessels that are assigned to take an at-sea observer on a trip other than an Area Access Program trip. The DAS set-aside for observer coverage for the 2006 and 2007 fishing years is 165 DAS for each fishing year. Vessels carrying an observer shall be compensated with reduced DAS accrual rates for each trip on which the vessel carries an observer. For each DAS that a vessel fishes for scallops with an observer on board, the DAS shall accrue at a reduced rate based on an adjustment factor determined by the Regional Administrator on an annual basis, dependent on the cost of observers, catch rates, and amount of available DAS set-aside. The Regional Administrator shall notify vessel owners of the cost of observers and the DAS adjustment factor through a permit holder letter issued prior to the start of each fishing year. The number of DAS that are deducted from each trip based on the adjustment factor shall be deducted from the observer DAS set-aside amount in the applicable fishing year. Utilization of the DAS set-aside shall be on a first-come, first-served basis. When the DAS set-aside for observer coverage has been utilized, vessel owners shall be notified that no additional DAS remain available to offset the cost of carrying observers. The obligation to carry and pay for an observer shall not be waived due to the absence of set-aside DAS allocations.

(2) DAS set-aside for research. As specified in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, to help support the activities of vessels participating in certain research, as specified in §648.56; the DAS set-aside for research for the 2006 and 2007 fishing years is 330 DAS for each fishing year. Vessels participating in approved research shall be authorized to use additional DAS in the applicable fishing year. Notification of allocated additional DAS shall be provided through a letter of authorization, or Exempted Fishing Permit issued by NMFS, or shall be added to a participating vessel's open area DAS allocation, as appropriate.

(i) End-of-year carry-over for open area DAS. With the exception of vessels that held a Confirmation of Permit History as described in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(R) for the entire fishing year preceding the carry-over year, limited access vessels that have unused Open Area DAS on the last day of February of any year may carry over a maximum of 10 DAS, not to exceed the total Open Area DAS allocation by permit category, into the next year. DAS carried over into the next fishing year may only be used in Open Areas. DAS sanctioned vessels will be credited with unused DAS based on their unused DAS allocation, minus total DAS sanctioned.

[69 FR 35215, June 23, 2004, as amended at 69 FR 63473, Nov. 2, 2004; 71 FR 33226, June 8, 2006]

Effective Date Note:  At 71 FR 19374, Apr. 13, 2006, §648.53 was amended by suspending paragraph (e) and adding paragraph (i), effective May 1, 2006, through Oct. 10, 2006.

§ 648.54   State waters exemption.
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(a) Limited access scallop vessel exemption—(1) DAS requirements. 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 a state's waters, provided the vessel complies with paragraphs (d) through (g) of this section, and the notification requirements of §648.10(e).

(2) Gear and possession limit restrictions. Any vessel issued a limited access scallop permit that is exempt from the DAS requirements of §648.53(b) under paragraph (a) of this section, and that has complied with the notification requirements of §648.10(e), is also exempt from the gear restrictions specified in §648.51(a), (b), (e)(1) and (e)(2), and the possession restrictions specified in §648.52(a), while fishing exclusively landward of the outer boundary of the waters of a state that has been issued a state waters exemption, provided the vessel complies with paragraphs (d) through (g) of this section.

(b) General scallop vessel gear and possession limit restrictions. Any vessel issued a general scallop permit is exempt from the gear restrictions specified in §648.51(a), (b), (e)(1) and (e)(2), and the possession limit specified in §648.52(a), while fishing exclusively landward of the outer boundary of the waters of a state that has been issued a state waters exemption, provided the vessel complies with paragraphs (d) through (g) of this section. Vessels issued a VMS general scallop permit must be declared out of the general category scallop fishery as described in §648.10(e).

(c) State eligibility for exemption. (1) A state may be eligible for the 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.

(3) Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts have been determined by the Regional Administrator to have scallop fisheries and scallop conservation programs that do not jeopardize the biomass and fishing mortality/effort limit objectives of the Scallop FMP. These states must immediately notify the Regional Administrator of any changes in their respective 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 Scallop 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, amending this paragraph (c)(3) to eliminate the exemption for that state. The Regional Administrator may determine that other states have scallop fisheries and scallop conservation programs that do 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, amending this paragraph (c)(3) to provide the exemption for such states.

(d) Notification requirements. Vessels fishing under the exemptions provided by paragraph(s) (a)(1) and/or (a)(2) of this section must notify the Regional Administrator in accordance with the provisions of §648.10(e).

(e) 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.

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

(g) Applicability of other provisions of this part. A vessel fishing under the exemptions provided by paragraphs (a) and/or (b) 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]

§ 648.55   Framework adjustments to management measures
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(a) Biennially, or upon a request from the Council, the Regional Administrator shall provide the Council with information on the status of the scallop resource. Within 60 days of receipt of that information, the Council PDT shall assess the condition of the scallop resource to determine the adequacy of the management measures to achieve the stock-rebuilding objectives. Based on this information, the PDT shall prepare a Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) Report that provides the information and analysis needed to evaluate potential management adjustments. Based on this information and analysis, the Council shall initiate a framework adjustment to establish or revise DAS allocations, rotational area management programs, TACs, scallop possession limits, or other measures to achieve FMP objectives and limit fishing mortality. The Council's development of an area rotation program shall take into account at least the following factors: General rotation policy; boundaries and distribution of rotational closures; number of closures; minimum closure size; maximum closure extent; enforceability of rotational closed and re-opened areas; monitoring through resource surveys; and re-opening criteria. Rotational Closures should be considered where projected annual change in scallop biomass is greater than 30 percent. Areas should be considered for Sea Scallop Access Areas where the projected annual change in scallop biomass is less than 15 percent.

(b) The preparation of the SAFE Report shall begin on or about June 1 of the year preceding the fishing year in which measures will be adjusted. If the biennial framework action is not undertaken by the Council, or if a final rule resulting from a biennial framework is not published in the Federal Register with an effective date on or before March 1, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, the measures from the most recent fishing year shall continue, beginning March 1 of each fishing year.

(c) In the SAFE Report, the Scallop PDT shall review and evaluate the existing management measures to determine if the measures are achieving the FMP objectives and OY from the scallop resource as a whole. In doing so, the PDT shall consider the effects of any closed areas, either temporary, indefinite, or permanent, on the ability of the FMP to achieve OY and prevent overfishing on a continuing basis, as required by National Standard 1 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. If the existing management measures are deemed insufficient to achieve FMP objectives and/or are not expected to achieve OY and prevent overfishing on a continuing basis, the PDT shall recommend to the Council appropriate measures and alternatives that will meet FMP objectives, achieve OY, and prevent overfishing on a continuing basis. When making the status determination in the SAFE Report, the PDT shall calculate the stock biomass and fishing mortality for the entire unit stock and consider all sources of scallop mortality to compare with the minimum biomass and maximum fishing mortality thresholds.

(d) In order to assure that OY is achieved and overfishing is prevented, on a continuing basis, the PDT shall recommend management measures necessary to achieve optimum yield-per-recruit from the exploitable components of the resource (e.g., those components available for harvest in the upcoming fishing years), taking into account at least the following factors:

(1) Differential fishing mortality rates for the various spatial components of the resource;

(2) Overall yields from the portions of the scallop resource available to the fishery;

(3) Outlook for phasing in and out closed or controlled access areas under the Area Rotation Program; and

(4) Potential adverse impacts on EFH.

(e) After considering the PDT's findings and recommendations, or at any other time, if the Council determines that adjustments to, or additional management measures are necessary, it shall develop and analyze appropriate management actions over the span of at least two Council meetings. To address interactions between the scallop fishery and sea turtles and other protected species, such adjustments may include proactive measures including, but not limited to, the timing of Sea Scallop Access Area openings, seasonal closures, gear modifications, increased observer coverage, and additional research. The Council shall provide the public with advance notice of the availability of both the proposals and the analyses, and opportunity to comment on them prior to and at the second Council meeting. The Council's recommendation on adjustments or additions to management measures must include measures to prevent overfishing of the available biomass of scallops and ensure that OY is achieved on a continuing basis, and must come from one or more of the following categories:

(1) DAS changes.

(2) Shell height.

(3) Offloading window reinstatement.

(4) Effort monitoring.

(5) Data reporting.

(6) Trip limits.

(7) Gear restrictions.

(8) Permitting restrictions.

(9) Crew limits.

(10) Small mesh line.

(11) Onboard observers.

(12) Modifications to the overfishing definition.

(13) VMS Demarcation Line for DAS monitoring.

(14) DAS allocations by gear type.

(15) Temporary leasing of scallop DAS requiring full public hearings.

(16) Scallop size restrictions, except a minimum size or weight of individual scallop meats in the catch.

(17) Aquaculture enhancement measures and closures.

(18) Closed areas to increase the size of scallops caught.

(19) Modifications to the opening dates of closed areas.

(20) Size and configuration of rotation management areas.

(21) Controlled access seasons to minimize bycatch and maximize yield.

(22) Area-specific DAS or trip allocations.

(23) TAC specifications and seasons following re-opening.

(24) Limits on number of area closures.

(25) TAC or DAS set-asides for funding research.

(26) Priorities for scallop-related research that is funded by a TAC or DAS set-aside.

(27) Finfish TACs for controlled access areas.

(28) Finfish possession limits.

(29) Sea sampling frequency.

(30) Area-specific gear limits and specifications.

(31) Any other management measures currently included in the FMP.

(f) The Council must select an alternative that will achieve OY and prevent overfishing on a continuing basis, and which is consistent with other applicable law. If the Council fails to act or does not recommend an approvable alternative, the Regional Administrator may select one of the alternatives developed and recommended by the PDT, which would achieve OY and prevent overfishing on a continuing basis and is consistent with applicable law, and shall implement such alternative pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act.

(g) The Council may make recommendations to the Regional Administrator to implement measures in accordance with the procedures described in this subpart to address gear conflict as defined under §600.10 of this chapter. In developing such recommendation, the Council shall define gear management areas, each not to exceed 2,700 mi2 (6,993 km2 ), and seek industry comments by referring the matter to its standing industry advisory committee for gear conflict, or to any ad hoc industry advisory committee that may be formed. The standing industry advisory committee or ad hoc committee on gear conflict shall hold public meetings seeking comments from affected fishers and develop findings and recommendations on addressing the gear conflict. After receiving the industry advisory committee findings and recommendations, or at any other time, the Council shall determine whether it is necessary to adjust or add management measures to address gear conflicts and which FMPs must be modified to address such conflicts. If the Council determines that adjustments or additional measures are necessary, it shall develop and analyze appropriate management actions for the relevant FMPs over the span of at least two Council meetings. The Council shall provide the public with advance notice of the availability of the recommendation, the appropriate justification and economic and biological analyses, and opportunity to comment on them prior to and at the second or final Council meeting before submission to the Regional Administrator. The Council's recommendation on adjustments or additions to management measures for gear conflicts must come from one or more of the following categories:

(1) Monitoring of a radio channel by fishing vessels.

(2) Fixed gear location reporting and plotting requirements.

(3) Standards of operation when gear conflict occurs.

(4) Fixed gear marking and setting practices.

(5) Gear restrictions for specific areas (including time and area closures).

(6) VMS.

(7) Restrictions on the maximum number of fishing vessels or amount of gear.

(8) Special permitting conditions.

(h) The measures shall be evaluated and approved by the relevant committees with oversight authority for the affected FMPs. If there is disagreement between committees, the Council may return the proposed framework adjustment to the standing or ad hoc gear conflict committee for further review and discussion.

(i) Unless otherwise specified, after developing a framework adjustment and receiving public testimony, the Council shall make a recommendation to the Regional Administrator. The Council's recommendation must include supporting rationale and, if management measures are recommended, an analysis of impacts and a recommendation to the Regional Administrator on whether to publish the framework adjustment as a final rule. If the Council recommends that the framework adjustment should be published as a final rule, the Council must consider at least the following factors and provide support and analysis for each factor considered:

(1) Whether the availability of data on which the recommended management measures are based allows for adequate time to publish a proposed rule, and whether regulations have to be in place for an entire harvest/fishing season.

(2) Whether there has been adequate notice and opportunity for participation by the public and members of the affected industry, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, in the development of the Council's recommended management measures.

(3) Whether there is an immediate need to protect the resource or to impose management measures to resolve gear conflicts.

(4) Whether there will be a continuing evaluation of management measures adopted following their promulgation as a final rule.

(j) If the Council's recommendation includes adjustments or additions to management measures, and if, after reviewing the Council's recommendation and supporting information:

(1) The Regional Administrator approves the Council's recommended management measures, the Secretary may, for good cause found pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, waive the requirement for a proposed rule and opportunity for public comment in the Federal Register. The Secretary, in doing so, shall publish only the final rule. Submission of a recommendation by the Council for a final rule does not effect the Secretary's responsibility to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act; or

(2) The Regional Administrator approves the Council's recommendation and determines that the recommended management measures should be published first as a proposed rule, the action shall be published as a proposed rule in the Federal Register. After additional public comment, if the Regional Administrator concurs with the Council recommendation, the action shall be published as a final rule in the Federal Register; or

(3) The Regional Administrator does not concur, the Council shall be notified, in writing, of the reasons for the non-concurrence.

(k) Nothing in this section is meant to derogate from the authority of the Secretary to take emergency action under §305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

[69 FR 35215, June 23, 2004, as amended at 69 FR 63474, Nov. 2, 2004; 71 FR 33228, June 8, 2006]

§ 648.56   Scallop research.
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(a) Annually, the Council and NMFS shall prepare and issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) that identifies research priorities for projects to be conducted by vessels using research set-aside as specified in §§648.53(b)(3) and 648.60(e).

(b) Proposals submitted in response to the RFP must include the following information, as well as any other specific information required within the RFP: A project summary that includes the project goals and objectives; the relationship of the proposed research to scallop research priorities and/or management needs; project design; participants other than the applicant, funding needs, breakdown of costs, and the vessel(s) for which authorization is requested to conduct research activities.

(c) NMFS shall make the final determination as to what proposals are approved and which vessels are authorized to take scallops in excess of possession limits, utilize DAS set-aside for research, or take additional trips into Access Areas. NMFS shall provide authorization of such activities to specific vessels by letter of acknowledgement, letter of authorization, or Exempted Fishing Permit issued by the Regional Administrator, which must be kept on board the vessel.

(d) Upon completion of scallop research projects approved under this part, researchers must provide the Council and NMFS with a report of research findings, which must include: A detailed description of methods of data collection and analysis; a discussion of results and any relevant conclusions presented in a format that is understandable to a non-technical audience; and a detailed final accounting of all funds used to conduct the sea scallop research.

§ 648.57   Sea scallop area rotation program.
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(a) An area rotation program is established for the scallop fishery, which may include areas closed to scallop fishing defined in §648.58, and/or Sea Scallop Access Areas defined in §648.59, subject to the Sea Scallop Area Access program requirements specified in §648.60. Areas not defined as Rotational Closed Areas, Sea Scallop Access Areas, EFH Closed Areas, or areas closed to scallop fishing under other FMPs, are open to scallop fishing as governed by the other management measures and restrictions in this part. The Council's development of area rotation programs is subject to the framework adjustment process specified in §648.55, including the Area Rotation Program factors included in §648.55(a).

§ 648.58   Rotational Closed Areas.
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(a) Elephant Trunk Closed Area. Through December 31, 2006, no vessel may fish for scallops in, or possess or land scallops from, the area known as the Elephant Trunk Closed Area. No vessel may possess scallops in the Elephant Trunk Closed Area, unless such vessel is only transiting the area as provided in paragraph (c) of this section. The Elephant Trunk Closed Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                     Latitude           Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------ET1..............................  38°50[min] N.   74°20[min] W.ET2..............................  38°10[min] N.   74°20[min] W.ET3..............................  38°10[min] N.   73°30[min] W.ET4..............................  38°50[min] N.   73°30[min] W.ET1..............................  38°50[min] N.   74°20[min] W.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(b) Delmarva Closed Area. From January 1, 2007, through February 28, 2010, no vessel may fish for scallops in, or possess or land scallops from, the area known as the Delmarva Closed Area. No vessel may possess scallops in the Delmarva Closed Area, unless such vessel is only transiting the area as provided in paragraph (b) of this section. The Delmarva Closed Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                     Latitude           Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------DMV1.............................  38°10[min] N.   74°50[min] W.DMV2.............................  38°10[min] N.   74°00[min] W.DMV3.............................  37°15[min] N.   74°00[min] W.DMV4.............................  37°15[min] N.   74°50[min] W.DMV1.............................  38°10[min] N.   74°50[min] W.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(c) Transiting. No vessel possessing scallops may enter or be in the area(s) specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section unless the vessel is transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is unavailable for immediate use as defined in §648.23(b), or there is a compelling safety reason to be in such areas.

(d) Vessels fishing for species other than scallops. A vessel may fish for species other than scallops within the closed areas specified in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section as allowed in this part, provided the vessel does not fish for, catch, or retain scallops or intend to fish for, catch, or retain scallops. Declaration through VMS that the vessel is fishing in the general category scallop fishery is deemed to be an intent to fish for, catch, or retain scallops.

[71 FR 33228, June 8, 2006]

§ 648.59   Sea Scallop Access Areas.
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(a) Hudson Canyon Sea Scallop Access Area. (1) Through February 29, 2008, a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit may fish for, possess, and land scallops in or from, the area known as the Hudson Canyon Sea Scallop Access Area, described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, only if the vessel is participating in, and complies with the requirements of, the area access program described in §648.60, and provided the vessel did not complete all of its allocated trips during the 2005 fishing year, as described in §648.60(a)(3)(i)(E). A vessel issued a general scallop permit may fish in the Hudson Canyon Sea Scallop Access Area in 2006 and 2007 provided it complies with the trip declaration requirements specified in §648.10(b)(4) and possession restrictions specified in §648.52.

(2) The Hudson Canyon Sea Scallop Access Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                     Latitude           Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------H1...............................  39°30[min] N.   73°10[min] W.H2...............................  39°30[min] N.   72°30[min] W.H3...............................  38°30[min] N.   73°30[min] W.H4/ET4...........................  38°50[min] N.   73°30[min] W.H5...............................  38°50[min] N.   73°42[min] W.H1...............................  39°30[min] N.   73°10[min] W.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(3) Number of trips. Based on its permit category, a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit may fish any remaining Hudson Canyon Access Area trips allocated for the 2005 fishing year in the Hudson Canyon Access Area, as specified in §648.60(a)(3)(i)(C), plus any additional Hudson Canyon Access Area trips acquired through an authorized one-for-one exchange as specified in §648.60(a)(3)(ii). A vessel with unutilized compensation trips for Sea Scallop Access Area trips terminated early during the 2005 fishing year, pursuant to §648.60(c), may take such compensation trips in the 2006 and/or 2007 fishing year in the Hudson Canyon Access Area. A vessel owner may exchange complete unutilized trips carried forward to the 2006 and 2007 fishing years with another vessel owner as specified in §648.60(a)(3)(ii). Compensation trips for prior trips terminated early that are carried forward from the 2005 fishing year, as specified in this paragraph (a)(3), may not be exchanged.

(b) Closed Area I Access Area. This area shall be managed on a 3-year cycle, with a 1-year closure, followed by a 2-year Area Access Program, as follows:

(1) Through February 28, 2007, and every third fishing year thereafter (i.e., March 1, 2009, through February 28, 2010, etc.) vessels issued scallop permits, except vessels issued a NE Multispecies permit and a general category scallop permit and fishing in an approved SAP under §648.85 and under multispecies DAS, may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from, the area known as the Closed Area I Access Area, described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.

(2) Beginning March 1, 2007, through February 28, 2009, and for every 2-year period, based on the fishing year, after the year-long closure described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section (i.e., March 1, 2010 through February 29, 2012, etc.), and subject to the seasonal restrictions specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, a vessel issued a scallop permit may fish for, possess, and land scallops in or from, the area known as the Closed Area I Access Area, described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, only if the vessel is participating in, and complies with the requirements of, the area access program described in §648.60.

(3) The Closed Area I Access Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                     Latitude           Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------CAIA1............................  41°26[min] N.   68°30[min] W.CAIA2............................  41°09[min] N.   68°30[min] W.CAIA3............................  41°4.54[min]    69°0.9[min]                                    N.                  W.CAIA1............................  41°26[min] N.   68°30[min] W.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(4) Season. A vessel issued a scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from, the area known as the Closed Area I Sea Scallop Access Area, described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, except during the period June 15 through January 31 of each year the Closed Area I Sea Scallop Access Area is open to scallop vessels, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.

(5) Number of trips—(i) Limited access vessels. Based on its permit category, a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit may fish no more than the maximum number of trips in 2007 in the Closed Area I Access Area as specified in §648.60(a)(3)(i), unless the vessel owner has made an exchange with another vessel owner whereby the vessel gains a Closed Area I Access Area trip and gives up a trip into another Sea Scallop Access Area, as specified in §648.60(a)(3)(ii), or unless the vessel is taking a compensation trip for a prior Closed Area I Access Area trip that was terminated early, as specified in §648.60(c).

(ii) General category vessels. (A) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(5)(ii)(B) of this section, subject to the possession limit specified in §§648.52(a) and (b) and 648.60(g), and subject to the seasonal restrictions specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, a vessel issued a general category scallop permit, may not enter in, or fish for, possess, or land sea scallops in or from the Closed Area I Access Area once the Regional Administrator has provided notification in the Federal Register, in accordance with §648.60(g)(4), that 216 trips in the 2007 fishing year have been taken, in total, by all general category scallop vessels, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section. The Regional Administrator shall notify all general category scallop vessels of the date when the maximum number of allowed trips have been, or are projected to be, taken for the 2007 fishing year.

(B) A vessel issued a NE Multispecies permit and a general category scallop permit that is fishing in an approved SAP under §648.85 under multispecies DAS may fish in the Scallop Access Areas without being subject to the restrictions of paragraph (b)(5)(ii)(A) of this section, provided that it has not enrolled in the Scallop Area Access program. Such vessel is prohibited from possessing scallops.

(c) Closed Area II Access Area. This area shall be managed on a 3-year cycle, based on fishing years, with a 1-year closure, followed by a 2-year Area Access Program as follows:

(1) From March 1, 2007, through February 29, 2008, and every third fishing year thereafter, (i.e., March 1, 2010, through February 28, 2011, etc.) vessels issued scallop permits, except vessels issued a NE Multispecies permit and a general category scallop permit and fishing in an approved SAP under §648.85 and under multispecies DAS, may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from, the area known as the Closed Area II Access Area, described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.

(2) Through February 28, 2007, and for every 2-year period after the year-long closure described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section (i.e., March 1, 2008, through February 28, 2010, etc.) and subject to the seasonal restrictions specified in paragraph (c)(4) of this section, a vessel issued a scallop permit may fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from, the area known as the Closed Area II Sea Scallop Access Area, described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, only if the vessel is participating in, and complies with the requirements of, the area access program described in §648.60.

(3) The Closed Area II Sea Scallop Access Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                     Latitude           Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------CAIIA1...........................  41°00[min] N.   67°20[min] W.CAIIA2...........................  41°00[min] N.   66°35.8[min]                                                        W.CAIIA3...........................  41°18.6[min]    66°24.8[min]                                    N.                  W.CAIIA4...........................  41°30[min] N.   66°34.8[min]                                                        W.CAIIA5...........................  41°30[min] N.   67°20[min] W.CAIIA1...........................  41°00[min] N.   67°20[min] W.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(4) Season. A vessel issued a scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the area known as the Closed Area II Sea Scallop Access Area, described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, except during the period June 15 through January 31 of each year the Closed Area II Access Area is open to scallop vessels, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.

(5) Number of trips—(i) Limited access vessels. Based on its permit category, a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit may fish no more than the maximum number of trips in 2006 in the Closed Area II Access Area as specified in §648.60(a)(3)(i), unless the vessel owner has made an exchange with another vessel owner whereby the vessel gains a Closed Area II Access Area trip and gives up a trip into another Sea Scallop Access Area, as specified in §648.60(a)(3)(ii), or unless the vessel is taking a compensation trip for a prior Closed Area II Access Area trip that was terminated early, as specified in §648.60(c).

(ii) General category vessels. (A) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(5)(ii)(B) of this section, subject to the possession limits specified in §§648.52(a) and (b), and 648.60(g), and subject to the seasonal restrictions specified in paragraph (c)(4) of this section, a vessel issued a general category scallop permit may not enter in, or fish for, possess, or land sea scallops in or from the Closed Area II Access Area once the Regional Administrator has provided notification in the Federal Register, in accordance with §648.60(g)(4), that 865 trips in the 2006 fishing year have been taken, in total, by all general category scallop vessels, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section. The Regional Administrator shall notify all general category scallop vessels of the date when the maximum number of allowed trips have been, or are projected to be, taken for the 2006 fishing year.

(B) A vessel issued a NE Multispecies permit and a general category scallop permit that is fishing in an approved SAP under §648.85 under multispecies DAS may fish in the Scallop Access Areas without being subject to the restrictions of paragraph (c)(5)(ii)(A) of this section provided that it has not enrolled in the Scallop Area Access program. Such vessel is prohibited from possessing scallops.

(d) Nantucket Lightship Access Area. (1) From March 1, 2008, through February 28, 2009, and every third fishing year thereafter (i.e., March 1, 2011, through February 29, 2012, 2014, etc.) vessels issued scallop permits, except vessels issued a NE Multispecies permit and a general category scallop permit and fishing in an approved SAP under §648.85 and under multispecies DAS, may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the area known as the Nantucket Lightship Access Area, described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.

(2) Through February 29, 2008, and for every 2-year period, based on fishing years, after each the year-long closure described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section (i.e., March 1, 2009, through February 28, 2011, etc.) and subject to the seasonal restrictions specified in paragraph (d)(4) of this section, a vessel issued a scallop permit may fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from, the area known as the Nantucket Lightship Sea Scallop Access Area, described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, only if the vessel is participating in, and complies with the requirements of, the area access program described in §648.60.

(3) The Nantucket Lightship Sea Scallop Access Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                     Latitude           Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------NLSA1............................  40°50[min] N.   69°00[min] W.NLSA2............................  40°30[min] N.   69°00[min] W.NLSA3............................  40°30[min] N.   69°14.5[min]                                                        W.NLSA4............................  40°50[min] N.   69°29.5[min]                                                        W.NLAA1............................  40°50[min] N.   69°00[min] W.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(4) Season. A vessel issued a scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the area known as the Nantucket Lightship Sea Scallop Access Area, described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, except during the period June 15 through January 31 of each year the Nantucket Lightship Access Area is open to scallop fishing, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.

(5) Number of trips—(i) Limited access vessels. Based on its permit category, a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit may fish no more than the maximum number of trips in 2006 and 2007 in the Nantucket Lightship Access Area as specified in §648.60(a)(3)(i), unless the vessel owner has made an exchange with another vessel owner whereby the vessel gains a Nantucket Lightship Access Area trip and gives up a trip into another Sea Scallop Access Area, as specified in §648.60(a)(3)(ii), or unless the vessel is taking a compensation trip for a prior Nantucket Lightship Closed Area Access Area trip that was terminated early, as specified in §648.60(c).

(ii) General category vessels. (A) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(5)(ii)(B) of this section, subject to the possession limits specified in §§648.52(a) and (b), and 648.60(g), a vessel issued a general category scallop permit, may not enter in, or fish for, possess, or land sea scallops in or from the Nantucket Lightship Access Area once the Regional Administrator has provided notification in the Federal Register, in accordance with §648.60(g)(4), that 577 trips in the 2006 fishing year, and 394 trips in the 2007 fishing year, have been taken, in total, by all general category scallop vessels, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section. The Regional Administrator shall notify all general category scallop vessels of the date when the maximum number of allowed trips have been, or are projected to be, taken for the 2006 and 2007 fishing years.

(B) A vessel issued a NE Multispecies permit and a general category scallop permit that is fishing in an approved SAP under §648.85 under multispecies DAS may fish in the Scallop Access Areas without being subject to the restrictions of paragraph (d)(5)(ii)(A) of this section provided that it has not enrolled in the Scallop Area Access program. Such vessel is prohibited from possessing scallops.

(e) Elephant Trunk Sea Scallop Access Area. (1) From January 1, 2007, through February 29, 2012, and subject to the seasonal restrictions specified in paragraph (e)(3) of this section, a vessel issued a scallop permit may fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the area known as the Elephant Trunk Sea Scallop Access Area, described in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, only if the vessel is participating in, and complies with the requirements of, the area access program described in §648.60.

(2) The Elephant Trunk Sea Scallop Access Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                     Latitude           Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------ETAA1............................  38°50[min] N.   74°20[min] W.ETAA2............................  38°10[min] N.   74°20[min] W.ETAA3............................  38°10[min] N.   73°30[min] W.ETAA4............................  38°50[min] N.   73°30[min] W.ETAA1............................  38°50[min] N.   74°20[min] W.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(3) Season. A vessel issued a scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the area known as the Elephant Trunk Sea Scallop Access Area, described in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, from September 1 through October 31 of each year the Elephant Trunk Access Area is open to scallop fishing as a Sea Scallop Access Area, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.

(4) Number of trips—(i) Limited access vessels. Based on its permit category, a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit may fish no more than the maximum number of trips in the Elephant Trunk Sea Scallop Access Area between January 1, 2007, and February 29, 2008, as specified in §648.60(a)(3)(i), or as adjusted as specified in §648.60(a)(3)(i)(F), unless the vessel owner has made an exchange with another vessel owner whereby the vessel gains an Elephant Trunk Sea Scallop Access Area trip and gives up a trip into another Sea Scallop Access Area, as specified in §648.60(a)(3)(ii), or unless the vessel is taking a compensation trip for a prior Elephant Trunk Access Area trip that was terminated early, as specified in §648.60(c).

(ii) General category vessels. Subject to the possession limits specified in §§648.52(a) and (b) and 648.60(g), a vessel issued a general category scallop permit may not enter in, or fish for, possess, or land sea scallops in or from the Elephant Trunk Sea Scallop Access Area once the Regional Administrator has provided notification in the Federal Register, in accordance with §648.60(g)(4), that 1,360 trips allocated for the period January 1, 2007, through February 29, 2008, unless adjusted as specified in §648.60(a)(3)(i)(F), have been taken, in total, by all general category scallop vessels, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section. The Regional Administrator shall notify all general category scallop vessels of the date when the maximum number of allowed trips have been, or are projected to be, taken for the period January 1, 2007, through February 29, 2008.

(f) Transiting. A sea scallop vessel that has not declared a trip into the Sea Scallop Area Access Program may enter the Sea Scallop Access Areas described in paragraphs (a), (b), (d), and (e), of this section, and possess scallops not caught in the Sea Scallop Access Areas, for transiting purposes only, provided the vessel's fishing gear is stowed in accordance with §648.23(b). A scallop vessel that has declared a trip into the Sea Scallop Area Access Program may transit a Scallop Access Area while steaming to or from another Scallop Access Area, provided the vessel's fishing gear is stowed in accordance with §648.23(b), or there is a compelling safety reason to be in such areas without such gear being stowed. A vessel may only transit the Closed Area II Access Area, as described in paragraph (c) of this section, if there is a compelling safety reason for transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is stowed in accordance with §648.23(b).

[71 FR 33228, June 8, 2006]

§ 648.60   Sea scallop area access program requirements.
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(a) A vessel issued a limited access scallop permit may only fish in the Sea Scallop Access Areas specified in §648.59, subject to the seasonal restrictions specified in §648.59, when fishing under a scallop DAS, provided the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(9), and (b) through (f) of this section. A general category scallop vessel may fish in the Sea Scallop Access Areas specified in §648.59, subject to the seasonal restrictions specified in §648.59, provided the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraphs (g) of this section.

(1) VMS. Each vessel participating in the Sea Scallop Access Area Program must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §§648.9 and 648.10, and paragraph (e) of this section.

(2) Declaration. (i) Each vessel participating in the Sea Scallop Access Area Program must comply with the trip declaration requirements specified in §648.10(b)(4).

(ii) To fish in a Sea Scallop Access Area, each participating vessel owner or operator shall declare a Sea Scallop Access Area trip via VMS less than 1 hour prior to the vessel leaving port, in accordance with instructions to be provided by the Regional Administrator.

(iii) Vessels participating in the Sea Scallop Access Area Program must comply with the trip declaration requirements specified in §648.11(g), and each participating vessel owner or operator shall declare a Sea Scallop Access Area trip via VMS less than one hour prior to the vessel leaving port, in accordance with instructions provided by the Regional Administrator.

(3) Number of Sea Scallop Access Area trips.—(i) Limited Access Vessel trips. (A) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, and unless the number of trips is adjusted for the Elephant Trunk Access Area as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i)(F) of this section, paragraphs (a)(3)(i)(B) through (E) specify the total number of trips that a limited access scallop vessel may take into Sea Scallop Access Areas during applicable seasons specified in §648.59. The number of trips per vessel in any one Sea Scallop Access Area may not exceed the maximum number of trips allocated for such Sea Scallop Access Area as specified in §648.59, unless the vessel owner has exchanged a trip with another vessel owner for an additional Sea Scallop Access Area trip, as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section, been allocated a compensation trip pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, or unless the Elephant Trunk Access Area trip allocations are adjusted as specified in §648.60(a)(3)(i)(F).

(B) Full-time scallop vessels. In the 2006 fishing year, a full-time scallop vessel may take three trips in the Closed Area II Access Area, and two trips in the Nantucket Lightship Access Area. In the 2007 fishing year, a full-time scallop vessel may take one trip in the Closed Area I Access Area, one trip in the Nantucket Lightship Access Area, and five trips in the Elephant Trunk Access Area, unless adjusted as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i)(F) of this section.

(C) Part-time scallop vessels. In the 2006 fishing year, a part-time scallop vessel may take one trip in the Closed Area II Access Area and one trip in the Nantucket Lightship Access Area; or two trips in the Closed Area II Access Area; or two trips in the Nantucket Lightship Access Area. In the 2007 fishing year, a part-time scallop vessel may take one trip in the Closed Area I Access Area, one trip in the Nantucket Lightship Access Area, and one trip in the Elephant Trunk Access Area; or one trip in the Closed Area I Access Area and two trips in the Elephant Trunk Access Area; or one trip in the Nantucket Lightship Access Area and two trips in the Elephant Trunk Access Area; or three trips in the Elephant Trunk Access Area, unless adjusted as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i)(F) of this section.

(D) Occasional scallop vessels. An occasional scallop vessel may take one trip in the 2006 fishing year and one trip in the 2007 fishing year into any of the Access Areas described in §648.59 that is open during the specified fishing years.

(E) Hudson Canyon Access Area trips. In addition to the number of trips specified in paragraphs (a)(3)(i)(B) through (C) of this section, vessels may fish remaining Hudson Canyon Access Area trips allocated for the 2005 fishing year in the Hudson Canyon Access Area in the 2006 and/or 2007 fishing year, as specified in §648.59(a)(3). The maximum number of trips that a vessel could take in the Hudson Canyon Access Area in the 2005 fishing year was three trips, unless a vessel acquired additional trips through an authorized one-for-one exchange as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section. Full-time scallop vessels were allocated three trips into the Hudson Canyon Access Area. Part-time vessels were allocated two trips that could be distributed among Closed Area I, Closed Area II, and the Hudson Canyon Access Areas, not to exceed one trip in the Closed Area I or Closed Area II Access Areas. Occasional vessels were allocated one trip that could be taken in any Access Area that was open in the 2005 fishing year.

(F) Procedure for adjusting the number of 2007 fishing year trips in the Elephant Trunk Access Area. (1) The Regional Administrator shall reduce the number of Elephant Trunk Access Area trips using the table in paragraph (a)(3)(i)(F)(2) of this section, provided that an updated biomass projection is available with sufficient time to announce such an adjustment through publication of a final rule in the Federal Register, pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, on or about December 1, 2006. If information is not available in time for NMFS to publish a final rule on or about December 1, 2006, no adjustment may be made. The adjustment of the 2007 Elephant Trunk Access Area trip allocations shall be based on all available scientific surveys of scallops within the Elephant Trunk Access Area. Survey data must be available with sufficient time for review and incorporation in the biomass estimate. If NMFS determines that a survey is not scientifically sound and unbiased, those results shall not be used to estimate biomass. If no other surveys are available, the annual NOAA scallop resource survey shall be used alone to estimate exploitable scallop biomass for the Elephant Trunk Access Area.

(2) Table of total allowable catch and trip allocation adjustments based on exploitable biomass estimates and revised target total allowable catch levels. The following table specifies the adjustments that would be made through the procedure specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i)(F)(1) of this section under various biomass estimates and adjusted 2007 target total allowable catch (TAC) estimates:

                             Updated Estimates of Elephant Trunk Access Area Biomass                               [In metric tons (mt) and millions of pounds (mlb)]----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                     Below 22,920 mt    22,920-28,650 mt    28,651-34,380 mt    Above 34,381 mt                                       (50.5 mlb)        (50.5-63.1 mlb)     (63.2-75.7 mlb)       (75.8 mlb)----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Adjusted 2007 Target Total         5,234 mt            7,851 mt            10,468 mt           13,085 mt Allowable Catch.                  (11.5 mlb)          (17.3 mlb)          (23.08 mlb)         (28.8 mlb)Adjusted 2007 TAC for Research     103 mt              157 mt              209 mt              262 mt and General Category Fishery.     0.228 mlb           0.346 mlb           0.461 mlb           0.578 mlbAdjusted 2007 Observer TAC.......  52 mt               78 mt               105 mt              131 mt                                   0.114 mlb           0.173 mlb           0.231 mlb           0.289 mlbMaximum Number of Limited Access   2                   3                   4                   No adjustment Trips per Vessel.General Category Trips...........  570                 865                 1,154               No adjustment----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(ii) One-for-one area access trip exchanges. (A) If the total number of trips allocated to a vessel into all Sea Scallop Access Areas combined is more than one, the owner of a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit may exchange, on a one-for-one basis, unutilized trips into one access area for another vessel's unutilized trips into another Sea Scallop Access Area. One-for-one exchanges may be made only between vessels with the same permit category. For example, a full-time vessel may not exchange trips with a part-time vessel and vice versa. Vessel owners must request the exchange of trips by submitting a completed Trip Exchange Form at least 15 days before the date on which the applicant desires the exchange to be effective. Trip exchange forms are available by request from the Regional Administrator. Each vessel owner involved in an exchange is required to submit a completed Trip Exchange Form. The Regional Administrator shall review the records for each vessel to confirm that each vessel has unutilized trips remaining to exchange. The exchange is not effective until the vessel owner(s) receive a confirmation in writing from the Regional Administrator that the trip exchange has been made effective. A vessel owner may exchange trips between two or more vessels under his/her ownership. A vessel owner holding a Confirmation of Permit History is not eligible to exchange trips between another vessel and the vessel for which a Confirmation of Permit History has been issued.

(B) The owner of a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit may exchange, on a one-for-one basis, unutilized Closed Area I and Nantucket Lightship Access Area trips allocated for the 2006 fishing year as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section for Elephant Trunk Access Area trips allocated for the 2007 fishing year as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section. If Elephant Trunk Access Area allocations are reduced as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i)(F) of this section, vessels that have exchanged 2006 Closed Area I and/or Nantucket Lightship Access Area trips for 2007 Elephant Trunk Access Area trips shall have excess Elephant Trunk Access Area trips acquired through the exchange deducted from their available 2007 Elephant Trunk Access Area trip allocation.

(4) Area fished. While on a Sea Scallop Access Area trip, a vessel may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from areas outside the Sea Scallop Access Area in which the vessel operator has declared the vessel will fish during that trip, and may not enter or exit the specific declared Sea Scallop Access Area more than once per trip. A vessel on a Sea Scallop Access Area trip may not enter or be in another Sea Scallop Access Area on the same trip except such vessel may transit another Sea Scallop Access Area provided its gear is stowed in accordance with §648.23(b).

(i) Reallocation of trips into open areas. If the yellowtail flounder TAC allocated for a Scallop Access Area specified in §648.59(b) through (d) has been harvested and such area has been closed, a vessel with trips remaining to be taken in such Access Areas may fish the remaining DAS associated with the unused trip(s) in Open Areas, up to the maximum DAS specified in §648.53(b)(4)(i) through (iii).

(ii) [Reserved]

(5) Possession and landing limits—(i) Scallop possession limits. Unless authorized by the Regional Administrator, as specified in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, after declaring a trip into a Sea Scallop Access Area, a vessel owner or operator of a limited access scallop vessel may fish for, possess, and land, per trip, scallops, up to the maximum amounts specified in the table in this paragraph (a)(5). No vessel fishing in the Sea Scallop Access Area may possess shoreward of the VMS demarcation line, or land, more than 50 bu (17.6 hl) of in-shell scallops.

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                                               Possession limit            Fishing year                   Access area      ----------------------------------------------------                                                                Full-time        Part-time         Occasional----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2006................................  Closed Area II         18,000 lb        18,000 lb        7,500 lb                                      Nantucket Lightship    (8,165 kg)       (8,165 kg)        (3,402 kg)2007................................  Closed Area I          18,000 lb        16,800 lb        7,500 lb                                      Nantucket Lightship    (8,165 kg)       (7,620 kg)       (3,402 kg)                                      Elephant Truck2006 and 2007.......................  Hudson Canyon          18,000 lb        18,000 lb        7,500 lb                                                             (8,165 kg)       (8,165 kg)       (3,402 kg)----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(ii) NE multispecies possession limits and yellowtail flounder TAC. Subject to the seasonal restriction established under the Sea Scallop Area Access Program and specified in §648.59(b)(4), (c)(4), and (d)(4), and provided the vessel has been issued a scallop multispecies possession limit permit as specified in §648.4(a)(1)(ii), after declaring a trip into a Sea Scallop Access Area and fishing within the Access Areas described in §648.59(b) through (d), a vessel owner or operator of a limited access scallop vessel may fish for, possess, and land, per trip, up to a maximum of 1,000 lb (453.6 kg) of all NE multispecies combined, subject to the minimum commercial fish size restrictions specified in §648.83(a)(2), and the additional restrictions for Atlantic cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder specified in paragraphs (a)(5)(ii)(A) through (C) of this section.

(A) Atlantic cod. Such vessel may bring onboard and possess only up to 100 lb (45.4 kg) of Atlantic cod per trip, provided such fish is intended for personal use only and cannot be not sold, traded, or bartered.

(B) Haddock. Such vessels may possess and land haddock up to the overall possession limit of all NE multispecies combined, as specified in paragraph (a)(5)(ii) of this section, except that such vessels are prohibited from possessing or landing haddock from January 1 through June 30.

(C) Yellowtail flounder—(1) Yellowtail flounder TACs. Such vessel may catch yellowtail flounder provided the Regional Administrator has not issued a notice that the scallop fishery portion of the TACs specified in §648.85(c) for the Closed Area I, Closed Area II, and Nantucket Lightship Access Scallop Areas have been harvested. The Regional Administrator shall publish notification in the Federal Register, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, to notify scallop vessel owners that the scallop fishery portion of the TAC for a yellowtail flounder stock has been or is projected to be harvested by scallop vessels in any Access Area. Upon notification in the Federal Register that a TAC has been or is projected to be harvested, scallop vessels are prohibited from declaring and initiating a trip within the Access Area(s), where the TAC applies, for the remainder of the fishing year. The yellowtail flounder TACs allocated to scallop vessels may be increased by the Regional Administrator after December 1 of each year pursuant to §648.85(c)(2).

(2) SNE/MA yellowtail flounder possession limit. Such vessels fishing within the Nantucket Lightship Access Area described in §648.59(d) may fish for, possess, and land yellowtail flounder up to the overall possession limit of all NE multispecies combined, as specified in paragraph (a)(5)(ii) of this section, except that such vessels may not fish for, possess, or land more than 250 lb (113.6 kg) per trip of yellowtail flounder between June 15 and June 30, provided the Regional Administrator has not issued a notice that the scallop fishery portion of the yellowtail flounder TAC as specified in §648.85(c)(i) has been harvested.

(3) GB yellowtail flounder possession limit. After declaring a trip into and fishing within the Closed Area I or Closed Area II Access Area described in §648.59(b) and (c), the vessel owner or operator of a limited access scallop vessel may fish for, possess, and land up to 1,000 lb (453.6 kg) per trip of yellowtail flounder subject to the amount of other NE multispecies onboard, provided that the Regional Administrator has not issued a notice that the yellowtail flounder TAC specified in §648.85(c) has been harvested. If the yellowtail flounder TAC established for the Eastern U.S./Canada Area pursuant to §648.85(a)(2) has been or is projected to be harvested, as described in §648.85(a)(3)(iv)(C)(3), scallop vessels are prohibited from harvesting, possessing, or landing yellowtail flounder in or from the Closed Area I and Closed Area II Access Areas.

(iii) [Reserved]

(6) Gear restrictions. (i) The minimum ring size for dredge gear used by a vessel fishing on a Sea Scallop Access Area trip is 4 inches (10.2 cm) in diameter. Dredge or trawl gear used by a vessel fishing on a Sea Scallop Access Area trip must be in accordance with the restrictions specified in §648.51(a) and (b).

(ii) Vessels fishing in the Closed Area I, Closed Area II, and Nantucket Lightship Closed Area Sea Scallop Access Areas described in §648.59(b) through (d) are prohibited from fishing with trawl gear as specified in §648.51(f)(1).

(7) Transiting. While outside a Sea Scallop Access Area on a Sea Scallop Access Area trip, the vessel must have all fishing gear stowed in accordance with §648.23(b), unless there is a compelling safety reason to be transiting the area without gear stowed.

(8) Off-loading restrictions. The vessel may not offload its catch from a Sea Scallop Access Area trip at more than one location per trip.

(9) Reporting. The owner or operator must submit reports through the VMS, in accordance with instructions to be provided by the Regional Administrator, for each day fished when declared in the Sea Scallop Area Access Program, including trips accompanied by a NMFS-approved observer. The reports must be submitted in 24-hour intervals, for each day beginning at 0000 hours and ending at 2400 hours. The reports must be submitted by 0900 hours of the following day and must include the following information:

(i) Total pounds of scallop meats kept, total number of tows, and the Fishing Vessel Trip Report log page number.

(ii) Total pounds of yellowtail flounder kept and total pounds of yellowtail flounder discarded.

(b) [Reserved]

(c) Compensation for Sea Scallop Access Area trips terminated early. If a Sea Scallop Access Area trip is terminated before catching the allowed possession limit, the vessel may be authorized to fish an additional trip in the same Sea Scallop Access Area based on the following conditions and requirements.

(1) The vessel owner/operator has determined that the Sea Scallop Access Area trip should be terminated early for reasons deemed appropriate by the operator of the vessel;

(2) The amount of scallops landed by the vessel for the trip must be less than the maximum possession limit specified in paragraph (a)(5) of this section;

(3) The vessel owner/operator must report the termination of the trip prior to leaving the Sea Scallop Access Area by VMS email messaging, with the following information: Vessel name, vessel owner, vessel operator, time of trip termination, reason for terminating the trip (for NMFS recordkeeping purposes), expected date and time of return to port, and amount of scallops on board in pounds;

(4) The vessel owners/operator must request that the Regional Administrator authorize an additional trip as compensation for the terminated trip by submitting a written request to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the vessel's return to port from the terminated trip; and

(5) The Regional Administrator shall authorize the vessel to take an additional trip and shall specify the amount of scallops that the vessel may land on such trip pursuant to the calculation specified in paragraph (c)(5)(i) of this section. Such authorization shall be made within 10 days of receipt of the formal written request for compensation.

(i) The amount of scallops that can be landed on an authorized additional compensation Sea Scallop Access Area trip shall equal the possession limit specified in paragraph (a)(5) of this section minus the amount of scallops landed on the terminated trip. For example, if the possession limit for a full-time vessel is 18,000 lb (8,165 kg) per trip, and the vessel lands 6,500 lb (2,948.4 kg) of scallops and requests compensation for the terminated trip, the possession limit for the additional trip is 11,500 lb (5,216.3 kg) or 18,000 lb (8,165 kg) minus 6,500 lb (2,948.4 kg)).

(ii) If a vessel is authorized more than one additional compensation trip into any Sea Scallop Access Area as the result of more than one terminated trip in the same Access Area, the possession limits for the authorized trips may be combined, provided the total possession limit on a combined additional compensation trip does not exceed the possession limit for a trip as specified in paragraph (a)(5) of this section. For example, a vessel that has two broken trips with corresponding additional compensation trip authorizations of 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) and 8,000 lb (3,629 kg) may combine the authorizations to allow one compensation trip with a possession limit of 18,000 lb (8,165 kg).

(iii) A vessel operator must comply with all notification requirements prior to taking an additional compensation trip, and for each such trip, must enter a trip identification number by entering the number in the VMS for each such trip. The trip identification number will be included in the Regional Administrator's authorization for each additional compensation trip. If a vessel operator is combining additional compensation trips, the trip identification numbers from each authorization must be entered into VMS.

(iv) Unutilized 2005 Hudson Canyon compensation trips. A vessel that terminated a 2005 Hudson Canyon Access Area trip shall be issued authorization to take an additional trip as compensation for the trip terminated early pursuant to paragraph (c)(5) of this section. Such additional trips may be taken at any time during the 2006 or 2007 fishing years, as specified in §648.59(a)(3).

(v) Additional compensation trip carryover. If an Access Area trip conducted during the last 60 days of the open period or season for the Access Area is terminated before catching the allowed possession limit, and the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section are met, the vessel operator shall be authorized to fish an additional trip as compensation for the terminated trip in the following fishing year. The vessel owner/operator must take such additional compensation trips, complying with the trip notification procedures specified in paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section, within the first 60 days of that fishing year the Access Area first opens in the subsequent fishing year. For example, a vessel that terminates a Nantucket Lightship Access Area trip on December 10, 2006, must declare that it is beginning its additional compensation trip during the first 60 days that the Access Area is open (June 15, 2007, through August 15, 2007). If an Access Area is not open in the subsequent fishing year, then the additional compensation trip authorization would expire at the end of the Access Area Season in which the trip was broken. For example, a vessel that terminates a Closed Area II trip on December 10, 2006, may not carry its additional compensation trip into the 2007 fishing year because Closed Area II is not open during the 2007 fishing year, and must complete any compensation trip by January 31, 2007.

(d) Possession limit to defray costs of observers—(1) Observer set-aside limits by area—(i) Hudson Canyon Access Area. For 2006 and 2007 combined, the observer set-aside for the Hudson Canyon Access Area is 149,562 lb (67.8 mt).

(ii) Closed Area I Access Area. For the 2007 fishing year, the observer set-aside for the Closed Area I Access Area is 43,207 lb (20 mt).

(iii) Closed Area II Access Area. For the 2006 fishing year, the observer set-aside for the Closed Area II Access Area is 173,085 lb (79 mt).

(iv) Nantucket Lightship Access Area. For the 2006 and 2007 fishing years, the observer set-asides for the Nantucket Lightship Access Area are 115,390 lb (52 mt) and 78,727 lb (36 mt), respectively.

(v) Elephant Trunk Access Area. From January 1, 2007, through February 29, 2008, the observer set-aside for the Elephant Trunk Access Area is 272,000 lb (123 mt), unless adjusted as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i)(F) of this section.

(2) Increase in the possession limit to defray the costs of observers. The Regional Administrator may increase the sea scallop possession limit specified in paragraph (a)(5) of this section to defray costs of at-sea observers deployed on area access trips subject to the limits specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. An owner of a scallop vessel shall be notified of the increase in the possession limit through a permit holder letter issued by the Regional Administrator. If the observer set-aside is fully utilized prior to the end of the fishing year, the Regional Administrator shall notify owners of scallop vessels that, effective on a specified date, the increase in the possession limit is no longer available to offset the cost of observers. Unless otherwise notified by the Regional Administrator, vessel owners shall be responsible for paying the cost of the observer, regardless of whether the vessel lands or sells sea scallops on that trip, and regardless of the availability of set-aside for an increased possession limit.

(e) Possession limits and/or number of trips to defray the costs of sea scallop research—(1) Research set-aside limits and number of trips by area—(i) Hudson Canyon Access Area. For the 2006 and 2007 fishing years combined, the research set-aside for the Hudson Canyon Access Area is 299,123 (135.7 mt).

(ii) Closed Area I Access Area. For the 2007 fishing year, the research set-aside for the Closed Area I Access Area is 84,414 lb (38 mt).

(iii) Closed Area II Access Area. For the 2006 fishing year, the research set-aside for the Closed Area II Access Area is 346,170 lb (157 mt).

(iv) Nantucket Lightship Access Area. For the 2006 and 2007 fishing years, the research set-asides for the Nantucket Lightship Access Area are 230,780 lb (105 mt) and 157,454 lb (71 mt), respectively.

(v) Elephant Trunk Access Area. From January 1, 2007, through February 29, 2008, the research set-aside for the Elephant Trunk Access Area is 544,000 lb (247 mt), unless adjusted as specified in (a)(3)(i)(E) of this section.

(2) Increase of possession limit to defray the costs of sea scallop research. The Regional Administrator may increase the sea scallop possession limit specified in paragraph (a)(5) of this section or allow additional trips into a Sea Scallop Access Area to defray costs for approved sea scallop research up to the amount specified in paragraph (e)(1) of this section.

(3) Yellowtail flounder research TAC set-aside. Vessels conducting research approved under the process described in §648.56, and in the Access Areas specified in §648.59(b) through (d) may harvest cumulative yellowtail flounder up to a total amount that equals 0.2 percent of the yellowtail flounder TACs established annually, according to the specification procedure described in §648.85(a)(2), and subject to the possession limits specified in paragraph (a)(5)(ii)(C) of this section. Once 0.2 percent of the yellowtail flounder TACs established according to the specification procedure described in §648.85(a)(2) has been harvested by research vessels, research may no longer be authorized in the applicable Access Area.

(f) VMS polling. For the duration of the Sea Scallop Area Access Program, as described in this section, all sea scallop vessels equipped with a VMS unit shall be polled at a minimum of twice per hour, regardless of whether the vessel is enrolled in the Sea Scallop Area Access Program. Vessel owners shall be responsible for paying the costs of polling twice per hour.

(g) General category scallop vessels. (1) A vessel issued a general category scallop permit, except a vessel issued a NE Multispecies permit and a general category scallop permit that is fishing in an approved SAP under §648.85 under multispecies DAS that has not enrolled in the general category Access Area fishery, may only fish in the Closed Area I, Closed Area II, and Nantucket Lightship Sea Scallop Access Areas specified in §648.59(b) through (d), subject to the seasonal restrictions specified in §648.59(b)(4), (c)(4), and (d)(4), and subject to the possession limit specified in §648.52(a), and provided the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(6) through (a)(9), (d), (e), (f), and (g) of this section, and §648.85(c)(3)(ii). A vessel issued a NE Multispecies permit and a general category scallop permit that is fishing in an approved SAP under §648.85 under multispecies DAS that has not enrolled in the Sea Scallop Area Access program as specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section is not subject to the restrictions and requirements specified in §648.59(b)(5)(ii), (c)(5)(ii), (d)(5)(ii), and this paragraph (g), and is prohibited from retaining scallops on such trips.

(2) Gear restrictions. A general category vessel authorized to fish in the Access Areas specified in §648.59(b) through (d) must fish with dredge gear only. The combined dredge width in use by, or in possession on board, general category scallop vessels fishing in the Access Areas described in §648.59(b) through (d) may not exceed 10.5 ft (3.2 m), measured at the widest point in the bail of the dredge.

(3) Scallop TAC. A general category vessel authorized to fish in the Access Areas specified in §648.59(b) through (d) may land scallops, subject to the possession limit specified in §648.52(a), unless the Regional Administrator has issued a notice that the scallop TAC in the Access Area has been or is projected to be harvested. Upon a determination from the Regional Administrator that the scallop TAC for a specified Access Area, as specified in this paragraph (g)(3), has been, or is projected to be harvested, the Regional Administrator shall publish notification of this determination in the Federal Register, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

(i) Closed Area I Access Area. 86,414 (38 mt) in 2007.

(ii) Closed Area II Access Area. 346,170 (157 mt) in 2006.

(iii) Nantucket Lightship Access Area. 230,780 lb (105 mt) in 2006, and 157,454 lb (71 mt) in 2007.

(iv) Elephant Trunk Access Area. 544,000 lb (247 mt) from January 1, 2007, through February 29, 2008, unless adjusted as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i)(E) of this section.

(v) Possession Limits—(A) Scallops. A vessel issued a NE Multispecies permit and a general category scallop permit that is fishing in an approved SAP under §648.85 under multispecies DAS that has not enrolled in the general category Access Area fishery is prohibited from possessing scallops. A general category scallop vessel authorized to fish in the Access Areas specified in §648.59(b) through (e) may possess scallops up to the possession limit specified in §648.52(b), subject to a limit on the total number of trips that can be taken by all such vessels into the Access Areas, as specified in §648.59(b)(5)(ii), (c)(5)(ii), (d)(5)(ii), and (e)(4)(ii). Upon a determination by the Regional Administrator that the total number of trips allowed for general category vessels have been or are projected to be taken, the Regional Administrator shall publish notification of this determination in the Federal Register, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, and general category vessels may no longer fish within the specified Access Area.

(B) Other species. Except for vessels issued a general category scallop permit and fishing under an approved NE multispecies SAP under NE multispecies DAS, general category vessels fishing in the Access Areas specified in §648.59(b) through (d) are prohibited from possessing any species of fish other than scallops.

(4) Number of trips. A general category scallop vessel may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the Access Areas specified in §648.59(b) through (e) after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register, stating that the total number of trips specified in §648.59(b)(5)(ii), (c)(5)(ii), (d)(5)(ii), and (e)(4)(ii) have been, or are projected to be, taken by general category scallop vessels.

[71 FR 33231, June 8, 2006]

Effective Date Note:  At 71 FR 34848, June 16, 2006, §648.60 was amended by suspending paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (ii), and adding paragraph (a)(2)(iii), effective June 16, 2006 through Dec. 13, 2006.

§ 648.61   EFH closed areas.
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Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, the following areas identified in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section are closed to scallop fishing to protect EFH from adverse effects of scallop fishing (copies of charts depicting these areas are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

(a) Closed Area I EFH Closure. No vessel may fish for scallops in, or possess or land scallops from, the area known as the Closed Area I EFH Closure. No vessel may possess scallops in the Closed Area I EFH Closure, unless such vessel is only transiting the area as provided in paragraph (e) of this section. The Closed Area I EFH Closure consists of two sections, defined by straight lines connecting the points in the order stated in the following table:

                                Section 1------------------------------------------------------------------------                     Point                        Latitude    Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------                  CAIE1                         41°30[m  69°23[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.                  CAIE2                         41°30[m  68°35[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.                  CAIE3                         41°08[m  69°4.2[                                                     in] N.      min] W.                  CAIE4                         41°30[m  69°23[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Section 2------------------------------------------------------------------------                     Point                        Latitude    Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------                  CAIE5                         41°04.5  69°1.2[                                                   [min] N.      min] W.                  CAIE6                         41°09[m  68°30[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.                  CAIE7                         40°45[m  68°30[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.                  CAIE8                         40°45[m  68°45[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.                  CAIE5                         41°04.5  69°1.2[                                                   [min] N.      min] W.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(b) Closed Area II EFH Closure. No vessel may fish for scallops in, or possess or land scallops from, the area known as the Closed Area II EFH Closure. No vessel may possess scallops in the Closed Area II EFH Closure, unless such vessel is only transiting the area as provided in paragraph (e) of this section. The Closed Area II EFH Closure is defined by straight lines connecting the points in the order stated in the following table:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------                     Point                        Latitude    Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------                  CAIIE1                        42°22[m  67°20[m                                                     in] N.    in] W.\1\                  CAIIE2                        41°30[m  66°34.8                                                     in] N.  [min] W.\1\                  CAIIE3                        41°30[m  67°20[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.                  CAIIE1                        42°22[m  67°20[m                                                     in] N.    in] W.\1\------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ The U.S/Canada Maritime Boundary

(c) Nantucket Lightship Closed Area EFH Closure. No vessel may fish for scallops in, or possess or land scallops from, the area known as the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area EFH Closure. No vessel may possess scallops in the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area EFH Closure, unless such vessel is only transiting the area as provided in paragraph (e) of this section. The Nantucket Lightship Closed Area EFH Closure is defined by straight lines connecting the points in the order stated in the following table:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------                     Point                        Latitude    Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------                  NLSE1                         40°50[m  70°20[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.                  NLSE2                         40°50[m  69°29.5                                                     in] N.     [min] W.                  NLSE3                         40°30[m  69°14.5                                                     in] N.     [min] W.                  NLSE4                         40°30[m  69°00[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.                  NLSE5                         40°20[m  69°00[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.                  NLSE6                         40°20[m  70°20[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.                  NLSE1                         40°50[m  70°20[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(d) Western Gulf of Maine EFH Closure. No vessel may fish for scallops in, or possess or land scallops from, the area known as the Western Gulf of Maine EFH Closure. No vessel may possess scallops in the Western Gulf of Maine EFH Closure, unless such vessel is only transiting the area as provided in paragraph (e) of this section. The Western Gulf of Maine EFH Closure is defined by straight lines connecting the points in the order stated in the following table:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------                     Point                        Latitude    Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------                  WGOM1                         43°15[m  70°15[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.                  WGOM2                         43°15[m  69°55[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.                  WGOM3                         42°15[m  69°55[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.                  WGOM4                         42°15[m  70°15[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.                  WGOM1                         43°15[m  70°15[m                                                     in] N.       in] W.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(e) Transiting. A vessel may transit the area(s) specified in paragraphs (a), (c), and (d) of this section, provided that its gear is stowed in accordance with the provisions of §648.23(b). A vessel may transit the area specified in paragraph (b) of this section, in accordance with §648.81(b)(2)(iv).

[70 FR 66798, Nov. 3, 2005]

Subpart E—Management Measures for the Atlantic Surf Clam and Ocean Quahog Fisheries
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§ 648.70   Annual individual allocations.
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(a) General. (1) Each fishing year, the Regional Administrator shall determine the initial allocation of surfclams and ocean quahogs for the next fishing year for each allocation holder owning an allocation pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section. For each species, the initial allocation for the next fishing year is calculated by multiplying the allocation percentage owned by each allocation owner as of the last day of the previous fishing year in which allocation owners are permitted to permanently transfer allocation percentage pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section (i.e., October 15 of every year), by the quota specified by the Regional Administrator pursuant to §648.71. The total number of bushels of allocation shall be divided by 32 to determine the appropriate number of cage tags to be issued or acquired under §648.75. Amounts of allocation 0.5 or smaller created by this division shall be rounded downward to the nearest whole number, and amounts of allocation greater than 0.5 created by this division shall be rounded upward to the nearest whole number, so that allocations are specified in whole cages. These allocations shall be made in the form of an allocation permit specifying the allocation percentage and the allocation in bushels and cage tags for each species. An allocation permit is only valid for the entity for which it is issued. Such permits shall be issued on or before December 15, to allow allocation owners to purchase cage tags from a vendor specified by the Regional Administrator pursuant to §648.75(b).

(2) The Regional Administrator may, after publication of a fee notification in the Federal Register, charge a permit fee before issuance of the permit to recover administrative expenses. Failure to pay the fee will preclude issuance of the permit.

(b) Transfers—(1) Allocation percentage. Subject to the approval of the Regional Administrator, part or all of an allocation percentage may be transferred in the year in which the transfer is made, to any person or entity eligible to own a documented vessel under the terms of 46 U.S.C. 12102(a). Approval of a transfer by the Regional Administrator and for a new allocation permit reflecting that transfer may be requested by submitting a written application for approval of the transfer and for issuance of a new allocation permit to the Regional Administrator at least 10 days before the date on which the applicant desires the transfer to be effective, in the form of a completed transfer log supplied by the Regional Administrator. The transfer is not effective until the new holder receives a new or revised annual allocation permit from the Regional Administrator. An application for transfer may not be made between October 15 and December 31 of each year.

(2) Cage tags. Cage tags issued pursuant to §648.75 may be transferred at any time, and in any amount subject to the restrictions and procedure specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section; provided that application for such cage tag transfers may be made at any time before December 10 of each year. The transfer is effective upon the receipt by the transferee of written authorization from the Regional Administrator.

(3) Review. If the Regional Administrator determines that the applicant has been issued a Notice of Permit Sanction for a violation of the Magnuson Act that has not been resolved, he/she may decline to approve such transfer pending resolution of the matter.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 68 FR 69973, Dec. 16, 2003; 70 FR 2026, Jan. 12, 2005]

§ 648.71   Catch quotas.
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(a) Establishing quotas. Beginning in 2005, the amount of surfclams or ocean quahogs that may be caught annually by fishing vessels subject to these regulations will be specified for a 3-year period by the Regional Administrator. The initial 3-year specification will be based on the most recent available survey and stock assessments for Atlantic surfclams and ocean quahogs. Subsequent 3-year specifications of the annual quotas will be accomplished in the third year of the quota period, unless the quotas are modified in the interim pursuant to §648.71(b). The amount of surfclams available for harvest annually must be specified within the range of 1.85 to 3.4 m bu (98.5 to 181 m L) per year. The amount of ocean quahogs available for harvest annually must be specified within the range of 4 to 6 m bu (213 to 319.4 m L).

(1) Quota reports. On an annual basis, MAFMC staff will produce an Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog annual quota recommendation paper to the MAFMC based on the latest available stock assessment report prepared by NMFS, data reported by harvesters and processors, and other relevant data, as well as the information contained in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (vi) of this section. Based on that report, and at least once prior to August 15 of the year in which a 3–year annual quota specification expires, the MAFMC, following an opportunity for public comment, will recommend to the Regional Administrator annual quotas and estimates of DAH and DAP within the ranges specified for a 3–year period. In selecting the annual quotas, the MAFMC shall consider the current stock assessments, catch reports, and other relevant information concerning:

(i) Exploitable and spawning biomass relative to the OY.

(ii) Fishing mortality rates relative to the OY.

(iii) Magnitude of incoming recruitment.

(iv) Projected effort and corresponding catches.

(v) Geographical distribution of the catch relative to the geographical distribution of the resource.

(vi) Status of areas previously closed to surfclam fishing that are to be opened during the year and areas likely to be closed to fishing during the year.

(2) Public review. Based on the recommendation of the MAFMC, the Regional Administrator shall publish proposed surfclam and ocean quahog quotas in the Federal Register. Comments on the proposed annual quotas may be submitted to the Regional Administrator within 30 days after publication. The Assistant Administrator shall consider all comments, determine the appropriate annual quotas, and publish the annual quotas in the Federal Register each year. The quota shall be set at that amount that is most consistent with the objectives of the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog FMP. The Regional Administrator may set quotas at quantities different from the MAFMC's recommendations only if he/she can demonstrate that the MAFMC's recommendations violate the national standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the objectives of the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog FMP and other applicable law.

(b) Interim quota modifications. Based upon information presented in the quota reports described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the MAFMC may recommend to the Regional Administrator a modification to the annual quotas that have been specified for a 3–year period and any estimate of DAH or DAP made in conjunction with such specifications within the ranges specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section. Based upon the Council's recommendation, the Regional Administrator may propose surfclam and or ocean quahog quotas that differ from the annual quotas specified for the current 3–year period. Such modification shall be in effect for a period of 3 years from the year in which it is first implemented, unless further modified. Any interim modification shall follow the same procedures for establishing the annual quotas that are specified for a 3–year period.

(c) Annual quotas. The annual quotas for surfclams and ocean quahogs will remain effective unless revised pursuant to this section. NMFS will issue notification in the Federal Register if the previous year's specifications will not be changed.

[68 FR 69973, Dec. 16, 2003, as amended at 70 FR 2026, Jan. 12, 2005]

§ 648.72   Minimum surf clam size.
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(a) Minimum length. The minimum length for surf clams is 4.75 inches (12.065 cm).

(b) Determination of compliance. No more than 50 surf clams in any cage may be less than 4.75 inches (12.065 cm) in length. If more than 50 surf clams in any inspected cage of surf clams are less than 4.75 inches (12.065 cm) in length, all cages landed by the same vessel from the same trip are deemed to be in violation of the minimum size restriction.

(c) Suspension. Upon the recommendation of the MAFMC, the Regional Administrator may suspend annually, by publication in the Federal Register, the minimum shell-height standard, unless discard, catch, and survey data indicate that 30 percent of the surf clams are smaller than 4.75 inches (12.065 cm) and the overall reduced shell height is not attributable to beds where the growth of individual surf clams has been reduced because of density dependent factors.

(d) Measurement. Length is measured at the longest dimension of the surf clam shell.

§ 648.73   Closed areas.
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(a) Areas closed because of environmental degradation. Certain areas are closed to all surf clam and ocean quahog fishing because of adverse environmental conditions. These areas will remain closed until the Assistant Administrator determines that the adverse environmental conditions no longer exist. If additional areas are identified by the Assistant Administrator as being contaminated by the introduction or presence of hazardous materials or pollutants, they may be closed by the Assistant Administrator in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section. The areas closed are:

(1) Boston Foul Ground. The waste disposal site known as the “Boston Foul Ground” and located at 42°25'36" N. lat., 70°35'00" W. long., with a radius of 1 nautical mile in every direction from that point.

(2) New York Bight. The polluted area and waste disposal site known as the “New York Bight” and located at 40°25'04" N. lat., 73°42'38" W. long., and with a radius of 6 nm in every direction from that point, extending further northwestward, westward and southwestward between a line from a point on the arc at 40°31'00" N. lat., 73°43'38" W. long., directly northward toward Atlantic Beach Light in New York to the limit of the state territorial waters of New York; and a line from the point on the arc at 40°19'48" N. lat., 73°45'42" W. long., to a point at the limit of the state territorial waters of New Jersey at 40°14'00" N. lat., 73°55'42" W. long.

(3) 106 Dumpsite. The toxic industrial site known as the “106 Dumpsite" and located between 38°40'00" and 39°00'00" N. lat., and between 72°00'00" and 72°30'00" W. long.

(4) Georges Bank. The paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) contaminated area, which is located in Georges Bank, and is located east of 69° W. longitude, and south of 42°20' N. latitude.

(b) Areas closed because of small surf clams. Areas may be closed because they contain small surf clams.

(1) Closure. The Assistant Administrator may close an area to surf clams and ocean quahog fishing if he/she determines, based on logbook entries, processors' reports, survey cruises, or other information, that the area contains surf clams of which:

(i) Sixty percent or more are smaller than the minimum size (4.5 inches (11.43 cm)); and

(ii) Not more than 15 percent are larger than 5.5 inches (13.97 cm) in size.

(2) Reopening. The Assistant Administrator may reopen areas or parts of areas closed under paragraph (b)(1) of this section if he/she determines, based on survey cruises or other information, that:

(i) The average length of the dominant (in terms of weight) size class in the area to be reopened is equal to or greater than 4.75 inches (12.065 cm); or

(ii) The yield or rate of growth of the dominant shell-height class in the area to be reopened would be significantly enhanced through selective, controlled, or limited harvest of surf clams in the area.

(c) Procedure. (1) The Regional Administrator may hold a public hearing on the proposed closure or reopening of any area under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section. The Assistant Administrator shall publish notification in the Federal Register of any proposed area closure or reopening, including any restrictions on harvest in a reopened area. Comments on the proposed closure or reopening may be submitted to the Regional Administrator within 30 days after publication. The Assistant Administrator shall consider all comments and publish the final notification of closure or reopening, and any restrictions on harvest, in the Federal Register. Any adjustment to harvest restrictions in a reopened area shall be made by notification in the Federal Register. The Regional Administrator shall send notice of any action under this paragraph (c)(1) to each surf clam and ocean quahog processor and to each surf clam and ocean quahog permit holder.

(2) If the Regional Administrator determines, as the result of testing by state, Federal, or private entities, that a closure of an area under paragraph (a) of this section is necessary to prevent any adverse effects fishing may have on the public health, he/she may close the area for 60 days by publication of notification in the Federal Register, without prior comment or public hearing. If an extension of the 60-day closure period is necessary to protect the public health, the hearing and notice requirements of paragraph (c)(1) of this section shall be followed.

(d) Areas closed due to the presence of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxin—(1) Maine mahogany quahog zone. The Maine mahogany quahog zone is closed to fishing for ocean quahogs except in those areas of the zone that are tested by the State of Maine and deemed to be within the requirements of the National Shellfish Sanitation Program and adopted by the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference as acceptable limits for the toxin responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning. Harvesting is allowed in such areas during the periods specified by the Maine Department of Marine Resources during which quahogs are safe for human consumption. For information regarding these areas contact the State of Maine Division of Marine Resources at (207–624–6550).

(2) [Reserved]

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 14649, Mar. 27, 1997; 62 FR 37156, July 11, 1997; 63 FR 27485, May 19, 1998; 64 FR 57594, Oct. 26, 1999; 70 FR 2026, Jan. 12, 2005]

§ 648.74   Shucking at sea.
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(a) Observers. (1) The Regional Administrator may allow the shucking of surf clams or ocean quahogs at sea if he/she determines that an observer carried aboard the vessel can measure accurately the total amount of surf clams and ocean quahogs harvested in the shell prior to shucking.

(2) Any vessel owner may apply in writing to the Regional Administrator to shuck surf clams or ocean quahogs at sea. The application shall specify: Name and address of the applicant, permit number of the vessel, method of calculating the amount of surf clams or ocean quahogs harvested in the shell, vessel dimensions and accommodations, and length of fishing trip.

(3) The Regional Administrator shall provide an observer to any vessel owner whose application is approved. The owner shall pay all reasonable expenses of carrying the observer on board the vessel.

(4) Any observer shall certify at the end of each trip the amount of surf clams or ocean quahogs harvested in the shell by the vessel. Such certification shall be made by the observer's signature on the daily fishing log required by §648.7.

(b) Conversion factor. (1) Based on the recommendation of the MAFMC, the Regional Administrator may allow shucking at sea of surf clams or ocean quahogs, with or without an observer, if he/she determines a conversion factor for shucked meats to calculate accurately the amount of surf clams or ocean quahogs harvested in the shell.

(2) The Regional Administrator shall publish notification in the Federal Register specifying a conversion factor together with the data used in its calculation for a 30-day comment period. After consideration of the public comments and any other relevant data, the Regional Administrator may publish final notification in the Federal Register specifying the conversion factor.

(3) If the Regional Administrator makes the determination specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, he/she may authorize the vessel owner to shuck surf clams or ocean quahogs at sea. Such authorization shall be in writing and be carried aboard the vessel.

§ 648.75   Cage identification.
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Except as provided in §648.76, the following cage identification requirements apply to all vessels issued a Federal fishing permit for surf clams and ocean quahogs:

(a) Tagging. Before offloading, all cages that contain surf clams or ocean quahogs must be tagged with tags acquired annually under paragraph (b) of this section. A tag must be fixed on or as near as possible to the upper crossbar of the cage for every 60 ft3 (1,700 L), or portion thereof, of the cage. A tag or tags must not be removed until the cage is emptied by the processor, at which time the processor must promptly remove and retain the tag(s) for collection or disposal as specified by the Regional Administrator.

(b) Issuance. The Regional Administrator will issue a supply of tags to each individual allocation owner qualifying for an allocation under §648.70 prior to the beginning of each fishing year, or he/she may specify, in the Federal Register, a vendor from whom the tags shall be purchased. The number of tags will be based on the owner's initial allocation as specified in §648.70(a). Each tag represents 32 bu (1,700 L) of allocation.

(c) Expiration. Tags will expire at the end of the fishing year for which they are issued, or if rendered null and void in accordance with 15 CFR part 904.

(d) Return. Tags that have been rendered null and void must be returned to the Regional Administrator, if possible.

(e) Loss. Loss or theft of tags must be reported by the owner, numerically identifying the tags to the Regional Administrator by telephone as soon as the loss or theft is discovered and in writing within 24 hours. Thereafter, the reported tags shall no longer be valid for use under this part.

(f) Replacement. Lost or stolen tags may be replaced by the Regional Administrator if proper notice of the loss is provided by the person to whom the tags were issued. Replacement tags may be purchased from the Regional Administrator or a vendor with a written authorization from the Regional Administrator.

(g) Transfer. See §648.70(b)(2).

(h) Presumptions. Surf clams and ocean quahogs found in cages without a valid state tag are deemed to have been harvested in the EEZ and to be part of an individual's allocation, unless the individual demonstrates that he/she has surrendered his/her Federal vessel permit issued under §648.4(a)(4) and conducted fishing operations exclusively within waters under the jurisdiction of any state. Surf clams and ocean quahogs in cages with a Federal tag or tags, issued and still valid pursuant to this section, affixed thereto are deemed to have been harvested by the individual allocation holder to whom the tags were issued under §648.75(b) or transferred under §648.70(b).

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 27485, May 19, 1998; 68 FR 69974, Dec. 16, 2003]

§ 648.76   Maine mahogany quahog zone.
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(a) Landing requirements. (1) A vessel issued a valid Maine mahogany quahog permit pursuant to §648.4(a)(4)(i), and fishing for or possessing ocean quahogs within the Maine mahogany quahog zone, must land its catch in the State of Maine.

(2) A vessel fishing under an individual allocation permit, regardless of whether it has a Maine mahogany quahog permit, fishing for or possessing ocean quahogs within the zone, may land its catch in the State of Maine, or, consistent with applicable state law in any other state that utilizes food safety-based procedures including sampling and analyzing for PSP toxin consistent with those food safety-based procedures used by the State of Maine for such purpose, and must comply with all requirements in §§648.70 and 648.75. Documentation required by the state and other laws and regulations applicable to food safety-based procedures must be made available by federally-permitted dealers for inspection by NMFS .

(b) Quota monitoring and closures—(1) Catch quota. (i) The annual quota for harvest of mahogany quahogs from within the Maine mahogany quahog zone is 100,000 Maine bushels (35,150 hL). The quota may be revised annually within the range of 17,000 and 100,000 Maine bushels (5,975 and 35,150 hL) following the procedures set forth in §648.71.

(ii) All mahogany quahogs landed for sale in Maine by vessels issued a Maine mahogany quahog permit and not fishing for an individual allocation of ocean quahogs under §648.70 shall be applied against the Maine mahogany quahog quota, regardless of where the mahogany quahogs are harvested.

(iii) All mahogany quahogs landed by vessels fishing in the Maine mahogany quahog zone for an individual allocation of quahogs under §648.70 will be counted against the ocean quahog allocation for which the vessel is fishing.

(iv) The Regional Administrator will monitor the quota based on dealer reports and other available information and shall determine the date when the quota will be harvested. NMFS shall publish notification in the Federal Register advising the public that, effective upon a specific date, the Maine mahogany quahog quota has been harvested and notifying vessel and dealer permit holders that no Maine mahogany quahog quota is available for the remainder of the year.

(2) Maine Mahogany Quahog Advisory Panel. The Council shall establish a Maine Mahogany Quahog Advisory Panel consisting of representatives of harvesters, dealers, and the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The Advisory Panel shall make recommendations, through the Surf Clam and Ocean Quahog Committee of the Council, regarding revisions to the annual quota and other management measures.

[63 FR 27485, May 19, 1998]

§ 648.77   Framework adjustments to management measures.
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(a) Within season management action. The Council, at any time, may initiate action to add or adjust management measures within the Atlantic Surf Clam and Ocean Quahog FMP if it finds that action is necessary to meet or be consistent with the goals and objectives of the plan.

(1) Adjustment process. The Council shall develop and analyze appropriate management actions over the span of at least two Council meetings. The Council must provide the public with advance notice of the availability of the recommendation(s), appropriate justification(s) and economic and biological analyses, and the opportunity to comment on the proposed adjustment(s) at the first meeting, and prior to and at the second Council meeting. The Council's recommendations on adjustments or additions to management measures must come from one or more of the following categories: The overfishing definition (both the threshold and target levels), description and identification of EFH (and fishing gear management measures that impact EFH), habitat areas of particular concern, set-aside quota for scientific research, VMS, OY range, and suspension or adjustment of the surfclam minimum size limit.

(2) Council recommendation. After developing management actions and receiving public testimony, the Council shall make a recommendation to the Regional Administrator. The Council's recommendation must include supporting rationale, if management measures are recommended, an analysis of impacts, and a recommendation to the Regional Administrator on whether to issue the management measures as a final rule. If the Council recommends that the management measures should be issued as a final rule, it must consider at least the following factors, and provide support and analysis for each factor considered:

(i) Whether the availability of data on which the recommended management measures are based allows for adequate time to publish a proposed rule, and whether the regulations would have to be in place for an entire harvest/fishing season.

(ii) Whether there has been adequate notice and opportunity for participation by the public and members of the affected industry in the development of recommended management measures.

(iii) Whether there is an immediate need to protect the resource.

(iv) Whether there will be a continuing evaluation of management measures adopted following their implementation as a final rule.

(3) NMFS action. If the Council's recommendation includes adjustments or additions to management measures and, after reviewing the Council's recommendation and supporting information:

(i) If NMFS concurs with the Council's recommended management measures and determines that the recommended management measures should be issued as a final rule based on the factors specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the measures will be issued as a final rule in the Federal Register.

(ii) If NMFS concurs with the Council's recommended management measures and determines that the recommended management measures should be published first as a proposed rule, the measures will be published as a proposed rule in the Federal Register. After additional public comment, if NMFS concurs with the Council recommendation, the measures will be issued as a final rule and published in the Federal Register.

(iii) If NMFS does not concur, the Council will be notified in writing of the reasons for the non-concurrence.

(4) Emergency actions. Nothing in this section is meant to derogate from the authority of the Secretary to take emergency action under section 305(e) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

(b) [Reserved]

[64 FR 57594, Oct. 26, 1999, as amended at 68 FR 69974, Dec. 16, 2003]

Subpart F—Management Measures for the NE Multispecies and Monkfish Fisheries
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§ 648.80   NE Multispecies regulated mesh areas and restrictions on gear and methods of fishing.
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Except as provided in §648.17, all vessels must comply with the following minimum mesh size, gear and methods of fishing requirements, unless otherwise exempted or prohibited.

(a) Gulf of Maine (GOM) and GB Regulated Mesh Areas—(1) GOM Regulated Mesh Area. The GOM Regulated Mesh Area (copies of a map depicting the area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request) is that area:

(i) Bounded on the east by the U.S.-Canada maritime boundary, defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------G1...............................  (\1\)               (\1\)G2...............................  43°58[min]      67°22[min]G3...............................  42°53.1[min]    67°44.4[min]G4...............................  42°31[min]      67°28.1[min]CII3.............................  42°22[min]      67°20[min]                                                        \2\------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ The intersection of the shoreline and the U.S.-Canada Maritime  Boundary.\2\ The U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

(ii) Bounded on the south by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------CII3.............................  42°22[min]      67°20[min]                                                        \1\G6...............................  42°20[min]      67°20[min]G7...............................  42°20[min]      69°30[min]G8...............................  42°00[min]      69°30[min]G9...............................  42°00[min]      (\2\)------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ The U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.\2\ The intersection of the Cape Cod, MA, coastline and 42°00[min]  N. lat.

(2) GB Regulated Mesh Area. The GB Regulated Mesh Area (copies of a map depicting the area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request) is that area:

(i) Bounded on the north by the southern boundary of the GOM Regulated Mesh Area as defined in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section; and

(ii) Bounded on the east by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                                                          Approximate loran C                Point                          N. lat.                W. long.                  bearings----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------CII3.................................  42°22[min]          67°20[min]          (\1\)SNE1.................................  40°24[min]          65°43[min]          (\2\)----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ The U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.\2\ The U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary as it intersects with the EEZ.

(iii) Bounded on the west by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------G12..............................  (\1\)               70°00[min]G11..............................  40°50[min]      70°00[min]NL1..............................  40°50[min]      69°40[min]NL2..............................  40°18.7[min]    69°40[min]NL3..............................  40°22.7[min]    69°00[min]                                   (\2\)               69°00[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ South facing shoreline of Cape Cod.\2\ Southward to its intersection with the EEZ.

(3) GOM Regulated Mesh Area minimum mesh size and gear restrictions—(i) Vessels using trawls. Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(3)(i) and (vi) of this section, and unless otherwise restricted under paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section, the minimum mesh size for any trawl net, except midwater trawl, on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area is 6-inch (15.2-cm) diamond mesh or 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) square mesh, applied throughout the body and extension of the net, or any combination thereof, and 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) diamond mesh or square mesh applied to the codend of the net as defined in paragraphs (a)(3)(i)(A) and (B) of this section, provided the vessel complies with the requirements of paragraph (a)(3)(vii) of this section. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(A) For vessels greater than 45 ft (13.7 m) in length overall, a diamond mesh codend is defined as the first 50 meshes counting from the terminus of the net, and a square mesh codend is defined as the first 100 bars counting from the terminus of the net.

(B) For vessels 45 ft (13.7 m) or less in length overall, a diamond mesh codend is defined as the first 25 meshes counting from the terminus of the net, and a square mesh codend is defined as the first 50 bars counting from the terminus of the net.

(ii) Vessels using Scottish seine, midwater trawl, and purse seine. Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(3)(ii) and (vi) of this section, and unless otherwise restricted under paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section, the minimum mesh size for any Scottish seine, midwater trawl, or purse seine on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area is 6-inch (15.2-cm) diamond mesh or 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) square mesh applied throughout the net, or any combination thereof, provided the vessel complies with the requirements of paragraph (a)(3)(vii) of this section. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(iii) Large-mesh vessels. When fishing in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area, the minimum mesh size for any trawl net vessel, or sink gillnet, on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the Large-mesh DAS program, specified in §648.82(b)(4), is 8.5-inch (21.6-cm) diamond or square mesh throughout the entire net. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(iv) Gillnet vessels—(A) Trip gillnet vessels—(1) Mesh size. Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(3)(iv) and (vi) of this section, and unless otherwise restricted under paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section, for vessels that obtain an annual designation as a Trip gillnet vessel, the minimum mesh size for any sink gillnet when fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area is 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) throughout the entire net. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(2) Net size requirements. Nets may not be longer than 300 ft (91.4 m), or 50 fathoms (91.4 m) in length.

(B) Day gillnet vessels—(1) Mesh size. Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(3)(iv) and (vi) of this section, and unless otherwise restricted under paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section, for vessels that obtain an annual designation as a Day gillnet vessel, the minimum mesh size for any sink gillnet when fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area is 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) throughout the entire net. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(2) Number of nets. A day gillnet vessel fishing under a NE multispecies DAS and fishing in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area may not fish with, haul, possess, or deploy more than 50 roundfish sink gillnets or 100 flatfish (tie-down) sink gillnets, each of which must be tagged pursuant to paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(C) of this section, except as provided in §648.92(b)(8)(i). Vessels may fish any combination of roundfish and flatfish gillnets up to 100 nets, and may stow additional nets not to exceed 160 nets, counting deployed nets.

(3) Net size requirements. Nets may not be longer than 300 ft (91.4 m), or 50 fathoms (91.4 m) in length.

(4) Tags. Roundfish nets must be tagged with two tags per net, with one tag secured to each bridle of every net, within a string of nets, and flatfish nets must have one tag per net, with one tag secured to every other bridle of every net within a string of nets. Gillnet vessels must also abide by the tagging requirements in paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(C) of this section.

(C) Obtaining and replacing tags. Tags must be obtained as described in §648.4(c)(2)(iii), and vessels must have on board written confirmation issued by the Regional Administrator, indicating that the vessel is a Day gillnet vessel or a Trip gillnet vessel. The vessel operator must produce all net tags upon request by an authorized officer. A vessel may have tags on board in excess of the number of tags corresponding to the allowable number of nets, provided such tags are onboard the vessel and can be made available for inspection.

(1) Lost tags. Vessel owners or operators are required to report lost, destroyed, and missing tag numbers as soon as feasible after tags have been discovered lost, destroyed or missing, by letter or fax to the Regional Administrator.

(2) Replacement tags. Vessel owners or operators seeking replacement of lost, destroyed, or missing tags must request replacement of tags by letter or fax to the Regional Administrator. A check for the cost of the replacement tags must be received by the Regional Administrator before tags will be re-issued.

(v) Hook gear restrictions. Unless otherwise specified in paragraph (a)(3)(v) of this section, vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access permit and fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, and vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access Small-Vessel permit, in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area, and persons on such vessels, are prohibited from fishing, setting, or hauling back, per day, or possessing on board the vessel, more than 2,000 rigged hooks. All longline gear hooks must be circle hooks, of a minimum size of 12/0. An unabated hook and gangions that has not been secured to the ground line of the trawl on board a vessel is deemed to be a replacement hook and is not counted toward the 2,000-hook limit. A “snap-on” hook is deemed to be a replacement hook if it is not rigged or baited. The use of de-hookers (“crucifer”) with less than 6-inch (15.2-cm) spacing between the fairlead rollers is prohibited. Vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access Hook Gear permit and fishing under a multispecies DAS in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area, and persons on such vessels, are prohibited from possessing gear other than hook gear on board the vessel. Vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access Handgear A permit are prohibited from fishing, or possessing on board the vessel, gear other than handgear. Vessels fishing with tub-trawl gear are prohibited from fishing, setting, or hauling back, per day, or possessing on board the vessel more than 250 hooks.

(vi) Other restrictions and exemptions. Vessels are prohibited from fishing in the GOM or GB Exemption Area as defined in paragraph (a)(17) of this section, except if fishing with exempted gear (as defined under this part) or under the exemptions specified in paragraphs (a)(5) through (7), (a)(9) through (14), (d), (e), (h), and (i) of this section; or if fishing under a NE multispecies DAS; or if fishing under the Small Vessel or Handgear A exemptions specified in §648.82(b)(5) and (6), respectively; or if fishing under the scallop state waters exemptions specified in §648.54 and paragraph (a)(11) of this section; or if fishing under a scallop DAS in accordance with paragraph (h) of this section; or if fishing pursuant to a NE multispecies open access Charter/Party or Handgear permit, or if fishing as a charter/party or private recreational vessel in compliance with the regulations specified in §648.89. Any gear on a vessel, or used by a vessel, in this area must be authorized under one of these exemptions or must be stowed as specified in §648.23(b).

(vii) Rockhopper and roller gear restrictions. For all trawl vessels fishing in the GOM/GB Inshore Restricted Roller Gear Area, the diameter of any part of the trawl footrope, including discs, rollers, or rockhoppers, must not exceed 12 inches (30.5 cm). The GOM/GB Inshore Restricted Roller Gear Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                   Inshore Restricted Roller Gear Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------GM1..............................  42°00[min]      (\1\)GM2..............................  42°00[min]      (\2\)GM3..............................  42°00[min]      (\3\)GM23.............................  42°00[min]      69°50[min]GM24.............................  43°00[min]      69°50[min]GM11.............................  43°00[min]      70°00[min]GM17.............................  43°30[min]      70°00[min]GM18.............................  43°30[min]      (\4\)------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ Massachusetts shoreline.\2\ Cape Cod shoreline on Cape Cod Bay.\3\ Cape Cod shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean.\4\ Maine shoreline.

(viii) Other restrictions and exemptions. Vessels are prohibited from fishing in the GOM or GB Exemption Area as defined in paragraph (a)(17) of this section, except if fishing with exempted gear (as defined under this part) or under the exemptions specified in paragraphs (a)(5) through (7), (a)(9) through (14), (d), (e), (h), and (i) of this section; or if fishing under a NE multispecies DAS; or if fishing under the Small Vessel or Handgear A exemptions specified in §648.82(u)(5) and (6), respectively; or if fishing under the scallop state waters exemptions specified in §648.54 and paragraph (a)(11) of this section; or if fishing under a scallop DAS in accordance with paragraph (h) of this section; or if fishing pursuant to a NE multispecies open access Charter/Party or Handgear permit, or if fishing as a charter/party or private recreational vessel in compliance with the regulations specified in §648.89. Any gear on a vessel, or used by a vessel, in this area must be authorized under one of these exemptions or must be stowed as specified in §648.23(b).

(4) GB regulated mesh area minimum mesh size and gear restrictions—(i) Vessels using trawls. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(3)(vi) of this section, and this paragraph (a)(4)(i), and unless otherwise restricted under paragraph (a)(4)(iii) of this section, the minimum mesh size for any trawl net, except midwater trawl, and the minimum mesh size for any trawl net when fishing in that portion of the GB Regulated Mesh Area that lies within the SNE Exemption Area, as described in paragraph (b)(10) of this section, that is not stowed and available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the GB Regulated Mesh Area is 6-inch (15.2-cm) diamond mesh or 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) square mesh applied throughout the body and extension of the net, or any combination thereof, and 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) diamond mesh or square mesh applied to the codend of the net as defined under paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section, provided the vessel complies with the requirements of paragraph (a)(3)(vii) of this section. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(ii) Vessels using Scottish seine, midwater trawl, and purse seine. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(3)(vi) of this section, and this paragraph (a)(4)(ii), and unless otherwise restricted under paragraph (a)(4)(iii) of this section, the minimum mesh size for any Scottish seine, midwater trawl, or purse seine, and the minimum mesh size for any Scottish seine, midwater trawl, or purse seine, when fishing in that portion of the GB Regulated Mesh Area that lies within the SNE Exemption Area, as described in paragraph (b)(10) of this section, that is not stowed and available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the GB Regulated Mesh Area is 6-inch (15.2-cm) diamond mesh or 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) square mesh applied throughout the net, or any combination thereof, provided the vessel complies with the requirements of paragraph (a)(3)(vii) of this section. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(iii) Large-mesh vessels. When fishing in the GB Regulated Mesh Area, the minimum mesh size for any trawl net, or sink gillnet, and the minimum mesh size for any trawl net, or sink gillnet, when fishing in that portion of the GB Regulated Mesh Area that lies within the SNE Exemption Area, as described in paragraph (b)(10) of this section, that is not stowed and available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the Large-mesh DAS program, specified in §648.82(b)(5), is 8.5-inch (21.6-cm) diamond or square mesh throughout the entire net. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(iv) Gillnet vessels. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(3)(vi) of this section and this paragraph (a)(4)(iv), for Day and Trip gillnet vessels, the minimum mesh size for any sink gillnet, and the minimum mesh size for any roundfish or flatfish gillnet when fishing in that portion of the GB Regulated Mesh Area that lies within the SNE Exemption Area, as described in paragraph (b)(10) of this section, that is not stowed and available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), when fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the GB Regulated Mesh Area is 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) throughout the entire net. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(A) Trip gillnet vessels. A Trip gillnet vessel fishing under a NE multispecies DAS and fishing in the GB Regulated Mesh Area may not fish with nets longer than 300 ft (91.4 m), or 50 fathoms (91.4 m) in length.

(B) Day gillnet vessels—(1) Number of nets. A Day gillnet vessel fishing under a NE multispecies DAS and fishing in the GB Regulated Mesh Area may not fish with, haul, possess, or deploy more than 50 nets, except as provided in §648.92(b)(8)(i).

(2) Net size requirements. Vessels may fish any combination of roundfish and flatfish gillnets, up to 50 nets. Such vessels, in accordance with §648.23(b), may stow additional nets not to exceed 150, counting the deployed net. Nets may not be longer than 300 ft (91.4 m).

(3) Tags. Roundfish or flatfish nets must be tagged with two tags per net, with one tag secured to each bridle of every net within a string of nets.

(4) Obtaining and replacing tags. See paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(C) of this section.

(v) Hook gear restrictions. Unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (a)(4)(v), vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access permit and fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, and vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access Small-Vessel permit, in the GB Regulated Mesh Area, and persons on such vessels, are prohibited from possessing gear other than hook gear on board the vessel and prohibited from fishing, setting, or hauling back, per day, or possessing on board the vessel, more than 3,600 rigged hooks. All longline gear hooks must be circle hooks, of a minimum size of 12/0. An unabated hook and gangions that has not been secured to the ground line of the trawl on board a vessel is deemed to be a replacement hook and is not counted toward the 3,600-hook limit. A “snap-on” hook is deemed to be a replacement hook if it is not rigged or baited. The use of de-hookers (“crucifer”) with less than 6-inch (15.2-cm) spacing between the fairlead rollers is prohibited. Vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access Hook gear permit and fishing under a multispecies DAS in the GB Regulated Mesh Area, and persons on such vessels, are prohibited from possessing gear other than hook gear on board the vessel. Vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access Handgear A permit are prohibited from fishing or possessing on board the vessel, gear other than hand gear. Vessels fishing with tub-trawl gear are prohibited from fishing, setting, or hauling back, per day, or possessing on board the vessel more than 250 hooks.

(vi) Vessels using trawls. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(3)(viii) of this section, and this paragraph (a)(4)(vi), and unless otherwise restricted under paragraph (a)(4)(iii) of this section, the minimum mesh size for any trawl net, except midwater trawl, and the minimum mesh size for any trawl net when fishing in that portion of the GB Regulated Mesh Area that lies within the SNE Exemption Area, as described in paragraph (b)(10) of this section, that is not stowed and available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the GB Regulated Mesh Area is 6-inch (15.2-cm) diamond mesh or 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) square mesh applied throughout the body and extension of the net, or any combination thereof, and 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) diamond mesh or square mesh applied to the codend of the net as defined under paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section, provided the vessel complies with the requirements of paragraph (a)(3)(vii) of this section. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(vii) Vessels using Scottish seine, midwater trawl, and purse seine. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(3)(viii) of this section, and this paragraph (a)(4)(vii), and unless otherwise restricted under paragraph (a)(4)(iii) of this section, the minimum mesh size for any Scottish seine, midwater trawl, or purse seine, and the minimum mesh size for any Scottish seine, midwater trawl, or purse seine, when fishing in that portion of the GB Regulated Mesh Area that lies within the SNE Exemption Area, as described in paragraph (b)(10) of this section, that is not stowed and available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the GB Regulated Mesh Area is 6-inch (15.2-cm) diamond mesh or 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) square mesh applied throughout the net, or any combination thereof, provided the vessel complies with the requirements of paragraph (a)(3)(vii) of this section. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(viii) Large-mesh vessels. When fishing in the GB Regulated Mesh Area, the minimum mesh size for any trawl net, or sink gillnet, and the minimum mesh size for any trawl net, or sink gillnet, when fishing in that portion of the GB Regulated Mesh Area that lies within the SNE Exemption Area, as described in paragraph (b)(10) of this section, that is not stowed and available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the Large-mesh DAS program, specified in §648.82(u)(5), is 8.5-inch (21.6-cm) diamond or square mesh throughout the entire net. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(ix) Gillnet vessels. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(3)(viii) of this section and this paragraph (a)(4)(iv), for Day and Trip gillnet vessels, the minimum mesh size for any sink gillnet, and the minimum mesh size for any roundfish or flatfish gillnet when fishing in that portion of the GB Regulated Mesh Area that lies within the SNE Exemption Area, as described in paragraph (b)(10) of this section, that is not stowed and available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), when fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the GB Regulated Mesh Area is 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) throughout the entire net. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(5) Small Mesh Northern Shrimp Fishery Exemption. Vessels subject to the minimum mesh size restrictions specified in this paragraph (a) may fish for, harvest, possess, or land northern shrimp in the GOM, GB, SNE, and MA Regulated Mesh Areas, as described under paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), (b)(1), and (c)(1) of this section, respectively, with nets with a mesh size smaller than the minimum size specified, if the vessel complies with the requirements of paragraphs (a)(5)(i) through (iii) of this section.

(i) Restrictions on fishing for, possessing, or landing fish other than shrimp. An owner or operator of a vessel fishing in the northern shrimp fishery under the exemption described in this paragraph (a)(5) may not fish for, possess on board, or land any species of fish other than shrimp, except for the following, with the restrictions noted, as allowable incidental species: Longhorn sculpin; combined silver hake and offshore hake—up to an amount equal to the total weight of shrimp possessed on board or landed, not to exceed 3,500 lb (1,588 kg); and American lobster—up to 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board or 200 lobsters, whichever is less, unless otherwise restricted by landing limits specified in §697.17 of this chapter. Silver hake and offshore hake on board a vessel subject to this possession limit must be separated from other species of fish and stored so as to be readily available for inspection.

(ii) Requirement to use a finfish excluder device (FED). A vessel must have a rigid or semi-rigid grate consisting of parallel bars of not more than 1-inch (2.54-cm) spacing that excludes all fish and other objects, except those that are small enough to pass between its bars into the codend of the trawl, secured in the trawl, forward of the codend, in such a manner that it precludes the passage of fish or other objects into the codend without the fish or objects having to first pass between the bars of the grate, in any net with mesh smaller than the minimum size specified in paragraphs (a)(3) and (4) of this section. The net must have an outlet or hole to allow fish or other objects that are too large to pass between the bars of the grate to exit the net. The aftermost edge of this outlet or hole must be at least as wide as the grate at the point of attachment. The outlet or hole must extend forward from the grate toward the mouth of the net. A funnel of net material is allowed in the lengthening piece of the net forward of the grate to direct catch towards the grate. (Copies of a schematic example of a properly configured and installed FED are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.)

(iii) Time restrictions. A vessel may only fish under this exemption during the northern shrimp season, as established by the Commission and announced in the Commission's letter to participants.

(6) Cultivator Shoal Whiting Fishery Exemption Area. Vessels subject to the minimum mesh size restrictions specified in paragraphs (a)(3) and (4) of this section may fish with, use, or possess nets in the Cultivator Shoal Whiting Fishery Exemption Area with a mesh size smaller than the minimum size specified, if the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (a)(6)(i) of this section. The Cultivator Shoal Whiting Fishery Exemption Area (copies of a map depicting the area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request) is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

             Cultivator Shoal Whiting Fishery Exemption Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------C1...............................  42°10[min]      68°10[min]C2...............................  41°30[min]      68°41[min]CI4..............................  41°30[min]      68°30[min]C3...............................  41°12.8[min]    68°30[min]C4...............................  41°05[min]      68°20[min]C5...............................  41°55[min]      67°40[min]C1...............................  42°10[min]      68°10[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(i) Requirements. (A) A vessel fishing in the Cultivator Shoal Whiting Fishery Exemption Area under this exemption must have on board a valid letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator.

(B) An owner or operator of a vessel fishing in this area may not fish for, possess on board, or land any species of fish other than whiting and offshore hake combined—up to a maximum of 30,000 lb (13,608 kg), except for the following, with the restrictions noted, as allowable incidental species: Herring; longhorn sculpin; squid; butterfish; Atlantic mackerel; dogfish; red hake; monkfish and monkfish parts—up to 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board or up to 50 lb (23 kg) tail-weight/166 lb (75 kg) whole-weight of monkfish per trip, as specified in §648.94(c)(4), whichever is less; and American lobster—up to 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board or 200 lobsters, whichever is less, unless otherwise restricted by landing limits specified in §697.17 of this chapter.

(C) Counting from the terminus of the net, all nets must have a minimum mesh size of 3-inch (7.6-cm) square or diamond mesh applied to the first 100 meshes (200 bars in the case of square mesh) for vessels greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) in length and applied to the first 50 meshes (100 bars in the case of square mesh) for vessels less than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) in length.

(D) Fishing is confined to a season of June 15 through October 31, unless otherwise specified by notification in the Federal Register.

(E) When a vessel is transiting through the GOM or GB Regulated Mesh Areas specified under paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section, any nets with a mesh size smaller than the minimum mesh specified in paragraphs (a)(3) or (4) of this section must be stowed in accordance with one of the methods specified in §648.23(b), unless the vessel is fishing for small-mesh multispecies under another exempted fishery specified in this paragraph (a).

(F) A vessel fishing in the Cultivator Shoal Whiting Fishery Exemption Area may fish for small-mesh multispecies in exempted fisheries outside of the Cultivator Shoal Whiting Fishery Exemption Area, provided that the vessel complies with the more restrictive gear, possession limit, and other requirements specified in the regulations of that exempted fishery for the entire participation period specified on the vessel's letter of authorization and consistent with paragraph (a)(15)(i)(G) of this section.

(ii) Sea sampling. The Regional Administrator shall conduct periodic sea sampling to determine if there is a need to change the area or season designation, and to evaluate the bycatch of regulated species, especially haddock.

(iii) Annual review. The NEFMC shall conduct an annual review of data to determine if there are any changes in area or season designation necessary, and to make appropriate recommendations to the Regional Administrator following the procedures specified in §648.90.

(7) Transiting. (i) Vessels fishing in the Small Mesh Area 1/Small Mesh Area 2 fishery, as specified in paragraph (a)(9) of this section, may transit through the Scallop Dredge Fishery Exemption Area as specified in paragraph (a)(11) of this section with nets of mesh size smaller than the minimum mesh size specified in paragraphs (a)(3) or (4) of this section, provided that the nets are stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with one of the methods specified in §648.23(b). Vessels fishing in the Small Mesh Northern Shrimp Fishery, as specified in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, may transit through the GOM, GB, SNE, and MA Regulated Mesh Areas, as described in paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), (b)(1), and (c)(1) of this section, respectively, with nets of mesh size smaller than the minimum mesh size specified in paragraphs (a)(3), (a)(4), (b)(2), and (c)(2) of this section, provided the nets are stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with one of the methods specified in §648.23(b).

(ii) Vessels subject to the minimum mesh size restrictions specified in paragraphs (a)(3) or (4) of this section may transit through the Scallop Dredge Fishery Exemption Area defined in paragraph (a)(11) of this section with nets on board with a mesh size smaller than the minimum size specified, provided that the nets are stowed in accordance with one of the methods specified in §648.23(b), and provided the vessel has no fish on board.

(iii) Vessels subject to the minimum mesh size restrictions specified in paragraphs (a)(3) or (4) of this section may transit through the GOM and GB Regulated Mesh Areas defined in paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section with nets on board with a mesh size smaller than the minimum mesh size specified and with small mesh exempted species on board, provided that the following conditions are met:

(A) All nets with a mesh size smaller than the minimum mesh size specified in paragraphs (a)(3) or (4) of this section are stowed in accordance with one of the methods specified in §648.23(b).

(B) A letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator is on board.

(C) Vessels do not fish for, possess on board, or land any fish, except when fishing in the areas specified in paragraphs (a)(6), (a)(10), (a)(15), (b), and (c) of this section. Vessels may retain exempted small-mesh species as provided in paragraphs (a)(6)(i), (a)(10)(i), (a)(15)(i), (b)(3), and (c)(3) of this section.

(8) Addition or deletion of exemptions—(i) Exemption allowing no incidental catch of regulated multispecies. An exemption may be added in an existing fishery for which there are sufficient data or information to ascertain the amount of incidental catch of regulated species, if the Regional Administrator, after consultation with the NEFMC, determines that the percentage of regulated species caught as incidental catch is, or can be reduced to, less than 5 percent, by weight, of total catch, unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (a)(8)(i), and that such exemption will not jeopardize fishing mortality objectives. The 5-percent regulated species incidental catch standard could be modified for a stock that is not in an overfished condition, or if overfishing is not occurring on that stock. When considering modifications of the standard, it must be shown that the change will not delay a rebuilding program, or result in overfishing or an overfished condition. In determining whether exempting a fishery may jeopardize meeting fishing mortality objectives, the Regional Administrator may take into consideration various factors including, but not limited to, juvenile mortality, sacrifices in yield that will result from that mortality, the ratio of target species to regulated species, status of stock rebuilding, and recent recruitment of regulated species. A fishery can be defined, restricted, or allowed by area, gear, season, or other means determined to be appropriate to reduce incidental catch of regulated species. Notification of additions, deletions, or modifications will be made through issuance of a rule in the Federal Register.

(ii) Exemption allowing incidental catch of regulated species. An exemption may be added in an existing fishery that would allow vessels to retain and land regulated multispecies, under the restrictions specified in paragraphs (a)(8)(ii)(A) through (C) of this section, if the Regional Administrator, after consultation with the NEFMC, considers the status of the regulated species stock or stocks caught in the fishery, the risk that this exemption would result in a targeted regulated species fishery, the extent of the fishery in terms of time and area, and the possibility of expansion in the fishery. Incidental catch in exempted fisheries under this paragraph (a)(8)(ii) are subject, at a minimum, to the following restrictions:

(A) A prohibition on the possession of regulated multispecies that are overfished or where overfishing is occurring;

(B) A prohibition on the possession of regulated species in NE multispecies closure areas; and

(C) A prohibition on allowing an exempted fishery to occur that would allow retention of a regulated multispecies stock under an ongoing rebuilding program, unless it can be determined that the catch of the stock in the exempted fishery is not likely to result in exceeding the rebuilding mortality rate.

(iii) For exemptions allowing no incidental catch of regulated species, as defined under paragraph (a)(8)(i) of this section, the NEFMC may recommend to the Regional Administrator, through the framework procedure specified in §648.90(b), additions or deletions to exemptions for fisheries, either existing or proposed, for which there may be insufficient data or information for the Regional Administrator to determine, without public comment, percentage catch of regulated species. For exemptions allowing incidental catch of regulated species, as defined under paragraph (a)(8)(ii) of this section, the NEFMC may recommend to the Regional Administrator, through the framework procedure specified in §648.90(b), additions or deletions to exemptions for fisheries, either existing or proposed, for which there may be insufficient data or information for the Regional Administrator to determine, without public comment, the risk that this exemption would result in a targeted regulated species fishery, the extent of the fishery in terms of time and area, and the possibility of expansion in the fishery.

(iv) Incidental catch in exempted fisheries authorized under this paragraph (a)(8) are subject, at a minimum, to the following restrictions:

(A) With the exception of fisheries authorized under paragraph (a)(8)(ii) of this section, a prohibition on the possession of regulated species;

(B) A limit on the possession of monkfish or monkfish parts of 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board or as specified by §648.94(c)(3), (4), (5) or (6), as applicable, whichever is less;

(C) A limit on the possession of lobsters of 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board or 200 lobsters, whichever is less; and

(D) A limit on the possession of skate or skate parts in the SNE Exemption Area described in paragraph (b)(10) of this section of 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board.

(9) Small Mesh Area 1/Small Mesh Area 2—(i) Description. (A) Unless otherwise prohibited in §648.81, a vessel subject to the minimum mesh size restrictions specified in paragraphs (a)(3) or (4) of this section may fish with or possess nets with a mesh size smaller than the minimum size, provided the vessel complies with the requirements of paragraphs (a)(5)(ii) or (a)(9)(ii) of this section, and §648.86(d), from July 15 through November 15, when fishing in Small Mesh Area 1; and from January 1 through June 30, when fishing in Small Mesh Area 2. While lawfully fishing in these areas with mesh smaller than the minimum size, an owner or operator of any vessel may not fish for, possess on board, or land any species of fish other than: Silver hake and offshore hake—up to the amounts specified in §648.86(d), butterfish, dogfish, herring, Atlantic mackerel, scup, squid, and red hake.

(B) Small-mesh Areas 1 and 2 are defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting these areas are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

                            Small Mesh Area I------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------SM1..............................  43°03[min]      70°27[min]SM2..............................  42°57[min]      70°22[min]SM3..............................  42°47[min]      70°32[min]SM4..............................  42°45[min]      70°29[min]SM5..............................  42°43[min]      70°32[min]SM6..............................  42°44[min]      70°39[min]SM7..............................  42°49[min]      70°43[min]SM8..............................  42°50[min]      70°41[min]SM9..............................  42°53[min]      70°43[min]SM10.............................  42°55[min]      70°40[min]SM11.............................  42°59[min]      70°32[min]SM1..............................  43°03[min]      70°27[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           Small Mesh Area II------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------SM13.............................  43°05.6[min]    69°55[min]SM14.............................  43°10.1[min]    69°43.3[min]SM15.............................  42°49.5[min]    69°40[min]SM16.............................  42°41.5[min]    69°40[min]SM17.............................  42°36.6[min]    69°55[min]SM13.............................  43°05.6[min]    69°55[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(ii) Raised footrope trawl. Vessels fishing with trawl gear must configure it in such a way that, when towed, the gear is not in contact with the ocean bottom. Vessels are presumed to be fishing in such a manner if their trawl gear is designed as specified in paragraphs (a)(9)(ii)(A) through (D) of this section and is towed so that it does not come into contact with the ocean bottom.

(A) Eight-inch (20.3-cm) diameter floats must be attached to the entire length of the headrope, with a maximum spacing of 4 ft (122.0 cm) between floats.

(B) The ground gear must all be bare wire not larger than 1/2-inch (1.2-cm) for the top leg, not larger than 5/8-inch (1.6-cm) for the bottom leg, and not larger than 3/4-inch (1.9-cm) for the ground cables. The top and bottom legs must be equal in length, with no extensions. The total length of ground cables and legs must not be greater than 40 fathoms (73 m) from the doors to wingends.

(C) The footrope must be longer than the length of the headrope, but not more than 20 ft (6.1 m) longer than the length of the headrope. The footrope must be rigged so that it does not contact the ocean bottom while fishing.

(D) The raised footrope trawl may be used with or without a chain sweep. If used without a chain sweep, the drop chains must be a maximum of 3/8-inch (0.95-cm) diameter bare chain and must be hung from the center of the footrope and each corner (the quarter, or the junction of the bottom wing to the belly at the footrope). Drop chains must be hung at intervals of 8 ft (2.4 m) along the footrope from the corners to the wing ends. If used with a chain sweep, the sweep must be rigged so it is behind and below the footrope, and the footrope is off the bottom. This is accomplished by having the sweep longer than the footrope and having long drop chains attaching the sweep to the footrope at regular intervals. The forward end of the sweep and footrope must be connected to the bottom leg at the same point. This attachment, in conjunction with the headrope flotation, keeps the footrope off the bottom. The sweep and its rigging, including drop chains, must be made entirely of bare chain with a maximum diameter of 5/16 inches (0.8 cm). No wrapping or cookies are allowed on the drop chains or sweep. The total length of the sweep must be at least 7 ft (2.1 m) longer than the total length of the footrope, or 3.5 ft (1.1 m) longer on each side. Drop chains must connect the footrope to the sweep chain, and the length of each drop chain must be at least 42 inches (106.7 cm). One drop chain must be hung from the center of the footrope to the center of the sweep, and one drop chain must be hung from each corner. The attachment points of each drop chain on the sweep and the footrope must be the same distance from the center drop chain attachments. Drop chains must be hung at intervals of 8 ft (2.4 m) from the corners toward the wing ends. The distance of the drop chain that is nearest the wing end to the end of the footrope may differ from net to net. However, the sweep must be at least 3.5 ft (1.1 m) longer than the footrope between the drop chain closest to the wing ends and the end of the sweep that attaches to the wing end.

(10) Nantucket Shoals Dogfish Fishery Exemption Area. Vessels subject to the minimum mesh size restrictions specified in paragraph (a)(3) or paragraph (a)(4) of this section may fish with, use, or possess nets of mesh smaller than the minimum size specified in the Nantucket Shoals Dogfish Fishery Exemption Area, if the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (a)(10)(i) of this section. The Nantucket Shoals Dogfish Fishery Exemption Area (copies of a map depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request) is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                 Nantucket Shoals Dogfish Exemption Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------NS1..............................  41°45[min]      70°00[min]NS2..............................  41°45[min]      69°20[min]NS3..............................  41°30[min]      69°20[min]Cl1..............................  41°30[min]      69°23[min]NS5..............................  41°26.5[min]    69°20[min]NS6..............................  40°50[min]      69°20[min]NS7..............................  40°50[min]      70°00[min]NS1..............................  41°45[min]      70°00[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(i) Requirements. (A) A vessel fishing in the Nantucket Shoals Dogfish Fishery Exemption Area, under the exemption, must have on board a letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator and may not fish for, possess on board, or land any species of fish other than dogfish, except as provided under paragraph (a)(10)(i)(D) of this section.

(B) Fishing is confined to June 1 through October 15.

(C) When transiting the GOM or GB Regulated Mesh Areas, specified under paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section, any nets with a mesh size smaller than the minimum mesh size specified in paragraphs (a)(3) and (4) of this section must be stowed and unavailable for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b).

(D) Incidental species provisions. The following species may be possessed and landed, with the restrictions noted, as allowable incidental species in the Nantucket Shoals Dogfish Fishery Exemption Area: Longhorn sculpin; silver hake—up to 200 lb (90.7 kg); monkfish and monkfish parts—up to 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board or up to 50 lb (23 kg) tail-weight/166 lb (75 kg) whole-weight of monkfish per trip, as specified in §648.94(c)(4), whichever is less; American lobster—up to 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board or 200 lobsters, whichever is less, unless otherwise restricted by landing limits specified in §697.17 of this chapter; and skate or skate parts—up to 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board.

(E) A vessel fishing in the Nantucket Shoals Dogfish Fishery Exemption Area, under the exemption, must comply with any additional gear restrictions specified in the letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator.

(ii) Sea sampling. The Regional Administrator may conduct periodic sea sampling to determine if there is a need to change the area or season designation, and to evaluate the bycatch of regulated species.

(11) GOM Scallop Dredge Exemption Area. Unless otherwise prohibited in §648.81, vessels with a limited access scallop permit that have declared out of the DAS program as specified in §648.10, or that have used up their DAS allocations, and vessels issued a General Category scallop permit, may fish in the GOM Scallop Dredge Fishery Exemption Area when not under a NE multispecies DAS, providing the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (a)(11)(i) of this section. The GOM Scallop Dredge Fishery Exemption Area is defined by the straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a map depicting the area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

                    GOM Scallop Dredge Exemption Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------SM1..............................  41°35[min]      70°00[min]SM2..............................  41°35[min]      69°40[min]SM3..............................  42°49.5[min]    69°40[min]SM4..............................  43°12[min]      69°00[min]SM5..............................  43°41[min]      68°00[min]G2...............................  43°58[min]      67°22[min]G1...............................  (\1\)               (\1\)------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ Northward along the irregular U.S.-Canada maritime boundary to the  shoreline.

(i) Requirements. (A) A vessel fishing in the GOM Scallop Dredge Fishery Exemption Area specified in this paragraph (a)(11) may not fish for, possess on board, or land any species of fish other than Atlantic sea scallops.

(B) The combined dredge width in use by, or in possession on board, vessels fishing in the GOM Scallop Dredge Fishery Exemption Area may not exceed 10.5 ft (3.2 m), measured at the widest point in the bail of the dredge.

(C) The exemption does not apply to the Cashes Ledge Closure Area or the Western GOM Area Closure specified in §648.81(d) and (e).

(ii) [Reserved]

(12) Nantucket Shoals Mussel and Sea Urchin Dredge Exemption Area. A vessel may fish with a dredge in the Nantucket Shoals Mussel and Sea Urchin Dredge Exemption Area, provided that 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 fish for, harvest, possess, or land any species of fish other than mussels and sea urchins. The area coordinates of the Nantucket Shoals Mussel and Sea Urchin Dredge Exemption Area are the same coordinates as those of the Nantucket Shoals Dogfish Fishery Exemption Area specified in paragraph (a)(10) of this section.

(13) GOM/GB Dogfish and Monkfish Gillnet Fishery Exemption Area. Unless otherwise prohibited in §648.81, a vessel may fish with gillnets in the GOM/GB Dogfish and Monkfish Gillnet Fishery Exemption Area when not under a NE multispecies DAS if the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (a)(13)(i) of this section. The GOM/GB Dogfish and Monkfish Gillnet Fishery Exemption Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------                  N. lat.                             W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------41°35[min]............................  70°00[min]42°49.5[min]..........................  70°00[min]42°49.5[min]..........................  69°40[min]43°12[min]............................  69°00[min](\1\).....................................  69°00[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ Due north to Maine shoreline.

(i) Requirements. (A) A vessel fishing under this exemption may not fish for, possess on board, or land any species of fish other than monkfish, or lobsters in an amount not to exceed 10 percent by weight of the total catch on board, or 200 lobsters, whichever is less.

(B) All gillnets must have a minimum mesh size of 10-inch (25.4-cm) diamond mesh throughout the net.

(C) Fishing is confined to July 1 through September 14.

(ii) [Reserved]

(14) GOM/GB Dogfish Gillnet Exemption. Unless otherwise prohibited in §648.81, a vessel may fish with gillnets in the GOM/GB Dogfish and Monkfish Gillnet Fishery Exemption Area when not under a NE multispecies DAS if the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (a)(14)(i) of this section. The area coordinates of the GOM/GB Dogfish and Monkfish Gillnet Fishery Exemption Area are specified in paragraph (a)(13) of this section.

(i) Requirements. (A) A vessel fishing under this exemption may not fish for, possess on board, or land any species of fish other than dogfish, or lobsters in an amount not to exceed 10 percent by weight of the total catch on board, or 200 lobsters, whichever is less.

(B) All gillnets must have a minimum mesh size of 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) diamond mesh throughout the net.

(C) Fishing is confined to July 1 through August 31.

(ii) [Reserved]

(15) Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery. Vessels subject to the minimum mesh size restrictions specified in paragraphs (a)(3) or (4) of this section may fish with, use, or possess nets in the Raised Footrope Trawl Whiting Fishery area with a mesh size smaller than the minimum size specified, if the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (a)(15)(i) of this section. This exemption does not apply to the Cashes Ledge Closure Areas or the Western GOM Area Closure specified in §648.81(d) and (e). The Raised Footrope Trawl Whiting Fishery Area (copies of a chart depicting the area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request) is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

          Raised Footrope Trawl Whiting Fishery Exemption Area                    [September 1 through November 20]------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------RF 1.............................  42°14.05[min]   70°08.8[min]RF 2.............................  42°09.2[min]    69°47.8[min]RF 3.............................  41°54.85[min]   69°35.2[min]RF 4.............................  41°41.5[min]    69°32.85[min]RF 5.............................  41°39[min]      69°44.3[min]RF 6.............................  41°45.6[min]    69°51.8[min]RF 7.............................  41°52.3[min]    69°52.55[min]RF 8.............................  41°55.5[min]    69°53.45[min]RF 9.............................  42°08.35[min]   70°04.05[min]RF 10............................  42°04.75[min]   70°16.95[min]RF 11............................  42°00[min]      70°13.2[min]RF 12............................  42°00[min]      70°24.1[min]RF 13............................  42°07.85[min]   70°30.1[min]RF 1.............................  42°14.05[min]   70°08.8[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Raised Footrope Trawl Whiting Fishery Exemption Area                    [November 21 through December 31]------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------RF 1.............................  42°14.05[min]   70°08.8[min]RF 2.............................  42°09.2[min]    69°47.8[min]RF 3.............................  41°54.85[min]   69°35.2[min]RF 4.............................  41°41.5[min]    69°32.85[min]RF 5.............................  41°39[min]      69°44.3[min]RF 6.............................  41°45.6[min]    69°51.8[min]RF 7.............................  41°52.3[min]    69°52.55[min]RF 8.............................  41°55.5[min]    69°53.45[min]RF 9.............................  42°08.35[min]   70°04.05[min]RF 1.............................  42°14.05[min]   70°08.8[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(i) Requirements. (A) A vessel fishing in the Raised Footrope Trawl Whiting Fishery under this exemption must have on board a valid letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator. To obtain a letter of authorization, vessel owners must write to or call during normal business hours the Northeast Region Permit Office and provide the vessel name, owner name, permit number, and the desired period of time that the vessel will be enrolled. Since letters of authorization are effective the day after they are requested, vessel owners should allow appropriate processing and mailing time. To withdraw from a category, vessel owners must write to or call the Northeast Region Permit Office. Withdrawals are effective the day after the date of request. Withdrawals may occur after a minimum of 7 days of enrollment.

(B) All nets must be no smaller than a minimum mesh size of 2.5-inch (6.35-cm) square or diamond mesh, subject to the restrictions as specified in paragraph (a)(15)(i)(D) of this section. An owner or operator of a vessel enrolled in the raised footrope whiting fishery may not fish for, possess on board, or land any species of fish other than whiting and offshore hake, subject to the applicable possession limits as specified in §648.86, except for the following allowable incidental species: Red hake, butterfish, dogfish, herring, mackerel, scup, and squid.

(C) [Reserved]

(D) All nets must comply with the minimum mesh sizes specified in paragraphs (a)(15)(i)(B) of this section. Counting from the terminus of the net, the minimum mesh size is applied to the first 100 meshes (200 bars in the case of square mesh) from the terminus of the net for vessels greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) in length and is applied to the first 50 meshes (100 bars in the case of square mesh) from the terminus of the net for vessels less than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) in length.

(E) Raised footrope trawl gear is required and must be configured as specified in paragraphs (a)(9)(ii)(A) through (D) of this section.

(F) Fishing may only occur from September 1 through November 20 of each fishing year, except that it may occur in the eastern portion only of the Raised Footrope Trawl Whiting Fishery Exemption Area from November 21 through December 31 of each fishing year.

(G) A vessel enrolled in the Raised Footrope Trawl Whiting Fishery may fish for small-mesh multispecies in exempted fisheries outside of the Raised Footrope Trawl Whiting Fishery exemption area, provided that the vessel complies with the more restrictive gear, possession limit and other requirements specified in the regulations of that exempted fishery for the entire participation period specified on the vessel's letter of authorization. For example, a vessel may fish in both the Raised Footrope Trawl Whiting Fishery and the Cultivator Shoal Whiting Fishery Exemption Area, and would be restricted to a minimum mesh size of 3 inches (7.6 cm), as required in the Cultivator Shoal Whiting Fishery Exemption Area; the use of the raised footrope trawl; and the catch and bycatch restrictions of the Raised Footrope Trawl Whiting Fishery, except for scup.

(ii) Sea sampling. The Regional Administrator shall conduct periodic sea sampling to evaluate the bycatch of regulated species.

(16) GOM Grate Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery. Vessels subject to the minimum mesh size restrictions specified in paragraphs (a)(3) or (4) of this section may fish with, use, and possess in the GOM Grate Raised Footrope Trawl Whiting Fishery area from July 1 through November 30 of each year, nets with a mesh size smaller than the minimum size specified, if the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraphs (a)(16)(i) and (ii) of this section. The GOM Grate Raised Footrope Trawl Whiting Fishery Area (copies of a chart depicting the area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request) is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

     GOM Grate Raised Footrope Trawl Whiting Fishery Exemption Area                      [July 1 through November 30]------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------GRF1.............................  43°15[min]      70°35.4[min]GRF2.............................  43°15[min]      70°00[min]GRF3.............................  43°25.2[min]    70°00[min]GRF4.............................  43°41.8[min]    69°20[min]GRF5.............................  43°58.8[min]    69°20[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(i) Mesh requirements and possession restrictions. (A) All nets must comply with a minimum mesh size of 2.5-inch (6.35-cm) square or diamond mesh, subject to the restrictions specified in paragraph (a)(16)(i)(B) of this section. An owner or operator of a vessel participating in the GOM Grate Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery may not fish for, possess on board, or land any species of fish, other than whiting and offshore hake, subject to the applicable possession limits as specified in paragraph (a)(16)(i)(C) of this section, except for the following allowable incidental species: Red hake, butterfish, herring, mackerel, squid, and alewife.

(B) All nets must comply with the minimum mesh size specified in paragraph (a)(16)(i)(A) of this section. Counting from the terminus of the net, the minimum mesh size is applied to the first 100 meshes (200 bars in the case of square mesh) from the terminus of the net for vessels greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) in length and is applied to the first 50 meshes (100 bars in the case of square mesh) from the terminus of the net for vessels less than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) in length.

(C) An owner or operator of a vessel participating in the GOM Grate Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery may fish for, possess, and land combined silver hake and offshore hake only up to 7,500 lb (3,402 kg). An owner or operator fishing with mesh larger than the minimum mesh size specified in paragraph (a)(16)(i)(A) of this section may not fish for, possess, or land silver hake or offshore hake in quantities larger than 7,500 lb (3,402 kg).

(ii) Gear specifications. In addition to the requirements specified in paragraph (a)(16)(i) of this section, an owner or operator of a vessel fishing in the GOM Grate Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery must configure the vessel's trawl gear as specified in paragraphs (a)(16)(ii)(A) through (C) of this section.

(A) An owner or operator of a vessel fishing in the GOM Grate Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery must configure the vessel's trawl gear with a raised footrope trawl as specified in paragraphs (a)(9)(ii)(A) through (C) of this section. In addition, the restrictions specified in paragraphs (a)(16)(ii)(B) and (C) of this section apply to vessels fishing in the GOM Grate Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery.

(B) The raised footrope trawl must be used without a sweep of any kind (chain, roller frame, or rockhopper). The drop chains must be a maximum of 3/8-inch (0.95 cm) diameter bare chain and must be hung from the center of the footrope and each corner (the quarter, or the junction of the bottom wing to the belly at the footrope). Drop chains must be at least 42 inches (106.7 cm) in length and must be hung at intervals of 8 ft (2.4 m) along the footrope from the corners to the wing ends.

(C) The raised footrope trawl net must have a rigid or semi-rigid grate consisting of parallel bars of not more than 50 mm (1.97 inches) spacing that excludes all fish and other objects, except those that are small enough to pass between its bars into the codend of the trawl. The grate must be secured in the trawl, forward of the codend, in such a manner that it precludes the passage of fish or other objects into the codend without the fish or objects having to first pass between the bars of the grate. The net must have an outlet or hole to allow fish or other objects that are too large to pass between the bars of the grate to exit the net. The aftermost edge of this outlet or hole must be at least as wide as the grate at the point of attachment. The outlet or hole must extend forward from the grate toward the mouth of the net. A funnel of net material is allowed in the lengthening piece of the net forward of the grate to direct catch towards the grate.

(iii) Annual review. On an annual basis, the Groundfish PDT will review data from this fishery, including sea sampling data, to determine whether adjustments are necessary to ensure that regulated species bycatch remains at a minimum. If the Groundfish PDT recommends adjustments to ensure that regulated species bycatch remains at a minimum, the Council may take action prior to the next fishing year through the framework adjustment process specified in §648.90(b), and in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

(17) GOM/GB Exemption Area—Area definition. The GOM/GB Exemption Area (copies of a map depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request) is that area:

(i) Bounded on the east by the U.S.-Canada maritime boundary, defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                Gulf of Maine Georges Bank Exemption Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------G1...............................  (\1\)               (\1\)G2...............................  43°58[min]      67°22[min]G3...............................  42°53.1[min]    67°44.4[min]G4...............................  42°31[min]      67°28.1[min]G5...............................  41°18.6[min]    66°24.8[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\The intersection of the shoreline and the U.S.-Canada Maritime  Boundary

(ii) Bounded on the south by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------             Point                  N. lat.         W. long.               Approximate loran C bearings----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------G6............................  40°55.5[min  66°38[min]  5930-Y-30750 and 9960-Y-43500.                                 ]G7............................  40°45.5[min  68°00[min]  9960-Y-43500 and 68°00[min] W. lat.                                 ]G8............................  40°37[min]   68°00[min]  9960-Y-43450 and 68°00[min] W. lat.G9............................  40°30[min]   69°00[min]NL3...........................  40°22.7[min  69°00[min]                                 ]NL2...........................  40°18.7[min  69°40[min]                                 ]NL1...........................  40°50[min]   69°40[min]G11...........................  40°50[min]   70°00[min]G12...........................  ...............  70°00[min]                                                  \1\----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\Northward to its intersection with the shoreline of mainland Massachusetts.

(b) Southern New England (SNE) Regulated Mesh Area—(1) Area definition. The SNE Regulated Mesh Area (copies of a map depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request) is that area:

(i) Bounded on the east by the western boundary of the GB Regulated Mesh Area described under paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section; and

(ii) Bounded on the west by a line beginning at the intersection of 74°00' W. long. and the south facing shoreline of Long Island, NY, and then running southward along the 74°00' W. long. line.

(2) Gear restrictions—(i) Vessels using trawls. Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(2)(i) and (vi) of this section, and unless otherwise restricted under paragraph (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the minimum mesh size for any trawl net, not stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), except midwater trawl, on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the SNE Regulated Mesh Area is 6-inch (15.2-cm) diamond mesh or 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) square mesh, applied throughout the body and extension of the net, or any combination thereof, and 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) square mesh or, 7-inch (17.8-cm) diamond mesh applied to the codend of the net, as defined under paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(ii) Vessels using Scottish seine, midwater trawl, and purse seine. Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (vi) of this section, the minimum mesh size for any Scottish seine, midwater trawl, or purse seine, not stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the SNE Regulated Mesh Area is 6-inch (15.2-cm) diamond mesh or 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) square mesh applied throughout the net, or any combination thereof. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(iii) Large-mesh vessels. When fishing in the SNE Regulated Mesh Area, the minimum mesh size for any trawl net vessel, or sink gillnet, not stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b) on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the Large-mesh DAS program, specified in §648.82(b)(4), is 8.5-inch (21.6-cm) diamond or square mesh throughout the entire net. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(iv) Gillnet vessels. For Day and Trip gillnet vessels, the minimum mesh size for any sink gillnet not stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), when fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the SNE Regulated Mesh Area, is 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) throughout the entire net. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters. Day gillnet vessels must also abide by the tagging requirements in paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(C) of this section.

(A) Trip gillnet vessels. A Trip gillnet vessel fishing under a NE multispecies DAS and fishing in the SNE Regulated Mesh Area may not fish with nets longer than 300 ft (91.4 m), or 50 fathoms (91.4 m) in length.

(B) Day gillnet vessels—(1) Number of nets. A Day gillnet vessel fishing under a NE multispecies DAS and fishing in the SNE Regulated Mesh Area may not fish with, haul, possess, or deploy more than 75 nets, except as provided in §648.92(b)(8)(i). Such vessels, in accordance with §648.23(b), may stow additional nets not to exceed 160, counting deployed nets.

(2) Net size requirements. Nets may not be longer than 300 ft (91.4 m), or 50 fathoms (91.4 m), in length.

(3) Tags. Roundfish or flatfish gillnets must be tagged with two tags per net, with one tag secured to each bridle of every net within a string of nets.

(C) Obtaining and replacing tags. See paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(C) of this section.

(v) Hook gear restrictions. Unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (b)(2)(v), vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access permit and fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, and vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access Small-Vessel permit, in the SNE Regulated Mesh Area, and persons on such vessels, are prohibited from fishing, setting, or hauling back, per day, or possessing on board the vessel, more than 2,000 rigged hooks. All longline gear hooks must be circle hooks, of a minimum size of 12/0. An unabated hook and gangions that has not been secured to the ground line of the trawl on board a vessel is deemed to be a replacement hook and is not counted toward the 2,000-hook limit. A “snap-on” hook is deemed to be a replacement hook if it is not rigged or baited. The use of de-hookers (“crucifer”) with less than 6-inch (15.2-cm) spacing between the fairlead rollers is prohibited. Vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access Hook Gear permit and fishing under a multispecies DAS in the SNE Regulated Mesh Area, and persons on such vessels, are prohibited from possessing gear other than hook gear on board the vessel. Vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access Handgear A permit are prohibited from fishing, or possessing on board the vessel, gears other than handgear. Vessels fishing with tub-trawl gear are prohibited from fishing, setting, or hauling back, per day, or possessing on board the vessel more than 250 hooks.

(vi) Other restrictions and exemptions. Vessels are prohibited from fishing in the SNE Exemption Area, as defined in paragraph (b)(10) of this section, except if fishing with exempted gear (as defined under this part) or under the exemptions specified in paragraphs (b)(3), (b)(5) through (9), (b)(11), (c), (e), (h) and (i) of this section, or if fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, if fishing under the Small Vessel or Handgear A exemptions specified in §648.82(b)(5) and (b)(6), respectively, or if fishing under a scallop state waters exemption specified in §648.54, or if fishing under a scallop DAS in accordance with paragraph (h) of this section, or if fishing under a General Category scallop permit in accordance with paragraphs (a)(11)(i)(A) and (B) of this section, or if fishing pursuant to a NE multispecies open access Charter/Party or Handgear permit, or if fishing as a charter/party or private recreational vessel in compliance with the regulations specified in §648.89. Any gear on a vessel, or used by a vessel, in this area must be authorized under one of these exemptions or must be stowed as specified in §648.23(b).

(vii) Vessels using trawls. Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(2)(i) and (x) of this section, and unless otherwise restricted under paragraph (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the minimum mesh size for any trawl net, not stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), except midwater trawl, on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the SNE Regulated Mesh Area is 6-inch (15.2-cm) diamond mesh or 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) square mesh, applied throughout the body and extension of the net, or any combination thereof, and 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) square mesh or 7-inch (17.8-cm) diamond mesh applied to the codend of the net, as defined under paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(viii) Vessels using Scottish seine, midwater trawl, and purse seine. Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (x) of this section, the minimum mesh size for any Scottish seine, midwater trawl, or purse seine, not stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the SNE Regulated Mesh Area is 6-inch (15.2-cm) diamond mesh or 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) square mesh applied throughout the net, or any combination thereof. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(ix) Large-mesh vessels. When fishing in the SNE Regulated Mesh Area, the minimum mesh size for any trawl net vessel, or sink gillnet, not stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b) on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the Large-mesh DAS program, specified in §648.82(u)(4), is 8.5-inch (21.6-cm) diamond or square mesh throughout the entire net. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(x) Other restrictions and exemptions. Vessels are prohibited from fishing in the SNE Exemption Area, as defined in paragraph (b)(10) of this section, except if fishing with exempted gear (as defined under this part) or under the exemptions specified in paragraphs (b)(3), (b)(5) through (9), (b)(11), (c), (e), (h), and (i) of this section, or if fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, if fishing under the Small Vessel or Handgear A exemptions specified in §648.82(b)(u)(5) and (u)(6), respectively, or if fishing under a scallop state waters exemption specified in §648.54, or if fishing under a scallop DAS in accordance with paragraph (h) of this section, or if fishing under a General Category scallop permit in accordance with paragraphs (a)(11)(i)(A) and (B) of this section, or if fishing pursuant to a NE multispecies open access Charter/Party or Handgear permit, or if fishing as a charter/party or private recreational vessel in compliance with the regulations specified in §648.89. Any gear on a vessel, or used by a vessel, in this area must be authorized under one of these exemptions or must be stowed as specified in §648.23(b).

(3) Exemptions—(i) Species exemptions. Owners and operators of vessels subject to the minimum mesh size restrictions specified in paragraphs (a)(4) and (b)(2) of this section, may fish for, harvest, possess, or land butterfish, dogfish (trawl only), herring, Atlantic mackerel, ocean pout, scup, shrimp, squid, summer flounder, silver hake and offshore hake, and weakfish with nets of a mesh size smaller than the minimum size specified in the GB and SNE Regulated Mesh Areas when fishing in the SNE Exemption Area defined in paragraph (b)(10) of this section, provided such vessels comply with requirements specified in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section and with the mesh size and possession limit restrictions specified under §648.86(d).

(ii) Possession and net stowage requirements. Vessels may possess regulated species while in possession of nets with mesh smaller than the minimum size specified in paragraphs (a)(4) and (b)(2) of this section when fishing in the SNE Exemption Area defined in paragraph (b)(10) of this section, provided that such nets are stowed and are not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), and provided that regulated species were not harvested by nets of mesh size smaller than the minimum mesh size specified in paragraphs (a)(4) and (b)(2) of this section. Vessels fishing for the exempted species identified in paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section may also possess and retain the following species, with the restrictions noted, as incidental take to these exempted fisheries: Conger eels; sea robins; black sea bass; red hake; tautog (blackfish); blowfish; cunner; John Dory; mullet; bluefish; tilefish; longhorn sculpin; fourspot flounder; alewife; hickory shad; American shad; blueback herring; sea raven; Atlantic croaker; spot; swordfish; monkfish and monkfish parts—up to 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board or up to 50 lb (23 kg) tail-weight/166 lb (75 kg) whole weight of monkfish per trip, as specified in §648.94(c)(4), whichever is less; American lobster—up to 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board or 200 lobsters, whichever is less; and skate and skate parts—up to 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board.

(4) Addition or deletion of exemptions. Same as in paragraph (a)(8) of this section.

(5) SNE Monkfish and Skate Trawl Exemption Area. Unless otherwise required or prohibited by monkfish or skate regulations under this part, a vessel may fish with trawl gear in the SNE Monkfish and Skate Trawl Fishery Exemption Area when not operating under a NE multispecies DAS if the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (b)(5)(i) of this section, and the monkfish and skate regulations, as applicable, under this part. The SNE Monkfish and Skate Trawl Fishery Exemption Area is defined as the area bounded on the north by a line extending eastward along 40°10' N. lat., and bounded on the west by the western boundary of the SNE Exemption Area as defined in paragraph (b)(10)(ii) of this section.

(i) Requirements. (A) A vessel fishing under this exemption may only fish for, possess on board, or land monkfish and incidentally caught species up to the amounts specified in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(B) All trawl nets must comply with the minimum mesh size specified under §648.91(c)(1)(i).

(C) A vessel not operating under a multispecies DAS may fish for, possess on board, or land skates, provided:

(1) The vessel is called into the monkfish DAS program (§648.92) and complies with the skate possession limit restrictions at §648.322;

(2) The vessel has an LOA on board to fish for skates as bait only, and complies with the requirements specified at §648.322(b); or

(3) The vessel possesses and/or lands skates or skate parts in an amount not to exceed 10 percent by weight of all other species on board as specified at paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(ii) [Reserved]

(6) SNE Monkfish and Skate Gillnet Exemption Area. Unless otherwise required by monkfish regulations under this part, a vessel may fish with gillnet gear in the SNE Monkfish and Skate Gillnet Fishery Exemption Area when not operating under a NE multispecies DAS if the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (b)(6)(i) of this section; the monkfish regulations, as applicable, under §§648.91 through 648.94; and the skate regulations, as applicable, under §§648.4 and 648.322. The SNE Monkfish and Skate Gillnet Fishery Exemption Area is defined by a line running from the Massachusetts shoreline at 41°35' N. lat. and 70°00' W. long., south to its intersection with the outer boundary of the EEZ, southwesterly along the outer boundary of the EEZ, and bounded on the west by the western boundary of the SNE Exemption Area, as defined in paragraph (b)(10)(ii) of this section.

(i) Requirements. (A) A vessel fishing under this exemption may only fish for, possess on board, or land monkfish and incidentally caught species up to the amounts specified in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(B) All gillnets must have a minimum mesh size of 10-inch (25.4-cm) diamond mesh throughout the net.

(C) All nets with a mesh size smaller than the minimum mesh size specified in paragraph (b)(6)(i)(B) of this section must be stowed as specified in §648.23(b).

(D) A vessel not operating under a NE multispecies DAS may fish for, possess on board, or land skates, provided:

(1) The vessel is called into the monkfish DAS program (§648.92) and complies with the skate possession limit restrictions at §648.322;

(2) The vessel has an Letter of Authorization on board to fish for skates as bait only, and complies with the requirements specified at §648.322(b); or

(3) The vessel possesses and/or lands skates or skate parts in an amount not to exceed 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board as specified at paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(ii) [Reserved]

(7) SNE Dogfish Gillnet Exemption Area. Unless otherwise required by monkfish regulations under this part, a gillnet vessel may fish in the SNE Dogfish Gillnet Fishery Exemption Area when not operating under a NE multispecies DAS if the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (b)(7)(i) of this section and the applicable dogfish regulations under subpart L of this part. The SNE Dogfish Gillnet Fishery Exemption Area is defined by a line running from the Massachusetts shoreline at 41°35' N. lat. and 70°00' W. long., south to its intersection with the outer boundary of the EEZ, southwesterly along the outer boundary of the EEZ, and bounded on the west by the western boundary of the SNE Exemption Area as defined in paragraph (b)(10)(ii) of this section.

(i) Requirements. (A) A vessel fishing under this exemption may only fish for, possess on board, or land dogfish and the bycatch species and amounts specified in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(B) All gillnets must have a minimum mesh size of 6-inch (15.2-cm) diamond mesh throughout the net.

(C) Fishing is confined to May 1 through October 31.

(ii) [Reserved]

(8) SNE Mussel and Sea Urchin Dredge Exemption. A vessel may fish with a dredge in the SNE Exemption Area, as defined in paragraph (b)(10) of this section, provided that 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 fish for, harvest, possess, or land any species of fish other than mussels and sea urchins.

(9) SNE Little Tunny Gillnet Exemption Area. A vessel may fish with gillnet gear in the SNE Little Tunny Gillnet Exemption Area when not operating under a NE multispecies DAS with mesh size smaller than the minimum required in the SNE Regulated Mesh Area, if the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (b)(9)(i) of this section. The SNE Little Tunny Gillnet Exemption Area is defined by a line running from the Rhode Island shoreline at 41°18.2' N. lat. and 71°51.5' W. long. (Watch Hill, RI), southwesterly through Fishers Island, NY, to Race Point, Fishers Island, NY; and from Race Point, Fishers Island, NY, southeasterly to 41°06.5' N. lat. and 71°50.2' W. long.; east-northeastly through Block Island, RI, to 41°15' N. lat. and 71°07' W. long.; then due north to the intersection of the RI-MA shoreline.

(i) Requirements. (A) A vessel fishing under this exemption may fish only for, possess on board, or land little tunny and the allowable incidental species and amounts specified in paragraph (b)(3) of this section and, if applicable, paragraph (b)(9)(i)(B) of this section. Vessels fishing under this exemption may not possess regulated species.

(B) A vessel may possess bonito as an allowable incidental species.

(C) The vessel must have a letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator on board.

(D) All gillnets must have a minimum mesh size of 5.5-inch (14.0-cm) diamond mesh throughout the net.

(E) All nets with a mesh size smaller than the minimum mesh size specified in paragraph (b)(9)(i)(D) of this section must be stowed in accordance with one of the methods described under §648.23(b) while fishing under this exemption.

(F) Fishing is confined to September 1 through October 31.

(ii) The Regional Administrator shall conduct periodic sea sampling to evaluate the likelihood of gear interactions with protected resources.

(10) SNE Exemption Area—Area definition. The SNE Exemption Area (copies of a map depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request) is that area:

(i) Bounded on the east by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                   Southern New England Exemption Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------G5...............................  41°18.6[min]    66°24.8[min]G6...............................  40°55.5[min]    66°38[min]G7...............................  40°45.5[min]    68°00[min]G8...............................  40°37[min]      68°00[min]G9...............................  40°30.5[min]    69°00[min]NL3..............................  40°22.7[min]    69°00[min]NL2..............................  40°18.7[min]    69°40[min]NL1..............................  40°50[min]      69°40[min]G11..............................  40°50[min]      70°00[min]G12..............................  ..................  70°00[min]                                                        \1\------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ Northward to its intersection with the shoreline of mainland  Massachusetts.

(ii) Bounded on the west by a line running from the Rhode Island shoreline at 41°18.2' N. lat. and 71°51.5' W. long. (Watch Hill, RI), southwesterly through Fishers Island, NY, to Race Point, Fishers Island, NY; and from Race Point, Fishers Island, NY; southeasterly to the intersection of the 3-nautical mile line east of Montauk Point; southwesterly along the 3-nautical mile line to the intersection of 72°30' W. long.; and south along that line to the intersection of the outer boundary of the EEZ.

(11) SNE Scallop Dredge Exemption Area. Unless otherwise prohibited in §648.81, or 50 CFR part 648, subpart D, vessels with a limited access scallop permit that have declared out of the DAS program as specified in §648.10, or that have used up their DAS allocation, and vessels issued a General Category scallop permit, may fish in the SNE Scallop Dredge Exemption Area when not under a NE multispecies DAS, provided the vessel complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (b)(11)(ii) of this section.

(i) The SNE Scallop Dredge Exemption Area is that area (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

(A) Bounded on the west, south, and east by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------Sc1..............................  (\1\)               73°00[min]Sc2..............................  40°00[min]      73°00[min]Sc3..............................  40°00[min]      71°40[min]Sc4..............................  39°50[min]      71°40[min]Sc5..............................  39°50[min]      70°00[min]Sc6..............................  (\2\)               70°00[min]Sc7..............................  (\3\)               70°00[min]Sc8..............................  (\4\)               70°00[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ South facing shoreline of Long Island, NY.\2\ South facing shoreline of Nantucket, MA.\3\ North facing shoreline of Nantucket, MA.\4\ South facing shoreline of Cape Cod, MA.

(B) Bounded on the northwest by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------Sc9..............................  41°00[min]      (\1\)Sc10.............................  41°00[min]      71°40[min]Sc11.............................  (\2\)               71°40[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ East facing shoreline of the south fork of Long Island, NY.\2\ South facing shoreline of RI.

(ii) Exemption program requirements. (A) A vessel fishing in the Scallop Dredge Exemption Area may not fish for, posses on board, or land any species of fish other than Atlantic sea scallops.

(B) The combined dredge width in use by or in possession on board vessels fishing in the SNE Scallop Dredge Exemption Area shall not exceed 10.5 ft (3.2 m), measured at the widest point in the bail of the dredge.

(C) The minimum mesh size used in the twine top of scallop dredges must be 10 in (25.4 cm).

(D) The exemption does not apply to the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area specified under §648.81(c).

(c) Mid-Atlantic (MA) Regulated Mesh Area—(1) Area definition. The MA Regulated Mesh Area is that area bounded on the east by the western boundary of the SNE Regulated Mesh Area, described under paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section.

(2) Gear restrictions—(i) Vessels using trawls. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section, the minimum mesh size for any trawl net not stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the MA Regulated Mesh Area shall be that specified by §648.104(a), applied throughout the body and extension of the net, or any combination thereof, and 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) diamond or square mesh applied to the codend of the net, as defined in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(ii) Vessels using Scottish seine, midwater trawl, and purse seine. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section, the minimum mesh size for any sink gillnet, Scottish seine, midwater trawl, or purse seine, not stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the MA Regulated Mesh Area, shall be that specified in §648.104(a). This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(iii) Large-mesh vessels. When fishing in the MA Regulated Mesh Area, the minimum mesh size for any trawl net vessel, or sink gillnet, not stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the Large-mesh DAS program, specified in §648.82(b)(4), is 7.5-inch (19.0-cm) diamond mesh or 8.0-inch (20.3-cm) square mesh, throughout the entire net. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(iv) Hook gear restrictions. Unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (c)(2)(iv), vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access permit and fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, and vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access Small Vessel permit, in the MA Regulated Mesh Area, and persons on such vessels, are prohibited from using de-hookers (“crucifer”) with less than 6-inch (15.2-cm) spacing between the fairlead rollers. Vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access Hook gear permit and fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the MA Regulated Mesh Area, and persons on such vessels, are prohibited from possessing gear other than hook gear on board the vessel and are prohibited from fishing, setting, or hauling back, per day, or possessing on board the vessel, more than 4,500 rigged hooks. An unabated hook and gangions that has not been secured to the ground line of the trawl on board a vessel is deemed to be a replacement hook and is not counted toward the 4,500-hook limit. A “snap-on” hook is deemed to be a replacement hook if it is not rigged or baited. Vessels fishing with a valid NE multispecies limited access Handgear permit are prohibited from fishing, or possessing on board the vessel gears other than handgear. Vessels fishing with tub-trawl gear are prohibited from fishing, setting, or hauling back, per day, or possessing on board the vessel, more than 250 hooks.

(v) Gillnet vessels. For Day and Trip gillnet vessels, the minimum mesh size for any sink gillnet, not stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), when fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the MA Regulated Mesh Area, is 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) throughout the entire net. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(A) Trip gillnet vessels. A Trip gillnet vessel fishing under a NE multispecies DAS and fishing in the MA Regulated Mesh Area may not fish with nets longer than 300 ft (91.4 m), or 50 fathoms (91.4 m) in length.

(B) Day gillnet vessels—(1) Number of nets. A Day gillnet vessel fishing under a NE multispecies DAS and fishing in the MA Regulated Mesh Area, may not fish with, haul, possess, or deploy more than 75 nets, except as provided in §648.92(b)(8)(i). Such vessels, in accordance with §648.23(b), may stow additional nets not to exceed 160, counting deployed nets.

(2) Net size requirement. Nets may not be longer than 300 ft (91.4 m), or 50 fathoms (91.4 m), in length.

(3) Tags. Roundfish or flatfish gillnets must be tagged with two tags per net, with one tag secured to each bridle of every net within a string of nets.

(C) Obtaining and replacing tags. See paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(C) of this section.

(vi) Vessels using Scottish seine, midwater trawl, and purse seine. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2)(vii) of this section, the minimum mesh size for any sink gillnet, Scottish seine, midwater trawl, or purse seine, not stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the NE multispecies DAS program in the MA Regulated Mesh Area, shall be that specified in §648.104(a). This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(vii) Large-mesh vessels. When fishing in the MA Regulated Mesh Area, the minimum mesh size for any trawl net vessel, or sink gillnet, not stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), on a vessel or used by a vessel fishing under a DAS in the Large-mesh DAS program, specified in §648.82(u)(4), is 7.5-inch (19.0-cm) diamond mesh or 8.0-inch (20.3-cm) square mesh, throughout the entire net. This restriction does not apply to nets or pieces of nets smaller than 3 ft (0.9 m) × 3 ft (0.9 m), (9 sq ft (0.81 sq m)), or to vessels that have not been issued a NE multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters.

(3) Net stowage exemption. Vessels may possess regulated species while in possession of nets with mesh smaller than the minimum size specified in paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section, provided that such nets are stowed and are not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.23(b), and provided that regulated species were not harvested by nets of mesh size smaller than the minimum mesh size specified in paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section.

(4) Addition or deletion of exemptions. See paragraph (a)(8)(ii) of this section.

(5) MA Exemption Area. The MA Exemption Area is that area that lies west of the SNE Exemption Area defined in paragraph (b)(10) of this section.

(d) Midwater trawl gear exempted fishery. Fishing may take place throughout the fishing year with midwater trawl gear of mesh size less than the applicable minimum size specified in this section, provided that:

(1) Midwater trawl gear is used exclusively;

(2) When fishing under this exemption in the GOM/GB Exemption Area, as defined in paragraph (a)(17) of this section, and in the area described in §648.81(c)(1), the vessel has on board a letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator, and complies with the following restrictions:

(i) The vessel only fishes for, possesses, or lands Atlantic herring, blueback herring, or mackerel in areas north of 42°20' N. lat. and in the areas described in §648.81(a)(1), (b)(1), and (c)(1); and Atlantic herring, blueback herring, mackerel, or squid in all other areas south of 42°20' N. lat.; and

(ii) The vessel is issued a letter of authorization for a minimum of 7 days.

(3) The vessel carries a NMFS-approved sea sampler/observer, if requested by the Regional Administrator;

(4) The vessel does not fish for, possess or land NE multispecies, except that Category 1 herring vessels may possess and land haddock or other regulated NE multispecies (cod, witch flounder, plaice, yellowtail flounder, pollock, winter flounder, windowpane flounder, redfish, and white hake) consistent with the incidental catch allowance and bycatch caps specified in §648.86(a)(3). Such haddock or other regulated NE multispecies may not be sold, purchased, received, traded, bartered, or transferred, or attempted to be sold, purchased, received, traded, bartered, or transferred for, or intended for, human consumption. Haddock or other regulated NE multispecies that is separated out from the herring catch pursuant to §648.15(d) may not be sold, purchased, received, traded, bartered, or transferred, or attempted to be sold, purchased, received, traded, bartered, or transferred for any purpose. Category 1 vessels may not discard haddock that has been brought on the deck or pumped into the hold.

(5) To fish for herring under this exemption, vessels issued a Category 1 herring permit defined in §648.2 must provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number for contact; and the date, time, and port of departure, at least 72 hr prior to beginning any trip into these areas for the purposes of observer deployment; and

(6) All Category 1 herring vessels on a declared herring trip must notify NMFS Office of Law Enforcement through VMS of the time and place of offloading at least 6 hr prior to crossing the VMS demarcation line on their return trip to port or, for vessels that have not fished seaward of the VMS demarcation line, at least 6 hr prior to landing. The Regional Administrator may adjust the prior notification minimum time through publication of a notice in the Federal Register consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act.

(e) Purse seine gear exempted fishery. Fishing may take place throughout the fishing year with purse seine gear of mesh size smaller than the applicable minimum size specified in this section, provided that:

(1) The vessel uses purse seine gear exclusively;

(2) When fishing under this exemption in the GOM/GB Exemption Area, as defined in paragraph (a)(17) of this section, the vessel has on board a letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator and complies with the following:

(i) The vessel only fishes for, possesses, or lands Atlantic herring, blueback herring, mackerel, or menhaden; and

(ii) The vessel must carry a NMFS-approved sea sampler/observer, if requested to do so by the Regional Administrator;

(3) The vessel is issued a letter of authorization for a minimum of 7 days, and cancels it only as instructed by the Regional Administrator; and

(4) The vessel does not fish for, possess or land NE multispecies, except that Category 1 herring vessels may possess and land haddock or other regulated multispecies (cod, witch flounder, plaice, yellowtail flounder, pollock, winter flounder, windowpane flounder, redfish, and white hake) consistent with the incidental catch allowance and bycatch caps specified in §648.86(a)(3). Such haddock or other regulated multispecies may not be sold, purchased, received, traded, bartered, or transferred, or attempted to be sold, purchased, received, traded, bartered, or transferred for, or intended for, human consumption. Haddock or other regulated multispecies that is separated out from the herring catch pursuant to §648.15(d) may not be sold, purchased, received, traded, bartered, or transferred, or attempted to be sold, purchased, received, traded, bartered, or transferred for any purpose. Category 1 vessels may not discard haddock that has been brought on the deck or pumped into the hold.

(5) To fish for herring under this exemption, vessels issued a Category 1 herring permit as defined in §648.2 must provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number for contact; and the date, time, and port of departure, at least 72 hr prior to beginning any trip into these areas for the purposes of observer deployment; and

(6) All Category 1 herring vessels must notify NMFS Office of Law Enforcement through VMS of the time and place of offloading at least 6 hr prior to crossing the VMS demarcation line on their return trip to port, or, for vessels that have not fished seaward of the VMS demarcation line, at least 6 hr prior to landing. The Regional Administrator may adjust the prior notification minimum time through publication of a notice in the Federal Register consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act.

(f) Mesh measurements—(1) Gillnets. Mesh size of gillnet gear shall be measured by lining up 5 consecutive knots perpendicular to the float line and, with a ruler or tape measure, measuring 10 consecutive measures on the diamond, inside knot to inside knot. The mesh shall be the average of the measurements of 10 consecutive measures.

(2) All other nets. With the exception of gillnets, mesh size shall be measured by a wedged-shaped gauge having a taper of 2 cm in 8 cm, and a thickness of 2.3 mm, inserted into the meshes under a pressure or pull of 5 kg.

(i) Square-mesh measurement. Square mesh in the regulated portion of the net is measured by placing the net gauge along the diagonal line that connects the largest opening between opposite corners of the square. The square-mesh size is the average of the measurements of 20 consecutive adjacent meshes from the terminus forward along the long axis of the net. The square mesh is measured at least five meshes away from the lacings of the net.

(ii) Diamond-mesh measurement. Diamond mesh in the regulated portion of the net is measured running parallel to the long axis of the net. The diamond-mesh size is the average of the measurements of any series of 20 consecutive meshes. The mesh is measured at least five meshes away from the lacings of the net.

(g) Restrictions on gear and methods of fishing—(1) Net obstruction or constriction. Except as provided in paragraph (g)(5) of this section, a fishing vessel subject to minimum mesh size restrictions shall not use any device or material, including, but not limited to, nets, net strengtheners, ropes, lines, or chafing gear, on the top of a trawl net, except that one splitting strap and one bull rope (if present), consisting of line and rope no more than 3 in (7.6 cm) in diameter, may be used if such splitting strap and/or bull rope does not constrict, in any manner, the top of the trawl net. “The top of the trawl net” means the 50 percent of the net that (in a hypothetical situation) would not be in contact with the ocean bottom during a tow if the net were laid flat on the ocean floor. For the purpose of this paragraph, head ropes are not considered part of the top of the trawl net.

(2) Net obstruction or constriction. (i) Except as provided in paragraph (g)(5) of this section, a fishing vessel may not use any mesh configuration, mesh construction, or other means on or in the top of the net subject to minimum mesh size restrictions, as defined in paragraph (g)(1) of this section, if it obstructs the meshes of the net in any manner.

(ii) A fishing vessel may not use a net capable of catching NE multispecies if the bars entering or exiting the knots twist around each other.

(3) Pair trawl prohibition. No vessel may fish for NE multispecies while pair trawling, or possess or land NE multispecies that have been harvested by means of pair trawling, except as authorized under paragraph (d) of this section.

(4) Brush-sweep trawl prohibition. No vessel may fish for, possess, or land NE multispecies while fishing with, or while in possession of, brush-sweep trawl gear.

(5) Net strengthener restrictions when fishing for or possessing small-mesh multispecies—(i) Nets of mesh size less than 2.5 inches (6.4 cm). A vessel lawfully fishing for small-mesh multispecies in the GOM/GB, SNE, or MA Regulated Mesh Areas, as defined in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section, with nets of mesh size smaller than 2.5 inches (6.4-cm), as measured by methods specified in paragraph (f) of this section, may use net strengtheners (covers, as described at §648.23(d)), provided that the net strengthener for nets of mesh size smaller than 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) complies with the provisions specified under §648.23(d).

(ii) Nets of mesh size equal to or greater than 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) but less than 3 inches (7.6 cm). A vessel lawfully fishing for small-mesh multispecies in the GOM/GB, SNE, or MA Regulated Mesh Areas, as defined in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section, with nets with mesh size equal to or greater than 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) but less than 3 inches (7.6 cm) (as measured by methods specified in paragraph (f) of this section, and as applied to the part of the net specified in paragraph (d)(1)(iv) of this section) may use a net strengthener (i.e., outside net), provided the net strengthener does not have an effective mesh opening of less than 6 inches (15.2 cm), diamond or square mesh, as measured by methods specified in paragraph (f) of this section. The inside net (as applied to the part of the net specified in paragraph (d)(1)(iv) of this section) must not be more than 2 ft (61 cm) longer than the outside net, must be the same circumference or smaller than the smallest circumference of the outside net, and must be the same mesh configuration (i.e., both square or both diamond mesh) as the outside net.

(6) Gillnet requirements to reduce or prevent marine mammal takes—(i) Requirements for gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies to reduce harbor porpoise takes. In addition to the requirements for gillnet fishing identified in this section, all persons owning or operating vessels in the EEZ that fish with sink gillnet gear and other gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies, with the exception of single pelagic gillnets (as described in §648.81(f)(2)(ii)), must comply with the applicable provisions of the Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan found in §229.33 of this title.

(ii) Requirements for gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies to prevent large whale takes. In addition to the requirements for gillnet fishing identified in this section, all persons owning or operating vessels in the EEZ that fish with sink gillnet gear and other gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies, with the exception of single pelagic gillnets (as described in §648.81(f)(2)(ii)), must comply with the applicable provisions of the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan found in §229.32 of this title.

(h) Scallop vessels. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (h)(2) of this section, a scallop vessel that possesses a limited access scallop permit and either a NE multispecies Combination vessel permit or a scallop/multispecies possession limit permit, and that is fishing under a scallop DAS allocated under §648.53, may possess and land up to 300 lb (136.1 kg) of regulated species per trip, provided that the amount of regulated species on board the vessel does not exceed the trip limits specified in §648.86, and provided the vessel has at least one standard tote on board, unless otherwise restricted by §648.86(a)(2).

(2) Combination vessels fishing under a NE multispecies DAS are subject to the gear restrictions specified in this section and may possess and land unlimited amounts of regulated species, unless otherwise restricted by §648.86. Such vessels may simultaneously fish under a scallop DAS.

(i) State waters winter flounder exemption. Any vessel issued a NE multispecies permit may fish for, possess, or land winter flounder while fishing with nets of mesh smaller than the minimum size specified in paragraphs (a)(2), (b)(2), and (c)(2) of this section, provided that:

(1) The vessel has on board a certificate approved by the Regional Administrator and issued by the state agency authorizing the vessel's participation in the state's winter flounder fishing program and is in compliance with the applicable state laws pertaining to minimum mesh size for winter flounder.

(2) Fishing is conducted exclusively in the waters of the state from which the certificate was obtained.

(3) The state's winter flounder plan has been approved by the Commission as being in compliance with the Commission's winter flounder fishery management plan.

(4) The state elects, by a letter to the Regional Administrator, to participate in the exemption program described by this section (for a particular fishing year).

(5) The vessel does not enter or transit the EEZ.

(6) The vessel does not enter or transit the waters of another state, unless such other state is participating in the exemption program described by this section and the vessel is enrolled in that state's program.

(7) The vessel, when not fishing under the DAS program, does not fish for, possess, or land more than 500 lb (226.8 kg) of winter flounder, and has at least one standard tote on board.

(8) The vessel does not fish for, possess, or land any species of fish other than winter flounder and the exempted small-mesh species specified under paragraphs (a)(5)(i), (a)(9)(i), (b)(3), and (c)(4) of this section when fishing in the areas specified under paragraphs (a)(5), (a)(9), (b)(10), and (c)(5) of this section, respectively. Vessels fishing under this exemption in New York and Connecticut state waters and permitted to fish for skates may also possess and land skates in amounts not to exceed 10 percent, by weight, of all other species on board.

[69 FR 22951, Apr. 27, 2004]

Editorial Note:  For Federal Register citations affecting §648.80, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on GPO Access.

Effective Date Note:  At 71 FR 19374, Apr. 13, 2006, §648.80 was amended by suspending paragraphs (a)(3)(vi), (a)(4)(i) through (iv), (b)(2)(i) through (iii) and (vi), and (c)(2)(ii) and (iii); and adding paragraphs (a)(3)(viii), (a)(4)(vi) through (ix), (b)(2)(vii) through (x), and (c)(2)(vi) and (vii), effective May 1, 2006, through Oct. 10, 2006.

§ 648.81   NE multispecies closed areas and measures to protect EFH.
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(a) Closed Area I. (1) No fishing vessel or person on a fishing vessel may enter, fish, or be in the area known as Closed Area I (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request), as defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated, except as specified in paragraphs (a)(2) and (i) of this section:

                              Closed Area I------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------CI1..............................  41°30[min]      69°23[min]CI2..............................  40°45[min]      68°45[min]CI3..............................  40°45[min]      68°30[min]CI4..............................  41°30[min]      68°30[min]CI1..............................  41°30[min]      69°23[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) Unless otherwise restricted under the EFH Closure(s) specified in paragraph (h) of this section, paragraph (a)(1) of this section does not apply to persons on fishing vessels or fishing vessels:

(i) Fishing with or using pot gear designed and used to take lobsters, or pot gear designed and used to take hagfish, provided that there is no retention of regulated species and no other gear on board capable of catching NE multispecies;

(ii) Fishing with or using pelagic longline gear or pelagic hook-and-line gear, or harpoon gear, provided that there is no retention of regulated species, and provided that there is no other gear on board capable of catching NE multispecies;

(iii) Fishing with pelagic midwater trawl gear, consistent with §648.80(d), provided that the Regional Administrator shall review information pertaining to the bycatch of regulated NE multispecies and, if the Regional Administrator determines, on the basis of sea sampling data or other credible information for this fishery, that the bycatch of regulated multispecies exceeds, or is likely to exceed, 1 percent of herring and mackerel harvested, by weight, in the fishery or by any individual fishing operation, the Regional Administrator may place restrictions and conditions in the letter of authorization for any or all individual fishing operations or, after consulting with the Council, suspend or prohibit any or all midwater trawl activities in the closed areas;

(iv) Fishing with tuna purse seine gear, provided that there is no retention of NE multispecies, and provided there is no other gear on board gear capable of catching NE multispecies. If the Regional Administrator determines through credible information, that tuna purse seine vessels are adversely affecting habitat or NE multispecies stocks, the Regional Administrator may, through notice action, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, prohibit individual purse seine vessels or all purse seine vessels from the area; or

(v) Fishing in a SAP, in accordance with the provisions of §648.85(b).

(vi) Fishing for scallops within the Closed Area I Access Area defined in §648.59(b)(3) during the season specified in §648.59(b)(4), and pursuant to the provisions specified in §648.60.

(b) Closed Area II. (1) No fishing vessel or person on a fishing vessel may enter, fish, or be in the area known as Closed Area II (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request), as defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated, except as specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section:

                             Closed Area II------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------C1I1.............................  41°00[min]      67°20[min]C1I2.............................  41°00[min]      66°35.8[min]G5...............................  41°18.6[min]    66°24.8[min]                                                        \1\C1I3.............................  42°22[min]      67°20[min]                                                        \1\C1I1.............................  41°00[min]      67°20[min]                                                        \1\------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ The U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

(2) Unless otherwise restricted under the EFH Closure(s) specified in paragraph (h) of this section, paragraph (b)(1) of this section does not apply to persons on fishing vessels or fishing vessels—

(i) Fishing with gears as described in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) through (iii), and (a)(2)(v) of this section;

(ii) Fishing with tuna purse seine gear outside of the portion of CA II known as the Habitat Area of Particular Concern, as described in paragraph (h)(1)(v) of this section;

(iii) Fishing in the CA II Yellowtail Flounder SAP or the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program as specified at §648.85(b)(3)(ii) or (b)(8)(ii), respectively; or

(iv) Transiting the area, provided the vessel's fishing gear is stowed in accordance with the provisions of §648.23(b); and

(A) The operator has determined, and a preponderance of available evidence indicates, that there is a compelling safety reason; or

(B) The vessel has declared into the Eastern U.S./Canada Area as specified in §648.85(a)(3)(ii) and is transiting CA II in accordance with the provisions of §648.85(a)(3)(vii).

(v) Fishing for scallops within the Closed Area II Access Area defined in §648.59(c)(3), during the season specified in §648.59(c)(4), and pursuant to the provisions specified in §648.60.

(c) Nantucket Lightship Closed Area. (1) No fishing vessel or person on a fishing vessel may enter, fish, or be in the area known as the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area (copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request), as defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated, except as specified in paragraphs (c)(2) and (i) of this section:

                     Nantucket Lightship Closed Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------G10..............................  40°50[min]      69°00[min]CN1..............................  40°20[min]      69°00[min]CN2..............................  40°20[min]      70°20[min]CN3..............................  40°5O[min]      70°20[min]G10..............................  40°50[min]      69°00[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) Unless otherwise restricted under the EFH Closure(s) specified in paragraph (h) of this section, paragraph (c)(1) of this section does not apply to persons on fishing vessels or fishing vessels:

(i) Fishing with gears as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section; or

(ii) Classified as charter, party or recreational vessel, provided that:

(A) If the vessel is a party or charter vessel, it has a letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator on board, which is valid from the date of issuance through a minimum duration of 7 days;

(B) With the exception of tuna, fish harvested or possessed by the vessel are not sold or intended for trade, barter or sale, regardless of where the regulated species are caught; and

(C) The vessel has no gear other than rod and reel or handline gear on board.

(D) The vessel does not fish outside the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area during the period specified by the letter of authorization; or

(iii) Fishing with or using dredge gear designed and used to take surfclams or ocean quahogs, provided that there is no retention of regulated species and no other gear on board capable of catching NE multispecies.

(iv) Fishing for scallops within the Nantucket Lightship Access Area defined in §648.59(d)(3), during the season specified in §648.59(d)(4), and pursuant to the provisions specified in §648.60.

(d) Cashes Ledge Closure Area. (1) No fishing vessel or person on a fishing vessel may enter, fish in, or be in, and no fishing gear capable of catching NE multispecies, unless otherwise allowed in this part, may be in, or on board a vessel in the area known as the Cashes Ledge Closure Area, as defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated, except as specified in paragraphs (d)(2) and (i) of this section (a chart depicting this area is available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

                        Cashes Ledge Closure Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------CL1..............................  43°07[min]      69°02[min]CL2..............................  42°49.5[min]    68°46[min]CL3..............................  42°46.5[min]    68°50.5[min]CL4..............................  42°43.5[min]    68°58.5[min]CL5..............................  42°42.5[min]    69°17.5[min]CL6..............................  42°49.5[min]    69°26[min]CL1..............................  43°07[min]      69°02[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) Unless otherwise restricted under the EFH Closure(s) specified in paragraph (h) of this section, paragraph (d)(1) of this section does not apply to persons on fishing vessels or fishing vessels that meet the criteria in paragraphs (f)(2)(ii) and (iii) of this section.

(e) Western GOM Closure Area. (1) No fishing vessel or person on a fishing vessel may enter, fish in, or be in, and no fishing gear capable of catching NE multispecies, unless otherwise allowed in this part, may be in, or on board a vessel in, the area known as the Western GOM Closure Area, as defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated, except as specified in paragraphs (e)(2) and (i) of this section:

                      Western GOM Closure Area \1\------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------WGM1.............................  42°15[min]      70°15[min]WGM2.............................  42°15[min]      69°55[min]WGM3.............................  43°15[min]      69°55[min]WGM4.............................  43°15[min]      70°15[min]WGM1.............................  42°15[min]      70°15[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ A chart depicting this area is available from the Regional  Administrator upon request.

(2) Unless otherwise restricted under paragraph (h) of this section, paragraph (e)(1) of this section does not apply to persons on fishing vessels or fishing vessels that meet the criteria in paragraphs (f)(2)(ii) and (iii) of this section consistent with the requirements specified under §648.80(a)(5).

(f) GOM Rolling Closure Areas. (1) No fishing vessel or person on a fishing vessel may enter, fish in, or be in; and no fishing gear capable of catching NE multispecies, unless otherwise allowed in this part, may be in, or on board a vessel in GOM Rolling Closure Areas I through V, as described in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) through (v) of this section, for the times specified in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) through (v) of this section, except as specified in paragraphs (f)(2) and (i) of this section. A chart depicting these areas is available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(i) Rolling Closure Area I. From March 1 through March 31, the restrictions specified in this paragraph (f)(1) apply to Rolling Closure Area I, which is the area bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                         Rolling Closure Area I                           [March 1-March 31]------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------GM3..............................  42°00[min]      (\1\)GM5..............................  42°00[min]      68°30[min]GM6..............................  42°30[min]      68°30[min]GM23.............................  42°30[min]      70°00[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ Cape Cod shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean.

(ii) Rolling Closure Area II. From April 1 through April 30, the restrictions specified in this paragraph (f)(1)(ii) apply to Rolling Closure Area II, which is the area bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                         Rolling Closure Area II                           [April 1-April 30]------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. Lat.            W. Long.------------------------------------------------------------------------GM1                                42°00[min]      (\1\)GM2                                42°00[min]      (\2\)GM3                                42°00[min]      (\3\)GM5                                42°00[min]      68°30[min]GM13                               43°00[min]      68°30[min]GM10                               43°00[min]      (\4\)------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ Massachusetts shoreline.\2\ Cape Cod shoreline on Cape Cod Bay.\3\ Cape Cod shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean.\4\ New Hampshire shoreline.

(iii) Rolling Closure Area III. From May 1 through May 31, the restrictions specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this section apply to Rolling Closure Area III, which is the area bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                        Rolling Closure Area III                             [May 1-May 31]------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. Lat.            W. Long.------------------------------------------------------------------------GM1                                42°00[min]      (\1\)GM2                                42°00[min]      (\2\)GM3                                42°00[min]      (\3\)GM4                                42°00[min]      70°00[min]GM23                               42°30[min]      70°00[min]GM6                                42°30[min]      68°30[min]GM14                               43°30[min]      68°30[min]GM18                               43°30[min]      (\4\)------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ Massachusetts shoreline.\2\ Cape Cod shoreline on Cape Cod Bay.\3\ Cape Cod shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean.\4\ Maine shoreline.

(iv) Rolling Closure Area IV. From June 1 through June 30, the restrictions specified in this paragraph (f)(1) apply to Rolling Closure Area IV, which is the area bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                         Rolling Closure Area IV                            [June 1-June 30]------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------GM9..............................  42°30[min]      (\1\)GM23.............................  42°30[min]      70°00[min]GM17.............................  43°30[min]      70°00[min]GM19.............................  43°30[min]      67°32[min] or                                                        (\2\)GM20.............................  44°00[min]      67°21[min] or                                                        (\2\)GM21.............................  44°00[min]      69°00[min]GM22.............................  (\3\)               69°00[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ Massachusetts shoreline.\2\ U.S.-Canada maritime boundary.\3\ Maine shoreline.

(v) Rolling Closure Area V. From October 1 through November 30, the restrictions specified in this paragraph (f)(1) apply to Rolling Closure Area V, which is the area bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                         Rolling Closure Area V                         [October 1-November 30]------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------GM1..............................  42°00[min]      (\1\)GM2..............................  42°00[min]      (\2\)GM3..............................  42°00[min]      (\3\)GM4..............................  42°00[min]      70°00[min]GM8..............................  42°30[min]      70°00[min]GM9..............................  42°30[min]      (\1\)------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ Massachusetts shoreline.\2\ Cape Cod shoreline on Cape Cod Bay.\3\ Cape Cod shoreline on the Atlantic Ocean.

(2) Paragraph (f)(1) of this section does not apply to persons aboard fishing vessels or fishing vessels:

(i) That have not been issued a multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters;

(ii) That are fishing with or using exempted gear as defined under this part, subject to the restrictions on midwater trawl gear in paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section, and excluding pelagic gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies, except for vessels fishing with a single pelagic gillnet not longer than 300 ft (91.4 m) and not greater than 6 ft (1.83 m) deep, with a maximum mesh size of 3 inches (7.6 cm), provided:

(A) The net is attached to the boat and fished in the upper two-thirds of the water column;

(B) The net is marked with the owner's name and vessel identification number;

(C) There is no retention of regulated species; and

(D) There is no other gear on board capable of catching NE multispecies;

(iii) That are fishing under charter/party or recreational regulations, provided that:

(A) For vessels fishing under charter/party regulations in a Rolling Closure Area described under paragraph (f)(1) of this section, it has on board a letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator, which is valid from the date of enrollment through the duration of the closure or 3 months duration, whichever is greater; for vessels fishing under charter/party regulations in the Cashes Ledge Closure Area or Western GOM Area Closure, as described under paragraph (d) and (e) of this section, respectively, it has on board a letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator, which is valid from the date of enrollment until the end of the fishing year;

(B) With the exception of tuna, fish harvested or possessed by the vessel are not sold or intended for trade, barter or sale, regardless of where the regulated species are caught;

(C) The vessel has no gear other than rod and reel or handline on board; and

(D) The vessel does not use any NE multispecies DAS during the entire period for which the letter of authorization is valid;

(iv) That are fishing with or using scallop dredge gear when fishing under a scallop DAS or when lawfully fishing in the Scallop Dredge Fishery Exemption Area as described in §648.80(a)(11), provided the vessel does not retain any regulated NE multispecies during a trip, or on any part of a trip; or

(v) That are fishing in the Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery, as specified in §648.80(a)(15), and in the GOM Rolling Closure Area V, as specified in paragraph (f)(1)(v) of this section.

(g) GB Seasonal Closure Area. (1) From May 1 through May 31, no fishing vessel or person on a fishing vessel may enter, fish in, or be in, and no fishing gear capable of catching NE multispecies, unless otherwise allowed in this part, may be in the area known as the GB Seasonal Closure Area, as defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated, except as specified in paragraphs (g)(2) and (i) of this section:

                   Georges Bank Seasonal Closure Area                             [May 1-May 31]------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------GB1..............................  42°00[min]      (\1\)GB2..............................  42°00[min]      68°30[min]GB3..............................  42°20[min]      68°30[min]GB4..............................  42°20[min]      67°20[min]GB5..............................  41°30[min]      67°20[min]CI1..............................  41°30[min]      69°23[min]CI2..............................  40°45[min]      68°45[min]CI3..............................  40°45[min]      68°30[min]GB6..............................  40°30[min]      68°30[min]GB7..............................  40°30[min]      69°00[min]G10..............................  40°50[min]      69°00[min]GB8..............................  40°50[min]      69°30[min]GB9..............................  41°00[min]      69°30[min]GB10.............................  41°00[min]      70°00[min]G12..............................  (\1\)               70° 00[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ Northward to its intersection with the shoreline of mainland MA.

(2) Paragraph (g)(1) of this section does not apply to persons on fishing vessels or to fishing vessels:

(i) That meet the criteria in paragraphs (f)(2)(i) or (ii) of this section;

(ii) That are fishing as charter/party or recreational vessels;

(iii) That are fishing with or using scallop dredge gear when fishing under a scallop DAS or when lawfully fishing in the Scallop Dredge Fishery Exemption Area, as described in §648.80(a)(11), provided the minimum mesh size of the twine top used in the dredge by the vessel is 10 inches (25.4 cm), and provided that the vessel complies with the NE multispecies possession restrictions for scallop vessels specified at §648.80(h); or

(iv) That are fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program as defined at §648.85(b)(8).

(h) Essential Fish Habitat Closure Areas. (1) In addition to the restrictions under paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section, no fishing vessel or person on a fishing vessel with bottom tending mobile gear on board the vessel may enter, fish in, or be in the EFH Closure Areas described in paragraphs (h)(1)(i) through (vi) of this section, unless otherwise specified. A chart depicting these areas is available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(i) Western GOM Habitat Closure Area. The restrictions specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section apply to the Western GOM Habitat Closure Area, which is the area bound by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                    Western GOM Habitat Closure Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------WGM4.............................  43°15[min]      70°15[min]WGM1.............................  42°15[min]      70°15[min]WGM5.............................  42°15[min]      70°00[min]WGM6.............................  43°15[min]      70°00[min]WGM4.............................  43°15[min]      70°15[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(ii) Cashes Ledge Habitat Closure Area. The restrictions specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section apply to the Cashes Ledge Habitat Closure Area, which is the area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                    Cashes Ledge Habitat Closure Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------CLH1.............................  43°01[min]      69°03[min]CLH2.............................  43°01[min]      68°52[min]CLH3.............................  42°45[min]      68°52[min]CLH4.............................  42°45[min]      69°03[min]CLH1.............................  43°01[min]      69°03[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(iii) Jeffrey's Bank Habitat Closure Area. The restrictions specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section apply to the Jeffrey's Bank Habitat Closure Area, which is the area bound by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                   Jeffrey's Bank Habitat Closure Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------JB1..............................  43°40[min]      68°50[min]JB2..............................  43°40[min]      68°40[min]JB3..............................  43°20[min]      68°40[min]JB4..............................  43°20[min]      68°50[min]JB1..............................  43°40[min]      68°50[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(iv) Closed Area I Habitat Closure Areas. The restrictions specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section apply to the Closed Area I Habitat Closure Areas, Closed Area I-North and Closed Area I-South, which are the areas bound by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                Closed Area I_North Habitat Closure Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------CI1..............................  41°30[min]      69°23[min]CI4..............................  41°30[min]      68°30[min]CIH1.............................  41°26[min]      68°30[min]CIH2.............................  41°04[min]      69°01[min]CI1..............................  41°30[min]      69°23[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Closed Area I_South Habitat Closure Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------CIH3.............................  40°55[min]      68°53[min]CIH4.............................  40°58[min]      68°30[min]CI3..............................  40°45[min]      68°30[min]CI2..............................  40°45[min]      68°45[min]CIH3.............................  40°55[min]      68°53[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(v) Closed Area II Habitat Closure Area. The restrictions specified in this paragraph (h)(1) apply to the Closed Area II Habitat Closure Area (also referred to as the Habitat Area of Particular Concern), which is the area bound by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                   Closed Area II Habitat Closure Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. Lat.            W. Long.------------------------------------------------------------------------CIIH1                              42°10[min]      67°20[min]CIIH2                              42°10[min]      67°9.3[min]CIIH3                              42°00[min]      67°0.5[min]CIIH4                              42°00[min]      67°10[min]CIIH5                              41°50[min]      67°10[min]CIIH6                              41°50[min]      67°20[min]CIIH1                              42°10[min]      67°20[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(vi) Nantucket Lightship Habitat Closure Area. The restrictions specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section apply to the Nantucket Lightship Habitat Closure Area, which is the area bound by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                 Nantucket Lightship Habitat Closed Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------NLH1.............................  41°10[min]      70°00[min]NLH2.............................  41°10[min]      69°50[min]NLH3.............................  40°50[min]      69°30[min]NLH4.............................  40°20[min]      69°30[min]NLH5.............................  40°20[min]      70°00[min]NLH1.............................  41°10[min]      70°00[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) [Reserved]

(i) Transiting. A vessel may transit CA I, the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area, the Cashes Ledge Closed Area, the Western GOM Closure Area, the GOM Rolling Closure Areas, the GB Seasonal Closure Area, and the EFH Closure Areas, as defined in paragraphs (a)(1), (c)(1), (d)(1), (e)(1), (f)(1), (g)(1), and (h)(1), respectively, of this section, unless otherwise restricted, provided that its gear is stowed in accordance with the provisions of §648.23(b). A vessel may transit CA II, as defined in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, in accordance with paragraph (b)(2)(iv) of this section.

(j) Restricted Gear Area I. (1) Restricted Gear Area I is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------             Point                     Latitude            Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------                            Inshore Boundary------------------------------------------------------------------------to 120   69..........................  40°07.9[min] N.  68°36.0[min]                                                       W.   70..........................  40°07.2[min] N.  68°38.4[min]                                                       W.   71..........................  40°06.9[min] N.  68°46.5[min]                                                       W.   73..........................  40°08.1[min] N.  68°51.0[min]                                                       W.   74..........................  40°05.7[min] N.  68°52.4[min]                                                       W.   75..........................  40°03.6[min] N.  68°57.2[min]                                                       W.   76..........................  40°03.65[min]    69°00.0[min]                                  N.                   W.   77..........................  40°04.35[min]    69°00.5[min]                                  N.                   W.   78..........................  40°05.2[min] N.  69°00.5[min]                                                       W.   79..........................  40°05.3[min] N.  69°01.1[min]                                                       W.   80..........................  40°08.9[min] N.  69°01.75[min]                                                       W.   81..........................  40°11.0[min] N.  69°03.8[min]                                                       W.   82..........................  40°11.6[min] N.  69°05.4[min]                                                       W.   83..........................  40°10.25[min]    69°04.4[min]                                  N.                   W.   84..........................  40°09.75[min]    69°04.15[min]                                  N.                   W.   85..........................  40°08.45[min]    69°03.6[min]                                  N.                   W.   86..........................  40°05.65[min]    69°03.55[min]                                  N.                   W.   87..........................  40°04.1[min] N.  69°03.9[min]                                                       W.   88..........................  40°02.65[min]    69°05.6[min]                                  N.                   W.   89..........................  40°02.00[min]    69°08.35[min]                                  N.                   W.   90..........................  40°02.65[min]    69°11.15[min]                                  N.                   W.   91..........................  40°00.05[min]    69°14.6[min]                                  N.                   W.   92..........................  39°57.8[min] N.  69°20.35[min]                                                       W.   93..........................  39°56.65[min]    69°24.4[min]                                  N.                   W.   94..........................  39°56.1[min] N.  69°26.35[min]                                                       W.   95..........................  39°56.55[min]    69°34.1[min]                                  N.                   W.   96..........................  39°57.85[min]    69°35.5[min]                                  N.                   W.   97..........................  40°00.65[min]    69°36.5[min]                                  N.                   W.   98..........................  40°00.9[min] N.  69°37.3[min]                                                       W.   99..........................  39°59.15[min]    69°37.3[min]                                  N.                   W.   100.........................  39°58.8[min] N.  69°38.45[min]                                                       W.   102.........................  39°56.2[min] N.  69°40.2[min]                                                       W.   103.........................  39°55.75[min]    69°41.4[min]                                  N.                   W.   104.........................  39°56.7[min] N.  69°53.6[min]                                                       W.   105.........................  39°57.55[min]    69°54.05[min]                                  N.                   W.   106.........................  39°57.4[min] N.  69°55.9[min]                                                       W.   107.........................  39°56.9[min] N.  69°57.45[min]                                                       W.   108.........................  39°58.25[min]    70°03.0[min]                                  N.                   W.   110.........................  39°59.2[min] N.  70°04.9[min]                                                       W.   111.........................  40°00.7[min] N.  70°08.7[min]                                                       W.   112.........................  40°03.75[min]    70°10.15[min]                                  N.                   W.   115.........................  40°05.2[min] N.  70°10.9[min]                                                       W.   116.........................  40°02.45[min]    70°14.1[min]                                  N.                   W.   119.........................  40°02.75[min]    70°16.1[min]                                  N.                   W.to 181------------------------------------------------------------------------                            Offshore Boundary------------------------------------------------------------------------to 69   120.........................  40°06.4[min] N.  68°35.8[min]                                                       W.   121.........................  40°05.25[min]    68°39.3[min]                                  N.                   W.   122.........................  40°05.4[min] N.  68°44.5[min]                                                       W.   123.........................  40°06.0[min] N.  68°46.5[min]                                                       W.   124.........................  40°07.4[min] N.  68°49.6[min]                                                       W.   125.........................  40°05.55[min]    68°49.8[min]                                  N.                   W.   126.........................  40°03.9[min] N.  68°51.7[min]                                                       W.   127.........................  40°02.25[min]    68°55.4[min]                                  N.                   W.   128.........................  40°02.6[min] N.  69°00.0[min]                                                       W.   129.........................  40°02.75[min]    69°00.75[min]                                  N.                   W.   130.........................  40°04.2[min] N.  69°01.75[min]                                                       W.   131.........................  40°06.15[min]    69°01.95[min]                                  N.                   W.   132.........................  40°07.25[min]    69°02.0[min]                                  N.                   W.   133.........................  40°08.5[min] N.  69°02.25[min]                                                       W.   134.........................  40°09.2[min] N.  69°02.95[min]                                                       W.   135.........................  40°09.75[min]    69°03.3[min]                                  N.                   W.   136.........................  40°09.55[min]    69°03.85[min]                                  N.                   W.   137.........................  40°08.4[min] N.  69°03.4[min]                                                       W.   138.........................  40°07.2[min] N.  69°03.3[min]                                                       W.   139.........................  40°06.0[min] N.  69°03.1[min]                                                       W.   140.........................  40°05.4[min] N.  69°03.05[min]                                                       W.   141.........................  40°04.8[min] N.  69°03.05[min]                                                       W.   142.........................  40°03.55[min]    69°03.55[min]                                  N.                   W.   143.........................  40°01.9[min] N.  69°03.95[min]                                                       W.   144.........................  40°01.0[min] N.  69°04.4[min]                                                       W.   146.........................  39°59.9[min] N.  69°06.25[min]                                                       W.   147.........................  40°00.6[min] N.  69°10.05[min]                                                       W.   148.........................  39°59.25[min]    69°11.15[min]                                  N.                   W.   149.........................  39°57.45[min]    69°16.05[min]                                  N.                   W.   150.........................  39°56.1[min] N.  69°20.1[min]                                                       W.   151.........................  39°54.6[min] N.  69°25.65[min]                                                       W.   152.........................  39°54.65[min]    69°26.9[min]                                  N.                   W.   153.........................  39°54.8[min] W.  69°30.95[min]                                                       W.   154.........................  39°54.35[min]    69°33.4[min]                                  N.                   W.   155.........................  39°55.0[min] N.  69°34.9[min]                                                       W.   156.........................  39°56.55[min]    69°36.0[min]                                  N.                   W.   157.........................  39°57.95[min]    69°36.45[min]                                  N.                   W.   158.........................  39°58.75[min]    69°36.3[min]                                  N.                   W.   159.........................  39°58.8[min] N.  69°36.95[min]                                                       W.   160.........................  39°57.95[min]    69°38.1[min]                                  N.                   W.   161.........................  39°54.5[min] N.  69°38.25[min]                                                       W.   162.........................  39°53.6[min] N.  69°46.5[min]                                                       W.   163.........................  39°54.7[min] N.  69°50.0[min]                                                       W.   164.........................  39°55.25[min]    69°51.4[min]                                  N.                   W.   165.........................  39°55.2[min] N.  69°53.1[min]                                                       W.   166.........................  39°54.85[min]    69°53.9[min]                                  N.                   W.   167.........................  39°55.7[min] N.  69°54.9[min]                                                       W.   168.........................  39°56.15[min]    69°55.35[min]                                  N.                   W.   169.........................  39°56.05[min]    69°56.25[min]                                  N.                   W.   170.........................  39°55.3[min] N.  69°57.1[min]                                                       W.   171.........................  39°54.8[min] N.  69°58.6[min]                                                       W.   172.........................  39°56.05[min]    70°00.65[min]                                  N.                   W.   173.........................  39°55.3[min] N.  70°02.95[min]                                                       W.   174.........................  39°56.9[min] N.  70°11.3[min]                                                       W.   175.........................  39°58.9[min] N.  70°11.5[min]                                                       W.   176.........................  39°59.6[min] N.  70°11.1[min]                                                       W.   177.........................  40°01.35[min]    70°11.2[min]                                  N.                   W.   178.........................  40°02.6[min] N.  70°12.0[min]                                                       W.   179.........................  40°00.4[min] N.  70°12.3[min]                                                       W.   180.........................  39°59.75[min]    70°13.05[min]                                  N.                   W.   181.........................  39°59.3[min] N.  70°14.0[min]                                                       W.to 119------------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) Restricted Period—(i) Mobile gear. From October 1 through June 15, no fishing vessel with mobile gear or person on a fishing vessel with mobile gear may fish or be in Restricted Gear Area I, unless transiting. Vessels may transit this area provided that mobile gear is on board the vessel while inside the area, provided that its gear is stowed in accordance with the provisions of §648.23(b).

(ii) Lobster pot gear. From June 16 through September 30, no fishing vessel with lobster pot gear aboard, or person on a fishing vessel with lobster pot gear aboard may fish in, and no lobster pot gear may be deployed or remain in, Restricted Gear Area I.

(k) Restricted Gear Area II. (1) Restricted Gear Area II is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------             Point                     Latitude            Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------                            Inshore Boundary------------------------------------------------------------------------to 1   49..........................  40°02.75[min]    70°16.1[min]                                  N.                   W.   50..........................  40°00.7[min] N.  70°18.6[min]                                                       W.   51..........................  39°59.8[min] N.  70°21.75[min]                                                       W.   52..........................  39°59.75[min]    70°25.5[min]                                  N.                   W.   53..........................  40°03.85[min]    70°28.75[min]                                  N.                   W.   54..........................  40°00.55[min]    70°32.1[min]                                  N.                   W.   55..........................  39°59.15[min]    70°34.45[min]                                  N.                   W.   56..........................  39°58.9[min] N.  70°38.65[min]                                                       W.   57..........................  40°00.1[min] N.  70°45.1[min]                                                       W.   58..........................  40°00.5[min] N.  70°57.6[min]                                                       W.   59..........................  40°02.0[min] N.  71°01.3[min]                                                       W.   60..........................  39°59.3[min] N.  71°18.4[min]                                                       W.   61..........................  40°00.7[min] N.  71°19.8[min]                                                       W.   62..........................  39°57.5[min] N.  71°20.6[min]                                                       W.   63..........................  39°53.1[min] N.  71°36.1[min]                                                       W.   64..........................  39°52.6[min] N.  71°40.35[min]                                                       W.   65..........................  39°53.1[min] N.  71°42.7[min]                                                       W.   66..........................  39°46.95[min]    71°49.0[min]                                  N.                   W.   67..........................  39°41.15[min]    71°57.1[min]                                  N.                   W.   68..........................  39°35.45[min]    72°02.0[min]                                  N.                   W.   69..........................  39°32.65[min]    72°06.1[min]                                  N.                   W.   70..........................  39°29.75[min]    72°09.8[min]                                  N.                   W.to 48------------------------------------------------------------------------                            Offshore Boundary------------------------------------------------------------------------to 49   1...........................  39°59.3[min] N.  70°14.0[min]                                                       W.   2...........................  39°58.85[min]    70°15.2[min]                                  N.                   W.   3...........................  39°59.3[min] N.  70°18.4[min]                                                       W.   4...........................  39°58.1[min] N.  70°19.4[min]                                                       W.   5...........................  39°57.0[min] N.  70°19.85[min]                                                       W.   6...........................  39°57.55[min]    70°21.25[min]                                  N.                   W.   7...........................  39°57.5[min] N.  70°22.8[min]                                                       W.   8...........................  39°57.1[min] N.  70°25.4[min]                                                       W.   9...........................  39°57.65[min]    70°27.05[min]                                  N.                   W.   10..........................  39°58.58[min]    70°27.7[min]                                  N.                   W.   11..........................  40°00.65[min]    70°28.8[min]                                  N.                   W.   12..........................  40°02.2[min] N.  70°29.15[min]                                                       W.   13..........................  40°01.0[min] N.  70°30.2[min]                                                       W.   14..........................  39°58.58[min]    70°31.85[min]                                  N.                   W.   15..........................  39°57.05[min]    70°34.35[min]                                  N.                   W.   16..........................  39°56.42[min]    70°36.8[min]                                  N.                   W.   21..........................  39°58.15[min]    70°48.0[min]                                  N.                   W.   24..........................  39°58.3[min] N.  70°51.1[min]                                                       W.   25..........................  39°58.1[min] N.  70°52.25[min]                                                       W.   26..........................  39°58.05[min]    70°53.55[min]                                  N.                   W.   27..........................  39°58.4[min] N.  70°59.6[min]                                                       W.   28..........................  39°59.8[min] N.  71°01.05[min]                                                       W.   29..........................  39°58.2[min] N.  71°05.85[min]                                                       W.   30..........................  39°57.45[min]    71°12.15[min]                                  N.                   W.   31..........................  39°57.2[min] N.  71°15.0[min]                                                       W.   32..........................  39°56.3[min] N.  71°18.95[min]                                                       W.   33..........................  39°51.4[min] N.  71°36.1[min]                                                       W.   34..........................  39°51.75[min]    71°41.5[min]                                  N.                   W.   35..........................  39°50.05[min]    71°42.5[min]                                  N.                   W.   36..........................  39°50.0[min] N.  71°45.0[min]                                                       W.   37..........................  39°48.95[min]    71°46.05[min]                                  N.                   W.   38..........................  39°46.6[min] N.  71°46.1[min]                                                       W.   39..........................  39°43.5[min] N.  71°49.4[min]                                                       W.   40..........................  39°41.3[min] N.  71°55.0[min]                                                       W.   41..........................  39°39.0[min] N.  71°55.6[min]                                                       W.   42..........................  39°36.72[min]    71°58.25[min]                                  N.                   W.   43..........................  39°35.15[min]    71°58.55[min]                                  N.                   W.   44..........................  39°34.5[min] N.  72°00.75[min]                                                       W.   45..........................  39°32.2[min] N.  72°02.25[min]                                                       W.   46..........................  39°32.15[min]    72°04.1[min]                                  N.                   W.   47..........................  39°28.5[min] N.  72°06.5[min]                                                       W.   48..........................  39°29.0[min] N.  72°09.25[min]                                                       W.to 70------------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) Restricted period—(i) Mobile gear. From November 27 through June 15, no fishing vessel with mobile gear aboard, or person on a fishing vessel with mobile gear aboard, may fish or be in Restricted Gear Area II, unless transiting. Vessels may transit this area, provided that all mobile gear is on board the vessel while inside the area, and stowed in accordance with the provisions of §648.23(b).

(ii) Lobster pot gear. From June 16 through November 26, no fishing vessel with lobster pot gear aboard, or person on a fishing vessel with lobster pot gear aboard, may fish in, and no lobster pot gear may be deployed or remain in, Restricted Gear Area II.

(l) Restricted Gear Area III. (1) Restricted Gear Area III is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------             Point                     Latitude            Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------                            Inshore Boundary------------------------------------------------------------------------to 49   182.........................  40°05.6[min] N.  70°17.7[min]                                                       W.   183.........................  40°06.5[min] N.  70°40.05[min]                                                       W.   184.........................  40°11.05[min]    70°45.8[min]                                  N.                   W.   185.........................  40°12.75[min]    70°55.05[min]                                  N.                   W.   186.........................  40°10.7[min] N.  71°10.25[min]                                                       W.   187.........................  39°57.9[min] N.  71°28.7[min]                                                       W.   188.........................  39°55.6[min] N.  71°41.2[min]                                                       W.   189.........................  39°55.85[min]    71°45.0[min]                                  N.                   W.   190.........................  39°53.75[min]    71°52.25[min]                                  N.                   W.   191.........................  39°47.2[min] N.  72°01.6[min]                                                       W.   192.........................  39°33.65[min]    72°15.0[min]                                  N.                   W.to 70------------------------------------------------------------------------                            Offshore Boundary------------------------------------------------------------------------to 182   49..........................  40°02.75[min]    70°16.1[min]                                  N.                   W.   50..........................  40°00.7[min] N.  70°18.6[min]                                                       W.   51..........................  39°59.8[min] N.  70°21.75[min]                                                       W.   52..........................  39°59.75[min]    70°25.5[min]                                  N.                   W.   53..........................  40°03.85[min]    70°28.75[min]                                  N.                   W.   54..........................  40°00.55[min]    70°32.1[min]                                  N.                   W.   55..........................  39°59.15[min]    70°34.45[min]                                  N.                   W.   56..........................  39°58.9[min] N.  70°38.65[min]                                                       W.   57..........................  40°00.1[min] N.  70°45.1[min]                                                       W.   58..........................  40°00.5[min] N.  70°57.6[min]                                                       W.   59..........................  40°02.0[min] N.  71°01.3[min]                                                       W.   60..........................  39°59.3[min] N.  71°18.4[min]                                                       W.   61..........................  40°00.7[min] N.  71°19.8[min]                                                       W.   62..........................  39°57.5[min] N.  71°20.6[min]                                                       W.   63..........................  39°53.1[min] N.  71°36.1[min]                                                       W.   64..........................  39°52.6[min] N.  71°40.35[min]                                                       W.   65..........................  39°53.1[min] N.  71°42.7[min]                                                       W.   66..........................  39°46.95[min]    71°49.0[min]                                  N.                   W.   67..........................  39°41.15[min]    71°57.1[min]                                  N.                   W.   68..........................  39°35.45[min]    72°02.0[min]                                  N.                   W.   69..........................  39°32.65[min]    72°06.1[min]                                  N.                   W.   70..........................  39°29.75[min]    72°09.8[min]                                  N.                   W.to 192------------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) Restricted period—(i) Mobile gear. From June 16 through November 26, no fishing vessel with mobile gear aboard, or person on a fishing vessel with mobile gear aboard, may fish or be in Restricted Gear Area III, unless transiting. Vessels may transit this area provided that all mobile gear is on board the vessel while inside the area, and is stowed in accordance with the provisions of §648.23(b).

(ii) Lobster pot gear. From January 1 through April 30, no fishing vessel with lobster pot gear aboard, or person on a fishing vessel with lobster pot gear aboard, may fish in, and no lobster pot gear may be deployed or remain in, Restricted Gear Area III.

(m) Restricted Gear Area IV. (1) Restricted Gear Area IV is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------             Point                     Latitude            Longitude------------------------------------------------------------------------                            Inshore Boundary------------------------------------------------------------------------193............................  40°13.60[min]    68°40.60[min]                                  N.                   W.  194..........................  40°11.60[min]    68°53.00[min]                                  N.                   W.  195..........................  40°14.00[min]    69°04.70[min]                                  N.                   W.  196..........................  40°14.30[min]    69°05.80[min]                                  N.                   W.  197..........................  40°05.50[min]    69°09.00[min]                                  N.                   W.  198..........................  39°57.30[min]    69°25.10[min]                                  N.                   W.  199..........................  40°00.40[min]    69°35.20[min]                                  N.                   W.  200..........................  40°01.70[min]    69°35.40[min]                                  N.                   W.  201..........................  40°01.70[min]    69°37.40[min]                                  N.                   W.  202..........................  40°00.50[min]    69°38.80[min]                                  N.                   W.  203..........................  40°01.30[min]    69°45.00[min]                                  N.                   W.  204..........................  40°02.10[min]    69°45.00[min]                                  N.                   W.  205..........................  40°07.60[min]    70°04.50[min]                                  N.                   W.  206..........................  40°07.80[min]    70°09.20[min]                                  N.                   W.to 119------------------------------------------------------------------------                            Offshore Boundary------------------------------------------------------------------------  69...........................  40°07.90[min]    68°36.00[min]                                  N.                   W.  70...........................  40°07.20[min]    68°38.40[min]                                  N.                   W.  71...........................  40°06.90[min]    68°46.50[min]                                  N.                   W.  72...........................  40°08.70[min]    68°49.60[min]                                  N.                   W.  73...........................  40°08.10[min]    68°51.00[min]                                  N.                   W.  74...........................  40°05.70[min]    68°52.40[min]                                  N.                   W.  75...........................  40°03.60[min]    68°57.20[min]                                  N.                   W.  76...........................  40°03.65[min]    69°00.00[min]                                  N.                   W.  77...........................  40°04.35[min]    69°00.50[min]                                  N.                   W.  78...........................  40°05.20[min]    69°00.50[min]                                  N.                   W.  79...........................  40°05.30[min]    69°01.10[min]                                  N.                   W.  80...........................  40°08.90[min]    69°01.75[min]                                  N.                   W.  81...........................  40°11.00[min]    69°03.80[min]                                  N.                   W.  82...........................  40°11.60[min]    69°05.40[min]                                  N.                   W.  83...........................  40°10.25[min]    69°04.40[min]                                  N.                   W.  84...........................  40°09.75[min]    69°04.15[min]                                  N.                   W.  85...........................  40°08.45[min]    69°03.60[min]                                  N.                   W.  86...........................  40°05.65[min]    69°03.55[min]                                  N.                   W.  87...........................  40°04.10[min]    69°03.90[min]                                  N.                   W.  88...........................  40°02.65[min]    69°05.60[min]                                  N.                   W.  89...........................  40°02.00[min]    69°08.35[min]                                  N.                   W.  90...........................  40°02.65[min]    69°11.15[min]                                  N.                   W.  91...........................  40°00.05[min]    69°14.60[min]                                  N.                   W.  92...........................  39°57.8[min] N.  69°20.35[min]                                                       W.  93...........................  39°56.75[min]    69°24.40[min]                                  N.                   W.  94...........................  39°56.50[min]    69°26.35[min]                                  N.                   W.  95...........................  39°56.80[min]    69°34.10[min]                                  N.                   W.  96...........................  39°57.85[min]    69°35.05[min]                                  N.                   W.  97...........................  40°00.65[min]    69°36.50[min]                                  N.                   W.  98...........................  40°00.90[min]    69°37.30[min]                                  N.                   W.  99...........................  39°59.15[min]    69°37.30[min]                                  N.                   W.  100..........................  39°58.80[min]    69°38.45[min]                                  N.                   W.  102..........................  39°56.20[min]    69°40.20[min]                                  N.                   W.  103..........................  39°55.75[min]    69°41.40[min]                                  N.                   W.  104..........................  39°56.70[min]    69°53.60[min]                                  N.                   W.  105..........................  39°57.55[min]    69°54.05[min]                                  N.                   W.  106..........................  39°57.40[min]    69°55.90[min]                                  N.                   W.  107..........................  39°56.90[min]    69°57.45[min]                                  N.                   W.  108..........................  39°58.25[min]    70°03.00[min]                                  N.                   W.  110..........................  39°59.20[min]    70°04.90[min]                                  N.                   W.  111..........................  40°00.70[min]    70°08.70[min]                                  N.                   W.  112..........................  40°03.75[min]    70°10.15[min]                                  N.                   W.  115..........................  40°05.20[min]    70°10.90[min]                                  N.                   W.  116..........................  40°02.45[min]    70°14.1[min]                                  N.                   W.  119..........................  40°02.75[min]    70°16.1[min]                                  N.                   W.to 206------------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) Restricted period—(i) Mobile gear. From June 16 through September 30, no fishing vessel with mobile gear aboard, or person on a fishing vessel with mobile gear aboard may fish or be in Restricted Gear Area IV, unless transiting. Vessels may transit this area, provided that all mobile gear is on board the vessel while inside the area, and is stowed in accordance with the provisions of §648.23(b).

(ii) [Reserved]

[69 FR 22964, Apr. 27, 2004, as amended at 69 FR 35223, June 23, 2004; 69 FR 63480, Nov. 2, 2004; 69 FR 67798, Nov. 19, 2004; 70 FR 76426, Dec. 27, 2005]

§ 648.82   Effort-control program for NE multispecies limited access vessels.
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(a) Except as provided in §§648.17 and 648.82(a)(2), a vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit may not fish for, possess, or land regulated species, except during a DAS, as allocated under, and in accordance with, the applicable DAS program described in this section, unless otherwise provided elsewhere in this part.

(1) End-of-year carry-over. With the exception of vessels that held a Confirmation of Permit History, as described in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(J), for the entire fishing year preceding the carry-over year, limited access vessels that have unused DAS on the last day of April of any year may carry over a maximum of 10 DAS into the next year. Unused leased DAS may not be carried over. Vessels that have been sanctioned through enforcement proceedings will be credited with unused DAS based on their DAS allocation minus any total DAS that have been sanctioned through enforcement proceedings. For the 2004 fishing year only, DAS carried over from the 2003 fishing year will be classified as Regular B DAS, as specified under paragraph (d)(2) of this section. Beginning with the 2005 fishing year, for vessels with a balance of both unused Category A DAS and unused Category B DAS at the end of the previous fishing year (e.g., for the 2005 fishing year, carry-over DAS from the 2004 fishing year), Category A DAS will be carried over first, than Regular B DAS, than Reserve B DAS. Category C DAS cannot be carried over.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, any vessel issued a NE multispecies limited access permit may not call into the DAS program or fish under a DAS, if such vessel carries passengers for hire for any portion of a fishing trip.

(3) End-of-year carry-over. With the exception of vessels that held a Confirmation of Permit History, as described in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(Q), for the entire fishing year preceding the carry-over year, limited access vessels that have unused DAS on the last day of April of any year may carry over a maximum of 10 DAS into the next year. Unused leased DAS may not be carried over. Vessels that have been sanctioned through enforcement proceedings will be credited with unused DAS based on their DAS allocation minus any total DAS that have been sanctioned through enforcement proceedings. For vessels with a balance of both unused Category A DAS and unused Category B DAS at the end of the previous fishing year (e.g., for the 2005 fishing year, carry-over DAS from the 2004 fishing year), Category A DAS will be carried over first, than Regular B DAS, than Reserve B DAS. Category C DAS cannot be carried over.

(b) Permit categories. All limited access NE multispecies permit holders shall be assigned to one of the following permit categories, according to the criteria specified. Permit holders may request a change in permit category, as specified in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(I)(2). Each fishing year shall begin on May 1 and extend through April 30 of the following year. Beginning May 1, 2004, with the exception of the limited access Small Vessel and Handgear A vessel categories described in paragraphs (b)(5) and (6) of this section, respectively, NE multispecies DAS available for use will be calculated pursuant to paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.

(1) Individual DAS category. This category is for vessels allocated individual DAS that are not fishing under the Hook Gear, Combination, or Large-mesh individual categories. Beginning May 1, 2004, for a vessel fishing under the Individual DAS category, the baseline for determining the number of NE multispecies DAS available for use shall be calculated based upon the fishing history associated with the vessel's permit, as specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section. The number and categories of DAS that are allocated for use in a given fishing year are specified in paragraph (d) of this section.

(2) Hook Gear category. To be eligible for a Hook Gear category permit, the vessel must have been issued a limited access multispecies permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a Hook Gear category permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a Hook Gear category permit that was issued a Confirmation of Permit History. Beginning May 1, 2004, for a vessel fishing under the Hook Gear category, the baseline for determining the number of NE multispecies DAS available for use shall be calculated based upon the fishing history associated with the vessel's permit, as specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section. The number and categories of DAS that are allocated for use in a given fishing year are specified in paragraph (d) of this section. A vessel fishing under this category in the DAS program must meet or comply with the gear restrictions specified under §648.80(a)(3)(v), (a)(4)(v), (b)(2)(v) and (c)(2)(iv) when fishing in the respective regulated mesh areas.

(3) Combination vessel category. To be eligible for a Combination vessel category permit, a vessel must have been issued a Combination vessel category permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a Combination vessel category permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a Combination vessel category permit that was also issued a Confirmation of Permit History. Beginning May 1, 2004, for a vessel fishing under the Combination vessel category, the baseline for determining the number of NE multispecies DAS available for use shall be calculated based upon the fishing history associated with the vessel's permit, as specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section. The number and categories of DAS that are allocated for use in a given fishing year are specified in paragraph (d) of this section.

(4) Large Mesh Individual DAS category. This category is for vessels allocated individual DAS that area not fishing under the Hook Gear, Combination, or Individual DAS categories. Beginning May 1, 2004, for a vessel fishing under the Large Mesh Individual DAS category, the baseline for determining the number of NE multispecies DAS available for use shall be calculated based upon the fishing history associated with the vessel's permit, as specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section. The number and categories of DAS that are allocated for use in a given fishing year are specified in paragraph (d) of this section. The number of Category A DAS shall be increased by 36 percent. To be eligible to fish under the Large Mesh Individual DAS category, a vessel, while fishing under this category, must fish under the specific regulated mesh area minimum mesh size restrictions, as specified in §648.80(a)(3)(iii), (a)(4)(iii), (b)(2)(iii), and (c)(2)(ii).

(5) Small Vessel category—(i) DAS allocation. A vessel qualified and electing to fish under the Small Vessel category may retain up to 300 lb (136.1 kg) of cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder, combined, and one Atlantic halibut per trip, without being subject to DAS restrictions, provided the vessel does not exceed the yellowtail flounder possession restrictions specified under §648.86(g). Such vessel is not subject to a possession limit for other NE multispecies. Any vessel may elect to switch into this category, as provided in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(I)(2), if the vessel meets or complies with the following:

(A) The vessel is 30 ft (9.1 m) or less in length overall, as determined by measuring along a horizontal line drawn from a perpendicular raised from the outside of the most forward portion of the stem of the vessel to a perpendicular raised from the after most portion of the stern.

(B) If construction of the vessel was begun after May 1, 1994, the vessel must be constructed such that the quotient of the length overall divided by the beam is not less than 2.5.

(C) Acceptable verification for vessels 20 ft (6.1 m) or less in length shall be USCG documentation or state registration papers. For vessels over 20 ft (6.1 m) in length overall, the measurement of length must be verified in writing by a qualified marine surveyor, or the builder, based on the vessel's construction plans, or by other means determined acceptable by the Regional Administrator. A copy of the verification must accompany an application for a NE multispecies permit.

(D) Adjustments to the Small Vessel category requirements, including changes to the length requirement, if required to meet fishing mortality goals, may be made by the Regional Administrator following framework procedures of §648.90.

(ii) [Reserved]

(6) Handgear A category. A vessel qualified and electing to fish under the Handgear A category, as described in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(A), may retain, per trip, up to 300 lb (136.1 kg) of cod, one Atlantic halibut, and the daily possession limit for other regulated species as specified under §648.86. The cod trip limit will be adjusted proportionally to the trip limit for GOM cod (rounded up to the nearest 50 lb (22.7 kg)), as specified in §648.86(b)). For example if the GOM cod trip limit specified at §648.86(b) doubled, then the cod trip limit for the Handgear A category would double. Qualified vessels electing to fish under the Handgear A category are subject to the following restrictions:

(i) The vessel must not use or possess on board gear other than handgear while in possession of, fishing for, or landing NE multispecies, and must have at least one standard tote on board.

(ii) A vessel may not fish for, possess, or land regulated species from March 1 through March 20 of each year.

(iii) Tub-trawls must be hand-hauled only, with a maximum of 250 hooks.

(c) Used DAS baseline—(1) Calculation of used DAS baseline. For all valid limited access NE multispecies DAS vessels, vessels issued a valid small vessel category permit, and NE multispecies Confirmation of Permit Histories, beginning with the 2004 fishing year, a vessel's used DAS baseline shall be based on the fishing history associated with its permit and shall be determined by the highest number of reported DAS fished during a single qualifying fishing year, as specified in paragraphs (c)(1)(i) through (iv) of this section, during the 6–year period from May 1, 1996, through April 30, 2002, not to exceed the vessel's annual allocation prior to August 1, 2002. A qualifying year is one in which a vessel landed 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) or more of regulated multispecies, based upon landings reported through dealer reports (based on live weights of landings submitted to NMFS prior to April 30, 2003). If a vessel that was originally issued a limited access NE multispecies permit was lawfully replaced in accordance with the replacement restrictions specified in §648.4(a), then the used DAS baseline shall be defined based upon the DAS used by the original vessel and by subsequent vessel(s) associated with the permit during the qualification period specified in this paragraph (c)(1). The used DAS baseline shall be used to calculate the number and category of DAS that are allocated for use in a given fishing year, as specified in paragraph (d) of this section.

(i) Except as provided in paragraphs (c)(1)(ii) through (iv) of this section, the vessel's used DAS baseline shall be determined by calculating DAS use reported under the DAS notification requirements in §648.10.

(ii) For a vessel exempt from, or not subject to, the DAS notification system specified in §648.10 during the period May 1996 through June 1996, the vessel's used DAS baseline for that period will be determined by calculating DAS use from vessel trip reports submitted to NMFS prior to April 9, 2003.

(iii) For a vessel enrolled in a Large Mesh DAS category, as specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, the calculation of the vessel's used DAS baseline may not include any DAS allocated or used by the vessel pursuant to the provisions of the Large Mesh DAS category.

(iv) For vessels fishing under the Day gillnet designation, as specified under paragraph (j)(1) of this section, used DAS, for trips of more than 3 hours, but less than or equal to 15 hours, will be counted as 15 hours. Trips less than or equal to 3 hours, or more than 15 hours, will be counted as actual time.

(2) Correction of used DAS baseline. (i) A vessel's used DAS baseline, as determined under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, may be corrected by submitting a written request to correct the DAS baseline. The request to correct must be received by the Regional Administrator no later than August 31, 2004. The request to correct must be in writing and provide credible evidence that the information used by the Regional Administrator in making the determination of the vessel's DAS baseline was based on incorrect data. The decision on whether to correct the DAS baseline shall be determined solely on the basis of written information submitted, unless the Regional Administrator specifies otherwise. The Regional Administrator's decision on whether to correct the DAS baseline is the final decision of the Department of Commerce.

(ii) Status of vessel's pending request for a correction of used DAS baseline. While a vessel's request for a correction is under consideration by the Regional Administrator, the vessel is limited to fishing the number of DAS allocated in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.

(3) Calculation of used DAS baseline. For all valid limited access NE multispecies DAS vessels, vessels issued a valid Small Vessel category permit, and NE multispecies Confirmation of Permit Histories, a vessel's used DAS baseline shall be based on the fishing history associated with its permit and shall be determined by the highest number of reported DAS fished during a single qualifying fishing year, as specified in paragraphs (c)(3)(i) through (iv) of this section, during the 6-year period from May 1, 1996, through April 30, 2002, not to exceed the vessel's annual allocation prior to August 1, 2002. A qualifying year is one in which a vessel landed 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) or more of regulated multispecies, based upon landings reported through dealer reports (based on live weights of landings submitted to NMFS prior to April 30, 2003). If a vessel that was originally issued a limited access NE multispecies permit was lawfully replaced in accordance with the replacement restrictions specified in §648.4(a), then the used DAS baseline shall be defined based upon the DAS used by the original vessel and by subsequent vessel(s) associated with the permit during the qualification period specified in this paragraph (c)(3). The used DAS baseline shall be used to calculate the number and category of DAS that are allocated for use in a given fishing year, as specified in paragraph (v) of this section.

(i) Except as provided in paragraphs (c)(3)(ii) through (iv) of this section, the vessel's used DAS baseline shall be determined by calculating DAS use reported under the DAS notification requirements in §648.10.

(ii) For a vessel exempt from, or not subject to, the DAS notification system specified in §648.10 during the period May 1996 through June 1996, the vessel's used DAS baseline for that period will be determined by calculating DAS use from vessel trip reports submitted to NMFS prior to April 9, 2003.

(iii) For a vessel enrolled in a Large Mesh DAS category, as specified in paragraph (u)(4) of this section, the calculation of the vessel's used DAS baseline may not include any DAS allocated or used by the vessel pursuant to the provisions of the Large Mesh DAS category.

(iv) Used DAS will be counted as described under paragraph (n) of this section.

(4) Correction of used DAS baseline. (i) A vessel's used DAS baseline, as determined under paragraph (c)(3) of this section, may be corrected by submitting a written request to correct the DAS baseline. The request to correct must be received by the Regional Administrator no later than August 31, 2004. The request to correct must be in writing and provide credible evidence that the information used by the Regional Administrator in making the determination of the vessel's DAS baseline was based on incorrect data. The decision on whether to correct the DAS baseline shall be determined solely on the basis of written information submitted, unless the Regional Administrator specifies otherwise. The Regional Administrator's decision on whether to correct the DAS baseline is the final decision of the Department of Commerce.

(ii) Status of vessel's pending request for a correction of used DAS baseline. While a vessel's request for a correction is under consideration by the Regional Administrator, the vessel is limited to fishing the number of DAS allocated in accordance with paragraph (v) of this section.

(d) DAS categories and allocations. For all valid limited access NE multispecies DAS permits, and NE multispecies Confirmation of Permit Histories, beginning with the 2004 fishing year, DAS shall be allocated and available for use for a given fishing year according to the following DAS Categories (unless otherwise specified, “NE multispecies DAS” refers to any authorized category of DAS):

(1) Category A DAS. Unless determined otherwise, as specified under paragraph (d)(4) of this section, calculation of Category A DAS for each fishing year is specified in paragraphs (d)(1)(i) through (iii) of this section. An additional 36 percent of Category A DAS will be added and available for use for participants in the Large Mesh Individual DAS permit category, as described in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, provided the participants comply with the applicable gear restrictions. Category A DAS may be used in the NE multispecies fishery to harvest and land regulated multispecies stocks, in accordance with all of the conditions and restrictions of this part.

(i) For the 2004 and 2005 fishing years, Category A DAS are defined as 60 percent of the vessel's used DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(ii) For the 2006 through 2008 fishing years, Category A DAS are defined as 55 percent of the vessel's used DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(iii) Starting in fishing year 2009, Category A DAS are defined as 45 percent of the vessel's used DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(2) Category B DAS. Category B DAS are divided into Regular B DAS and Reserve B DAS. Calculation of Category B DAS for each fishing year, and restrictions on use of Category B DAS, are specified in paragraphs (d)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section.

(i) Regular B DAS—(A) Restrictions on use. Regular B DAS can only be used by NE multispecies vessels in an approved SAP or in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program as specified in §648.85(a)(6). Unless otherwise restricted under the Regular B DAS Pilot Program as described in §648.85(b)(6)(i), vessels may fish under both a Regular B DAS and a Reserve B DAS on the same trip (i.e., when fishing in an approved SAP as described in §648.85(b) of this section). Vessels that are required by another fishery management plan (i.e., not the NE multispecies FMP) to utilize a NE multispecies DAS, e.g., as specified under §648.92(b)(2), may elect to use a NE multispecies Category B DAS to satisfy that requirement.

(B) Calculation. Unless determined otherwise, as specified under paragraph (d)(4) of this section, Regular B DAS are calculated as follows:

(1) For the 2004 and 2005 fishing years, Regular B DAS are defined as 20 percent of the vessel's DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(2) For the 2006 through 2008 fishing years, Regular B DAS are defined as 22.5 percent of the vessel's DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(3) Starting in fishing year 2009, and thereafter, Regular B DAS are defined as 27.5 percent of the vessel's DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(ii) Reserve B DAS—(A) Restrictions on use. Reserve B DAS can only be used in an approved SAP, as specified in §648.85.

(B) Calculation. Unless determined otherwise, as specified under paragraph (d)(4) of this section, Reserve B DAS are calculated as follows:

(1) For the 2004 and 2005 fishing years, Reserve B DAS are defined as 20 percent of the vessel's DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(2) For the 2006 through 2008 fishing years, Reserve B DAS are defined as 22.5 percent of the vessel's DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(3) Starting in fishing year 2009, and thereafter, Reserve B DAS are defined as 27.5 percent of the vessel's DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(3) Category C DAS—(i) Restriction on use. Category C DAS are reserved and may not be fished.

(ii) Calculation. Category C DAS are defined as the difference between a vessel's used DAS baseline, as described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, and the number of DAS allocated to the vessel as of May 1, 2001.

(4) Criteria and procedure for not reducing DAS allocations and modifying DAS accrual. The schedule of reductions in NE multispecies DAS, and the modification of DAS accrual specified under paragraph (e)(2) of this section, shall not occur if the Regional Administrator:

(i) Determines that one of the following criteria has been met:

(A) That the Amendment 13 projected target biomass levels for stocks targeted by the default measures, based on the 2005 and 2008 stock assessments, have been or are projected to be attained with at least a 50-percent probability in the 2006 and 2009 fishing years, respectively, and overfishing is not occurring on those stocks (i.e., current information indicates that the stocks are rebuilt and overfishing is not occurring); or

(B) That biomass projections, based on the 2005 and 2008 stock assessments, show that rebuilding will occur by the end of the rebuilding period with at least a 50-percent probability, and the best available estimate of the fishing mortality rate for the stocks targeted by the default measures indicates that overfishing is not occurring (i.e., current information indicates that rebuilding will occur by the end of the rebuilding period and the fishing mortality rate is at or below Fmsy).

(ii) Determines that all other stocks meet the fishing mortality rates specified in Amendment 13; and

(iii) Publishes such determination in the Federal Register, consistent with Administrative Procedure Act requirements for proposed and final rulemaking.

(e) Accrual of DAS. (1) DAS shall accrue to the nearest minute and, with the exceptions described under this paragraph (e) and paragraph (j)(1)(iii) of this section, will be counted as actual time called into the DAS program.

(2) Starting in fishing year 2006, unless otherwise determined in accordance with paragraph (d)(4) of this section, for NE multispecies vessels fishing under a DAS in the SNE or MA Regulated Mesh Areas, as described in §648.80(b)(1) and (c)(1), respectively, the ratio of DAS used to time called into the DAS program will be 1.5 to 1.0.

(3) For vessels electing to fish in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, as specified at §648.85(a)(6), and that remain fishing under a Regular B DAS for the entire fishing trip (without a DAS flip), DAS used will accrue at the rate of 1 full DAS for each calendar day, or part of a calendar day, fished. For example, a vessel that fished on one calendar day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. would be charged 24 hours of Regular B DAS, not 16 hours; a vessel that left on a trip at 11 p.m. on the first calendar day and returned at 10 p.m. on the second calendar day would be charged 48 hours of Regular B DAS instead of 23 hours, because the fishing trip would have spanned 2 calendar days. For the purpose of calculating trip limits specified under §648.86, the amount of DAS deducted from a vessel's DAS allocation will determine the amount of fish the vessel could legally land.

(f) Good Samaritan credit. See §648.53(g).

(g) Spawning season restrictions. A vessel issued a valid Small Vessel or Handgear A category permit specified under paragraphs (b)(5) or (b)(6), respectively, of this section may not fish for, possess, or land regulated species from March 1 through March 20 of each year. Any other vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit must declare out and be out of the NE multispecies DAS program for a 20-day period between March 1 and May 31 of each calendar year, using the notification requirements specified in §648.10. A vessel fishing under a Day gillnet category designation is prohibited from fishing with gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies during its declared 20-day spawning block, unless the vessel is fishing in an exempted fishery, as described in §648.80. If a vessel owner has not declared and been out of the fishery for a 20-day period between March 1 and May 31 of each calendar year on or before May 12 of each year, the vessel is prohibited from fishing for, possessing or landing any regulated species or non-exempt species during the period May 12 through May 31, inclusive.

(h) Declaring DAS and blocks of time out. A vessel's owner or authorized representative shall notify the Regional Administrator of a vessel's participation in the DAS program, declaration of its 120 days out of the non-exempt gillnet fishery, if designated as a Day gillnet category vessel, as specified in paragraph (j)(1)(iii) of this section, and declaration of its 20-day period out of the NE multispecies DAS program, using the notification requirements specified in §648.10.

(i) [Reserved]

(j) Gillnet restrictions. Vessels issued a limited access NE multispecies permit may fish under a NE multispecies DAS with gillnet gear, provided the owner of the vessel obtains an annual designation as either a Day or Trip gillnet vessel, as described in §648.4(c)(2)(iii), and provided the vessel complies with the gillnet vessel gear requirements and restrictions specified in §648.80.

(1) Day gillnet vessels. A Day gillnet vessel fishing with gillnet gear under a NE multispecies DAS is not required to remove gear from the water upon returning to the dock and calling out of the DAS program, provided the vessel complies with the restrictions specified in paragraphs (j)(1)(i) through (iii) of this section. Vessels electing to fish under the Day gillnet designation must have on board written confirmation, issued by the Regional Administrator, that the vessel is a Day gillnet vessel.

(i) Removal of gear. All gillnet gear must be brought to port prior to the vessel fishing in an exempted fishery.

(ii) Declaration of time out of the gillnet fishery. (A) During each fishing year, vessels must declare, and take, a total of 120 days out of the non-exempt gillnet fishery. Each period of time declared and taken must be a minimum of 7 consecutive days. At least 21 days of this time must be taken between June 1 and September 30 of each fishing year. The spawning season time out period required by paragraph (g) of this section will be credited toward the 120 days time out of the non-exempt gillnet fishery. If a vessel owner has not declared and taken any or all of the remaining periods of time required to be out of the fishery by the last possible date to meet these requirements, the vessel is prohibited from fishing for, possessing, or landing regulated multispecies or non-exempt species harvested with gillnet gear, and from having gillnet gear on board the vessel that is not stowed in accordance with §648.23(b), while fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, from that date through the end of the period between June 1 and September 30, or through the end of the fishing year, as applicable.

(B) Vessels shall declare their periods of required time through the notification procedures specified in §648.10(f)(2).

(C) During each period of time declared out, a vessel is prohibited from fishing with non-exempted gillnet gear and must remove such gear from the water. However, the vessel may fish in an exempted fishery, as described in §648.80, or it may fish under a NE multispecies DAS, provided it fishes with gear other than non-exempted gillnet gear.

(iii) Method of counting DAS. Unless electing to fish in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program specified in §648.85(a)(6), and therefore subject to the DAS accrual provisions of §648.82(e)(3), Day gillnet vessels fishing with gillnet gear under a NE multispecies DAS will accrue 15 hours of DAS for each trip of more than 3 hours, but less than or equal to 15 hours. Such vessels will accrue actual DAS time at sea for trips less than or equal to 3 hours, or more than 15 hours.

(2) Trip gillnet vessels. When fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, a Trip gillnet vessel is required to remove all gillnet gear from the water before calling out of a NE multispecies DAS under §648.10(c)(3). When not fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, Trip gillnet vessels may fish in an exempted fishery with gillnet gear, as authorized under the exemptions in §648.80. Vessels electing to fish under the Trip gillnet designation must have on board written confirmation issued by the Regional Administrator that the vessel is a Trip gillnet vessel.

(k) NE Multispecies DAS Leasing Program—(1) Program description. For fishing years 2004 and 2005, eligible vessels, as specified in paragraph (k)(2) of this section, may lease Category A DAS to and from other eligible vessels, in accordance with the restrictions and conditions of this section. The Regional Administrator has final approval authority for all NE multispecies DAS leasing requests.

(2) Eligible vessels. (i) A vessel issued a valid limited access NE multispecies permit is eligible to lease Category A DAS to or from another such vessel, subject to the conditions and requirements of this part, unless the vessel was issued a valid Small Vessel or Handgear A permit specified under paragraphs (b)(5) and (6) of this section, respectively, or is a valid participant in an approved Sector, as described in §648.87(a). Any NE multispecies vessel that does not require use of DAS to fish for regulated multispecies may not lease any NE multispecies DAS.

(ii) DAS associated with a Confirmation of Permit History may not be leased.

(3) Application to lease NE multispecies DAS. To lease Category A DAS, the eligible Lessor and Lessee vessel must submit a completed application form obtained from the Regional Administrator. The application must be signed by both Lessor and Lessee and be submitted to the Regional Office at least 45 days before the date on which the applicants desire to have the leased DAS effective. The Regional Administrator will notify the applicants of any deficiency in the application pursuant to this section. Applications may be submitted at any time prior to the start of the fishing year or throughout the fishing year in question, up until March 1. Eligible vessel owners may submit any number of lease applications throughout the application period, but any DAS may only be leased once during a fishing year.

(i) Application information requirements. An application to lease Category A DAS must contain the following information: Lessor's owner name, vessel name, permit number and official number or state registration number; Lessee's owner name, vessel name, permit number and official number or state registration number; number of NE multispecies DAS to be leased; total priced paid for leased DAS; signatures of Lessor and Lessee; and date form was completed. Information obtained from the lease application will be held confidential, according to applicable Federal law. Aggregate data may be used in the analysis of the DAS Leasing Program.

(ii) Approval of lease application. Unless an application to lease Category A DAS is denied according to paragraph (k)(3)(iii) of this section, the Regional Administrator shall issue confirmation of application approval to both Lessor and Lessee within 45 days of receipt of an application.

(iii) Denial of lease application. The Regional Administrator may deny an application to lease Category A DAS for any of the following reasons, including, but not limited to: The application is incomplete or submitted past the March 1 deadline; the Lessor or Lessee has not been issued a valid limited access NE multispecies permit or is otherwise not eligible; the Lessor's or Lessee's DAS are under sanction pursuant to an enforcement proceeding; the Lessor's or Lessee's vessel is prohibited from fishing; the Lessor's or Lessee's limited access NE multispecies permit is sanctioned pursuant to an enforcement proceeding; the Lessor or Lessee vessel is determined not in compliance with the conditions and restrictions of this part; or the Lessor has an insufficient number of allocated or unused DAS available to lease. Upon denial of an application to lease NE multispecies DAS, the Regional Administrator shall send a letter to the applicants describing the reason(s) for application rejection. The decision by the Regional Administrator is the final agency decision.

(4) Conditions and restrictions on leased DAS—(i) Confirmation of Permit History. DAS associated with a confirmation of permit history may not be leased.

(ii) Sub-leasing. In a fishing year, a Lessor or Lessee vessel may not sub-lease DAS that have already been leased to another vessel. Any portion of a vessel's DAS may not be leased more than one time during a fishing year.

(iii) Carry-over of leased DAS. Leased DAS that remain unused at the end of the fishing year may not be carried over to the subsequent fishing year by the Lessor or Lessee vessel.

(iv) Maximum number of DAS that can be leased. A Lessee may lease Category A DAS in an amount up to such vessel's 2001 fishing year allocation (excluding carry-over DAS from the previous year, or additional DAS associated with obtaining a Large Mesh permit). For example, if a vessel was allocated 88 DAS in the 2001 fishing year, that vessel may lease up to 88 Category A DAS. The total number of Category A DAS that the vessel could fish would be the sum of the 88 leased DAS and the vessel's 2004 allocation of Category A DAS.

(v) History of leased DAS use and landings. Unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (k)(4)(v), history of leased DAS use will be presumed to remain with the Lessor vessel. Landings resulting from a leased DAS will be presumed to remain with the Lessee vessel. For the purpose of accounting for leased DAS use, leased DAS will be accounted for (subtracted from available DAS) prior to allocated DAS. In the case of multiple leases to one vessel, history of leased DAS use will be presumed to remain with the Lessor in the order in which such leases were approved by NMFS.

(vi) Monkfish Category C, D, F, G and H vessels. A vessel that possesses a valid limited access NE multispecies DAS permit and a valid limited access monkfish Category C, D, F, G, or H permit and leases NE multispecies DAS to or from another vessel is subject to the restrictions specified in §648.92(b)(2).

(vii) DAS Category restriction. A vessel may lease only Category A DAS, as described under paragraph (d)(1) of this section.

(viii) Duration of lease. A vessel leasing DAS may only fish those leased DAS during the fishing year in which they were leased.

(ix) Size restriction of Lessee vessel. A Lessor vessel only may lease DAS to a Lessee vessel with a baseline main engine horsepower rating that is no more than 20 percent greater than the baseline engine horsepower of the Lessor vessel. A Lessor vessel may only lease DAS to a Lessee vessel with a baseline length overall that is no more than 10 percent greater than the baseline length overall of the Lessor vessel. For the purposes of this program, the baseline horsepower and length overall specifications of vessels are those associated with the permit as of January 29, 2004, unless otherwise modified according to paragraph (k)(4)(xi) of this section.

(x) Leasing by vessels fishing under a Sector allocation. A vessel fishing under the restrictions and conditions of an approved Sector allocation, as specified in §648.87(b), may not lease DAS to or from vessels that are not participating in such Sector during the fishing year in which the vessel is a member of that Sector.

(xi) One-time downgrade of DAS Leasing Program baseline. For the purposes of determining eligibility for leasing DAS only, a vessel owner may elect to make a one-time downgrade to the vessel's DAS Leasing Program baseline length and horsepower as specified in paragraph (k)(4)(ix) of this section to match the length overall and horsepower specifications of the vessel that is currently issued the permit.

(A) Application for a one-time DAS Leasing Program baseline downgrade. To downgrade the DAS Leasing Program baseline, eligible NE multispecies vessels must submit a completed application form obtained from the Regional Administrator. An application to downgrade a vessel's DAS Leasing Program baseline must contain at least the following information: Vessel owner's name, vessel name, permit number, official number or state registration number, current vessel length overall and horsepower specifications, an indication whether additional information is included to document the vessel's current specifications, and the signature of the vessel owner.

(B) Duration and applicability of one-time DAS Leasing Program baseline downgrade. The downgraded DAS Leasing Program baseline remains in effect until the DAS Leasing Program expires or the permit is transferred to another vessel via a vessel replacement. Once the permit is transferred to another vessel, the DAS Leasing Program baseline reverts to the baseline horsepower and length overall specifications associated with the permit prior to the one-time downgrade. Once the DAS Leasing Program baseline is downgraded for a particular permit, no further downgrades may be authorized for that permit. The downgraded DAS Leasing Program baseline may only be used to determine eligibility for the DAS Leasing Program and does not affect or change the baseline associated with the DAS Transfer Program specified in paragraph (l)(1)(ii) of this section, or the vessel replacement or upgrade restrictions specified at §648.4(a)(1)(i)(E) and (F), or any other provision, respectively.

(l) DAS Transfer Program. Except for vessels fishing under a Sector allocation, as specified in §648.87, a vessel issued a valid limited access NE multispecies permit may transfer all of its NE multispecies DAS for an indefinite time to another vessel with a valid NE multispecies permit, in accordance with the conditions and restrictions described under this section. The Regional Administrator has final approval authority for all NE multispecies DAS transfer requests.

(1) DAS transfer conditions and restrictions. (i) The transferor vessel must transfer all of its DAS.

(ii) NE multispecies DAS may be transferred only to a vessel with a baseline main engine horsepower rating that is no more than 20 percent greater than the baseline engine horsepower of the transferor vessel. NE multispecies DAS may be transferred only to a vessel with a baseline length overall that is no more than 10 percent greater than the baseline length overall of the transferor vessel. For the purposes of this program, the baseline horsepower and length overall are those associated with the permit as of January 29, 2004.

(iii) The transferor vessel must forfeit all of its state and Federal fishing permits, and may not fish in any state or Federal commercial fishery.

(iv) NE multispecies Category A and Category B DAS, as defined under paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section, shall be reduced by 20 percent upon transfer.

(v) Category C DAS, as defined under paragraph (d)(3) of this section, will be reduced by 90 percent upon transfer.

(vi) NE multispecies DAS associated with a Confirmation of Permit History may not be transferred.

(vii) Transfer by vessels fishing under a Sector allocation. A vessel fishing under the restrictions and conditions of an approved Sector allocation as specified under §648.87(b), may not transfer DAS to another vessel that is not participating in such Sector during the fishing year in which the vessel is a member of that Sector.

(viii) NE multispecies Category A and Category B DAS, as defined under paragraphs (v)(1) and (2) of this section, shall be reduced by 20 percent upon transfer.

(ix) Category C DAS, as defined under paragraph (v)(3) of this section, will be reduced by 90 percent upon transfer.

(2) Application to transfer DAS. Owners of the vessels applying to transfer and receive DAS must submit a completed application form obtained from the Regional Administrator. The application must be signed by both seller/transferor and buyer/transferee of the DAS, and submitted to the Regional Office at least 45 days before the date on which the applicant desires to have the DAS effective on the buying vessel. The Regional Administrator will notify the applicants of any deficiency in the application pursuant to this section. Applications may be submitted at any time during the fishing year, up until March 1.

(i) Application information requirements. An application to transfer NE multispecies DAS must contain the following information: Seller's/transferor's name, vessel name, permit number and official number or state registration number; buyer's/transferee's name, vessel name, permit number and official number or state registration number; total price paid for purchased DAS; signatures of seller and buyer; and date the form was completed. Information obtained from the transfer application will be held confidential, and will be used only in summarized form for management of the fishery. The application must be accompanied by verification, in writing, that the seller/transferor has requested cancellation of all state and Federal fishing permits from the appropriate agency or agencies.

(ii) Approval of transfer application. Unless an application to transfer NE multispecies DAS is denied according to paragraph (l)(2)(iii) of this section, the Regional Administrator shall issue confirmation of application approval to both seller/transferor and buyer/transferee within 45 days of receipt of an application.

(iii) Denial of transfer application. The Regional Administrator may reject an application to transfer NE multispecies DAS for the following reasons: The application is incomplete or submitted past the March 1 deadline; the seller/transferor or buyer/transferee does not possess a valid limited access NE multispecies permit; the seller's/transferor's or buyer's/transferee's DAS is sanctioned, pursuant to an enforcement proceeding; the seller's/transferor's or buyer/transferee's vessel is prohibited from fishing; the seller's/transferor's or buyer's/transferee's limited access NE multispecies permit is sanctioned pursuant to enforcement proceedings; or the seller/transferor has a DAS baseline of zero. Upon denial of an application to transfer NE multispecies DAS, the Regional Administrator shall send a letter to the applicants describing the reason(s) for application rejection. The decision by the Regional Administrator is the final agency decision and there is no opportunity to appeal the Regional Administrator's decision.

(m) DAS credit for standing by entangled whales. Limited access vessels fishing under the DAS program that report and stand by an entangled whale may request a DAS credit for the time spent standing by the whale. The following conditions and requirements must be met to receive this credit:

(1) At the time the vessel begins standing by the entangled whale, the vessel operator must notify the USCG and the Center for Coastal Studies, or another organization authorized by the Regional Administrator, of the location of the entangled whale and that the vessel is going to stand by the entangled whale until the arrival of an authorized response team;

(2) Only one vessel at a time may receive credit for standing by an entangled whale. A vessel standing by an entangled whale may transfer its stand-by status to another vessel while waiting for an authorized response team to arrive, provided it notifies the USCG and the Center for Coastal Studies, or another organization authorized by the Regional Administrator, of the transfer. The vessel to which stand-by status is transferred must also notify the USCG and the Center for Coastal Studies or another organization authorized by the Regional Administrator of this transfer and comply with the conditions and restrictions of this part;

(3) The stand-by vessel must be available to answer questions on the condition of the animal, possible species identification, severity of entanglement, etc., and take photographs of the whale, if possible, regardless of the species of whale or whether the whale is alive or dead, during its stand-by status and after terminating its stand-by status. The stand-by vessel must remain on scene until the USCG or an authorized response team arrives, or the vessel is informed that an authorized response team will not arrive. If the vessel receives notice that a response team is not available, the vessel may discontinue standing-by the entangled whale and continue fishing operations; and

(4) To receive credit for standing by an entangled whale, a vessel must submit a written request to the Regional Administrator. This request must include at least the following information: Date and time when the vessel began its stand-by status, date of first communication with the USCG, and date and time when the vessel terminated its stand-by status. DAS credit shall not be granted for the time a vessel fishes when standing by an entangled whale. Upon a review of the request, NMFS shall consider granting the DAS credit based on information available at the time of the request, regardless of whether an authorized response team arrives on scene or a rescue is attempted. NMFS shall notify the permit holder of any DAS adjustment that is made or explain the reasons why an adjustment will not be made.

(n) Accrual of DAS. (1) Actual time. Unless otherwise specified under this paragraph (n) and paragraph (s)(1)(iii) of this section, DAS shall accrue to the nearest minute and will be counted as actual time called, or logged into the DAS program.

(2) Differential Category A DAS counting. (i) Vessels fishing outside of the U.S./Canada Management Area. For any fishing trip, or part of a fishing trip, in which a NE multispecies declares vessel declares, pursuant to §648.85(a)(3)(viii), that it intends to fish some or all of its trip, or fishes, some or all of its trip other than for transiting purposes, under a Category A DAS outside of the U.S./Canada Management Area defined at §648.85(a), unless otherwise specified in paragraph (s)(1)(iii) of this section, each Category A DAS, or part thereof, shall be counted at the ratio of 1.4 to 1.0. For example, if a vessel fishes on a Category A DAS for 24 hr (1 DAS) outside of the U.S./Canada Management Area, 33.6 hr (24 hr × 1.4) will be deducted from that vessel's NE multispecies Category A DAS allocation. If a fishing trip in which a vessel fishes Category A DAS in the GOM and inside the Western U.S./Canada Area on the same trip lasts 120 hr (5 DAS), 168 hr (7 DAS) (120 hr × 1.4) will be deducted from that vessel's NE multispecies Category A DAS allocation.

(ii) Vessels fishing in the U.S./Canada Management Area. For any fishing trip in which a NE multispecies vessel declares, pursuant to §648.85(a)(3)(viii), that it intends to fish, and fishes, under a Category A DAS exclusively within, other than for transiting to and from, the U.S./Canada Management Area defined at §648.85(a), unless otherwise specified in paragraph (s)(1)(iii) of this section, each Category A DAS, or part thereof, shall be counted at the ratio of 1:1. For example, if a vessel declares its intent to fish exclusively within the Western U.S./Canada Area and the trip lasts for 120 hr (5 DAS) including transiting time, 120 hr (5 DAS), will be deducted from that vessel's NE multispecies Category A DAS allocation. A fishing vessel that declares its intent to fish exclusively in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area and fishes a total of 24 hr exclusively in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area and, therefore, is not subject to differential DAS counting for the part of the trip used to a transit to and from the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, shall be charged NE multispecies Category A DAS at a 1:1 ratio only for that part of the trip in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area (i.e., 24 hours, or 1 DAS).

(3) Regular B DAS Program 24-hr clock. For any fishing trip which a NE multispecies vessel elects to fish in the Regular B DAS Program, as specified at §648.85(b)(10), and remains fishing under a Regular B DAS for the entire fishing trip (without a DAS flip), DAS used will accrue at the rate of 1 full DAS for each calendar day, or part of a calendar day, fished. For example, a vessel that fishes on one calendar day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. would be charged 24 hours of Regular B DAS, not 16 hours; a vessel that leaves on a trip at 11 p.m. on the first calendar day and returns at 10 p.m. on the next calendar day would be charged 48 hours of Regular B DAS instead of 23 hours, because the fishing trip would have spanned 2 calendar days. For the purpose of calculating trip limits specified under §648.86, the amount of DAS deducted from a vessel's DAS allocation will determine the amount of fish the vessel may legally land.

(o) Good Samaritan credit. See §648.53(f).

(p) Spawning season restrictions. A vessel issued a valid Small Vessel or Handgear A category permit specified under paragraphs (u)(5) or (6), respectively, of this section may not fish for, possess, or land regulated species from March 1 through March 20 of each year. Any other vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit must declare out and be out of the NE multispecies DAS program for a 20-day period between March 1 and May 31 of each calendar year, using the notification requirements specified in §648.10. A vessel fishing under a Day gillnet category designation is prohibited from fishing with gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies during its declared 20-day spawning block, unless the vessel is fishing in an exempted fishery, as described in §648.80. If a vessel owner has not declared and been out of the fishery for a 20-day period between March 1 and May 31 of each calendar year on or before May 12 of each year, the vessel is prohibited from fishing for, possessing or landing any regulated species or non-exempt species during the period May 12 through May 31, inclusive.

(q) Declaring DAS and blocks of time out. A vessel's owner or authorized representative shall notify the Regional Administrator of a vessel's participation in the DAS program, declaration of its 120 days out of the non-exempt gillnet fishery, if designated as a Day gillnet category vessel, as specified in paragraph (s)(1)(iii) of this section, and declaration of its 20-day period out of the NE multispecies DAS program, using the notification requirements specified in §648.10.

(r) [Reserved]

(s) Gillnet restrictions. A vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit may fish under a NE multispecies DAS with gillnet gear, provided the owner of the vessel obtains an annual designation as either a Day or Trip gillnet vessel, as described in §648.4(c)(2)(iii), and provided the vessel complies with the gillnet vessel gear requirements and restrictions specified in §648.80.

(1) Day gillnet vessels. A Day gillnet vessel fishing with gillnet gear under a NE multispecies DAS is not required to remove gear from the water upon returning to the dock and calling out of the DAS program, provided the vessel complies with the restrictions specified in paragraphs (s)(1)(i) through (iii) of this section. A vessel electing to fish under the Day gillnet designation must have on board written confirmation, issued by the Regional Administrator, that the vessel is a Day gillnet vessel.

(i) Removal of gear. All gillnet gear must be brought to port prior to the vessel fishing in an exempted fishery.

(ii) Declaration of time out of the gillnet fishery.—(A) During each fishing year, a vessel must declare, and take, a total of 120 days out of the non-exempt gillnet fishery. Each period of time declared and taken must be a minimum of 7 consecutive days. At least 21 days of this time must be taken between June 1 and September 30 of each fishing year. The spawning season time out period required by paragraph (p) of this section will be credited toward the 120 days time out of the non-exempt gillnet fishery. If a vessel owner has not declared and taken any or all of the remaining periods of time required to be out of the fishery by the last possible date to meet these requirements, the vessel is prohibited from fishing for, possessing, or landing regulated multispecies or non-exempt species harvested with gillnet gear, and from having gillnet gear on board the vessel that is not stowed in accordance with §648.23(b), while fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, from that date through the end of the period between June 1 and September 30, or through the end of the fishing year, as applicable.

(B) A vessel shall declare its periods of required time through the notification procedures specified in §648.10(f)(3).

(C) During each period of time declared out, a vessel is prohibited from fishing with non-exempted gillnet gear and must remove such gear from the water. However, the vessel may fish in an exempted fishery, as described in §648.80, or it may fish under a NE multispecies DAS, provided it fishes with gear other than non-exempted gillnet gear.

(iii) Method of counting DAS. Unless electing to fish in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(10), and therefore subject to the DAS accrual provisions of paragraph (n)(3) of this section, or fishing under a Category A DAS exclusively within the U.S./Canada Management Area specified at §648.85(a)(1), a Day gillnet vessel fishing with gillnet gear under a NE multispecies Category A DAS shall accrue 15 hours of DAS for each trip of more than 3 hours, but less than or equal to 11 hours. For a trip less than or equal to 3 hours, or more than 11 hours, the ratio of Category A DAS used to time called into the DAS program will be 1.4 to 1.0. A Day gillnet vessel fishing exclusively within the U.S./Canada Management Area shall accrue 15 hours of DAS for each trip of more than 3 hours, but less than or equal to 15 hours. For a trip less than or equal to 3 hours, or more than 15 hours, the ratio of Category A DAS used to time called into the DAS program will be 1.0 to 1.0.

(2) Trip gillnet vessels. When fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, a Trip gillnet vessel is required to remove all gillnet gear from the water before calling out of a NE multispecies DAS under §648.10(c)(7). When not fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, a Trip gillnet vessel may fish in an exempted fishery with gillnet gear, as authorized under the exemptions in §648.80. A vessel electing to fish under the Trip gillnet designation must have on board written confirmation issued by the Regional Administrator that the vessel is a Trip gillnet vessel.

(t) NE Multispecies DAS Leasing Program—(1) Program description. Eligible vessels, as specified in paragraph (t)(2) of this section, may lease Category A DAS to and from other eligible vessels, in accordance with the restrictions and conditions of this section. The Regional Administrator has final approval authority for all NE multispecies DAS leasing requests.

(2) Eligible vessels.—(i) A vessel issued a valid limited access NE multispecies permit is eligible to lease Category A DAS to or from another such vessel, subject to the conditions and requirements of this part, unless the vessel was issued a valid Small Vessel or Handgear A permit specified under paragraphs (u)(5) and (6) of this section, respectively, or is a valid participant in an approved Sector, as described in §648.87(a). Any NE multispecies vessel that does not require use of DAS to fish for regulated multispecies may not lease any NE multispecies DAS.

(ii) DAS associated with a Confirmation of Permit History may not be leased.

(3) Application to lease NE multispecies DAS. To lease Category A DAS, the eligible Lessor and Lessee vessel must submit a completed application form obtained from the Regional Administrator. The application must be signed by both Lessor and Lessee and be submitted to the Regional Office at least 45 days before the date on which the applicants desire to have the leased DAS effective. The Regional Administrator will notify the applicants of any deficiency in the application pursuant to this section. Applications may be submitted at any time prior to the start of the fishing year or throughout the fishing year in question, up until March 1. Eligible vessel owners may submit any number of lease applications throughout the application period, but any DAS may only be leased once during a fishing year.

(i) Application information requirements. An application to lease Category A DAS must contain the following information: Lessor's owner name, vessel name, permit number and official number or state registration number; Lessee's owner name, vessel name, permit number and official number or state registration number; number of NE multispecies DAS to be leased; total priced paid for leased DAS; signatures of Lessor and Lessee; and date form was completed. Information obtained from the lease application will be held confidential, according to applicable Federal law. Aggregate data may be used in the analysis of the DAS Leasing Program.

(ii) Approval of lease application. Unless an application to lease Category A DAS is denied according to paragraph (t)(3)(iii) of this section, the Regional Administrator shall issue confirmation of application approval to both Lessor and Lessee within 45 days of receipt of an application.

(iii) Denial of lease application. The Regional Administrator may deny an application to lease Category A DAS for any of the following reasons, including, but not limited to: The application is incomplete or submitted past the March 1 deadline; the Lessor or Lessee has not been issued a valid limited access NE multispecies permit or is otherwise not eligible; the Lessor's or Lessee's DAS are under sanction pursuant to an enforcement proceeding; the Lessor's or Lessee's vessel is prohibited from fishing; the Lessor's or Lessee's limited access NE multispecies permit is sanctioned pursuant to an enforcement proceeding; the Lessor or Lessee vessel is determined not in compliance with the conditions and restrictions of this part; or the Lessor has an insufficient number of allocated or unused DAS available to lease. Upon denial of an application to lease NE multispecies DAS, the Regional Administrator shall send a letter to the applicants describing the reason(s) for application rejection. The decision by the Regional Administrator is the final agency decision.

(4) Conditions and restrictions on leased DAS—(i) Confirmation of Permit History. DAS associated with a confirmation of permit history may not be leased.

(ii) Sub-leasing. In a fishing year, a Lessor or Lessee vessel may not sub-lease DAS that have already been leased to another vessel. Any portion of a vessel's DAS may not be leased more than one time during a fishing year.

(iii) Carry-over of leased DAS. Leased DAS that remain unused at the end of the fishing year may not be carried over to the subsequent fishing year by the Lessor or Lessee vessel.

(iv) Maximum number of DAS that can be leased. A Lessee may lease Category A DAS in an amount up to such vessel's 2001 fishing year allocation (excluding carry-over DAS from the previous year, or additional DAS associated with obtaining a Large Mesh permit). For example, if a vessel was allocated 88 DAS in the 2001 fishing year, that vessel may lease up to 88 Category A DAS. The total number of Category A DAS that the vessel could fish would be the sum of the 88 leased DAS and the vessel's 2004 allocation of Category A DAS. Any leased DAS used are subject to differential DAS accounting as described under paragraphs (n) and (t) of this section.

(v) History of leased DAS use and landings. Unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (t)(4)(v), history of leased DAS use will be presumed to remain with the Lessor vessel. Landings resulting from a leased DAS will be presumed to remain with the Lessee vessel. For the purpose of accounting for leased DAS use, leased DAS will be accounted for (subtracted from available DAS) prior to allocated DAS. In the case of multiple leases to one vessel, history of leased DAS use will be presumed to remain with the Lessor in the order in which such leases were approved by NMFS.

(vi) Monkfish Category C, D, F, G and H vessels. A vessel that possesses a valid limited access NE multispecies DAS permit and a valid limited access monkfish Category C, D, F, G or H permit and leases NE multispecies DAS to or from another vessel is subject to the restrictions specified in §648.92(b)(2).

(vii) DAS Category restriction. A vessel may lease only Category A DAS, as described under paragraph (v)(1) of this section.

(viii) Duration of lease. A vessel leasing DAS may only fish those leased DAS during the fishing year in which they were leased.

(ix) Size restriction of Lessee vessel. A Lessor vessel only may lease DAS to a Lessee vessel with a baseline main engine horsepower rating that is no more than 20 percent greater than the baseline engine horsepower of the Lessor vessel. A Lessor vessel may only lease DAS to a Lessee vessel with a baseline length overall that is no more than 10 percent greater than the baseline length overall of the Lessor vessel. For the purposes of this program, the baseline horsepower and length overall specifications of vessels are those associated with the permit as of January 29, 2004, unless otherwise modified according to paragraph (t)(4)(xi) of this section.

(x) Leasing by vessels fishing under a Sector allocation. A vessel fishing under the restrictions and conditions of an approved Sector allocation, as specified in §648.87(b), may not lease DAS to or from vessels that are not participating in such Sector during the fishing year in which the vessel is a member of that Sector.

(xi) One-time downgrade of DAS Leasing Program baseline. For the purposes of determining eligibility for leasing DAS only, a vessel owner may elect to make a one-time downgrade to the vessel's DAS Leasing Program baseline length and horsepower as specified in paragraph (t)(4)(ix) of this section to match the length overall and horsepower specifications of the vessel that is currently issued the permit.

(A) Application for a one-time DAS Leasing Program baseline downgrade. To downgrade the DAS Leasing Program baseline, eligible NE multispecies vessels must submit a completed application form obtained from the Regional Administrator. An application to downgrade a vessel's DAS Leasing Program baseline must contain at least the following information: Vessel owner's name, vessel name, permit number, official number or state registration number, current vessel length overall and horsepower specifications, an indication whether additional information is included to document the vessel's current specifications, and the signature of the vessel owner.

(B) Duration and applicability of one-time DAS Leasing Program baseline downgrade. The downgraded DAS Leasing Program baseline remains in effect until the DAS Leasing Program expires or the permit is transferred to another vessel via a vessel replacement. Once the permit is transferred to another vessel, the DAS Leasing Program baseline reverts to the baseline horsepower and length overall specifications associated with the permit prior to the one-time downgrade. Once the DAS Leasing Program baseline is downgraded for a particular permit, no further downgrades may be authorized for that permit. The downgraded DAS Leasing Program baseline may only be used to determine eligibility for the DAS Leasing Program and does not affect or change the baseline associated with the DAS Transfer Program specified in paragraph (l)(1)(ii) of this section, or the vessel replacement or upgrade restrictions specified at §648.4(a)(1)(i)(P) and (F), or any other provision, respectively.

(u) Permit categories. All limited access NE multispecies permit holders shall be assigned to one of the following permit categories, according to the criteria specified. Permit holders may request a change in permit category, as specified in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(I)(2). Each fishing year shall begin on May 1 and extend through April 30 of the following year. Beginning May 1, 2004, with the exception of the limited access Small Vessel and Handgear A vessel categories described in paragraphs (u)(5) and (6) of this section, respectively, NE multispecies DAS available for use will be calculated pursuant to paragraphs (c) and (v) of this section.

(1) Individual DAS category. This category is for vessels allocated individual DAS that are not fishing under the Hook Gear, Combination, or Large-mesh individual categories. Beginning May 1, 2004, for a vessel fishing under the Individual DAS category, the baseline for determining the number of NE multispecies DAS available for use shall be calculated based upon the fishing history associated with the vessel's permit, as specified in paragraph (c)(3) of this section. The number and categories of DAS that are allocated for use in a given fishing year are specified in paragraph (v) of this section.

(2) Hook Gear category. To be eligible for a Hook Gear category permit, the vessel must have been issued a limited access multispecies permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a Hook Gear category permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a Hook Gear category permit that was issued a Confirmation of Permit History. Beginning May 1, 2004, for a vessel fishing under the Hook Gear category, the baseline for determining the number of NE multispecies DAS available for use shall be calculated based upon the fishing history associated with the vessel's permit, as specified in paragraph (c)(3) of this section. The number and categories of DAS that are allocated for use in a given fishing year are specified in paragraph (v) of this section. A vessel fishing under this category in the DAS program must meet or comply with the gear restrictions specified under §648.80(a)(3)(v), (a)(4)(v), (b)(2)(v) and (c)(2)(iv) when fishing in the respective regulated mesh areas.

(3) Combination vessel category. To be eligible for a Combination vessel category permit, a vessel must have been issued a Combination vessel category permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a Combination vessel category permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a Combination vessel category permit that was also issued a Confirmation of Permit History. Beginning May 1, 2004, for a vessel fishing under the Combination vessel category, the baseline for determining the number of NE multispecies DAS available for use shall be calculated based upon the fishing history associated with the vessel's permit, as specified in paragraph (c)(3) of this section. The number and categories of DAS that are allocated for use in a given fishing year are specified in paragraph (v) of this section.

(4) Large Mesh Individual DAS category. This category is for vessels allocated individual DAS that area not fishing under the Hook Gear, Combination, or Individual DAS categories. Beginning May 1, 2004, for a vessel fishing under the Large Mesh Individual DAS category, the baseline for determining the number of NE multispecies DAS available for use shall be calculated based upon the fishing history associated with the vessel's permit, as specified in paragraph (c)(3) of this section. The number and categories of DAS that are allocated for use in a given fishing year are specified in paragraph (v) of this section. The number of Category A DAS shall be increased by 36 percent. To be eligible to fish under the Large Mesh Individual DAS category, a vessel, while fishing under this category, must fish under the specific regulated mesh area minimum mesh size restrictions, as specified in paragraphs (a)(3)(iii), (a)(4)(iii), (u)(2)(iii), and (c)(4)(ii) of §648.80.

(5) Small Vessel category—(i) DAS allocation. A vessel qualified and electing to fish under the Small Vessel category may retain up to 300 lb (136.1 kg) of cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder, combined, and one Atlantic halibut per trip, without being subject to DAS restrictions, provided the vessel does not exceed the yellowtail flounder possession restrictions specified under §648.86(g). Such vessel is not subject to a possession limit for other NE multispecies. Any vessel may elect to switch into this category, as provided in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(I)(2), if the vessel meets or complies with the following:

(A) The vessel is 30 ft (9.1 m) or less in length overall, as determined by measuring along a horizontal line drawn from a perpendicular raised from the outside of the most forward portion of the stem of the vessel to a perpendicular raised from the after most portion of the stern.

(B) If construction of the vessel was begun after May 1, 1994, the vessel must be constructed such that the quotient of the length overall divided by the beam is not less than 2.5.

(C) Acceptable verification for vessels 20 ft (6.1 m) or less in length shall be USCG documentation or state registration papers. For vessels over 20 ft (6.1 m) in length overall, the measurement of length must be verified in writing by a qualified marine surveyor, or the builder, based on the vessel's construction plans, or by other means determined acceptable by the Regional Administrator. A copy of the verification must accompany an application for a NE multispecies permit.

(D) Adjustments to the Small Vessel category requirements, including changes to the length requirement, if required to meet fishing mortality goals, may be made by the Regional Administrator following framework procedures of §648.90.

(ii) [Reserved]

(6) Handgear A category. A vessel qualified and electing to fish under the Handgear A category, as described in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(N), may retain, per trip, up to 250 lb (113.4 kg) of cod, one Atlantic halibut, and the daily limit for other regulated species as specified under §648.86. The cod trip limit will be adjusted proportionally to the trip limit for GOM cod (rounded up to the nearest 50 lb (22.7 kg)), as specified in §648.86(i)). For example if the GOM cod trip limit specified at §648.86(i) doubled, then the cod trip limit for the Handgear A category would double. Qualified vessels electing to fish under the Handgear A category are subject to the following restrictions:

(i) The vessel must not use or possess on board gear other than handgear while in possession of, fishing for, or landing NE multispecies, and must have at least one standard tote on board.

(ii) A vessel may not fish for, possess, or land regulated species from March 1 through March 20 of each year.

(iii) Tub-trawls must be hand-hauled only, with a maximum of 250 hooks.

(v) DAS categories and allocations. For all valid limited access NE multispecies DAS permits, and NE multispecies Confirmation of Permit Histories, beginning with the 2004 fishing year, DAS shall be allocated and available for use for a given fishing year according to the following DAS Categories (unless otherwise specified, “NE multispecies DAS” refers to any authorized category of DAS):

(1) Category A DAS. Unless determined otherwise, as specified under paragraph (v)(4) of this section, calculation of Category A DAS for each fishing year is specified in paragraphs (v)(1)(i) through (iii) of this section. An additional 36 percent of Category A DAS will be added and available for use for participants in the Large Mesh Individual DAS permit category, as described in paragraph (u)(4) of this section, provided the participants comply with the applicable gear restrictions. Category A DAS may be used in the NE multispecies fishery to harvest and land regulated multispecies stocks, in accordance with all of the conditions and restrictions of this part.

(i) For the 2004 and 2005 fishing years, Category A DAS are defined as 60 percent of the vessel's used DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(ii) For the 2006 through 2008 fishing years, Category A DAS are defined as 55 percent of the vessel's used DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(iii) Starting in fishing year 2009, Category A DAS are defined as 45 percent of the vessel's used DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(2) Category B DAS. Category B DAS are divided into Regular B DAS and Reserve B DAS. Calculation of Category B DAS for each fishing year, and restrictions on use of Category B DAS, are specified in paragraphs (v)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section.

(i) Regular B DAS—(A) Restrictions on use. Regular B DAS can only be used by NE multispecies vessels in an approved SAP or in the Regular B DAS Program as specified in §648.85(b)(10). Unless otherwise restricted under the Regular B DAS Program as described in §648.85(b)(10)(i), vessels may fish under both a Regular B DAS and a Reserve B DAS on the same trip (i.e., when fishing in an approved SAP as described in §648.85(b)).

(B) Calculation. Unless determined otherwise, as specified under paragraph (v)(4) of this section, Regular B DAS are calculated as follows:

(1) For the 2004 and 2005 fishing years, Regular B DAS are defined as 20 percent of the vessel's DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(2) For the 2006 through 2008 fishing years, Regular B DAS are defined as 22.5 percent of the vessel's DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(3) Starting in fishing year 2009, and thereafter, Regular B DAS are defined as 27.5 percent of the vessel's DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(ii) Reserve B DAS—(A) Restrictions on use. Reserve B DAS can only be used in an approved SAP, as specified in §648.85.

(B) Calculation. Unless determined otherwise, as specified under paragraph (v)(4) of this section, Reserve B DAS are calculated as follows:

(1) For the 2004 and 2005 fishing years, Reserve B DAS are defined as 20 percent of the vessel's DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(2) For the 2006 through 2008 fishing years, Reserve B DAS are defined as 22.5 percent of the vessel's DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(3) Starting in fishing year 2009, and thereafter, Reserve B DAS are defined as 27.5 percent of the vessel's DAS baseline specified under paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(3) Category C DAS—(i) Restriction on use. Category C DAS are reserved and may not be fished.

(ii) Calculation. Category C DAS are defined as the difference between a vessel's used DAS baseline, as described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, and the number of DAS allocated to the vessel as of May 1, 2001.

(4) Criteria and procedure for not reducing DAS allocations and modifying DAS accrual. The schedule of reductions in NE multispecies DAS, and the modification of DAS accrual specified under paragraph (n)(2) of this section, shall not occur if the Regional Administrator:

(i) Determines that one of the following criteria has been met:

(A) That the Amendment 13 projected target biomass levels for stocks targeted by the default measures, based on the 2005 and 2008 stock assessments, have been or are projected to be attained with at least a 50-percent probability in the 2006 and 2009 fishing years, respectively, and overfishing is not occurring on those stocks (i.e., current information indicates that the stocks are rebuilt and overfishing is not occurring); or

(B) That biomass projections, based on the 2005 and 2008 stock assessments, show that rebuilding will occur by the end of the rebuilding period with at least a 50-percent probability, and the best available estimate of the fishing mortality rate for the stocks targeted by the default measures indicates that overfishing is not occurring (i.e., current information indicates that rebuilding will occur by the end of the rebuilding period and the fishing mortality rate is at or below Fmsy).

(ii) Determines that all other stocks meet the fishing mortality rates specified in Amendment 13; and

(iii) Publishes such determination in the Federal Register, consistent with Administrative Procedure Act requirements for proposed and final rulemaking.

(w) DAS credit for standing by entangled whales. Limited access vessels fishing under the DAS program that report and stand by an entangled whale may request a DAS credit for the time spent standing by the whale. The following conditions and requirements must be met to receive this credit:

(1) At the time the vessel begins standing by the entangled whale, the vessel operator must notify the USCG and the Center for Coastal Studies, or another organization authorized by the Regional Administrator, of the location of the entangled whale and that the vessel is going to stand by the entangled whale until the arrival of an authorized response team;

(2) Only one vessel at a time may receive credit for standing by an entangled whale. A vessel standing by an entangled whale may transfer its stand-by status to another vessel while waiting for an authorized response team to arrive, provided it notifies the USCG and the Center for Coastal Studies, or another organization authorized by the Regional Administrator, of the transfer. The vessel to which stand-by status is transferred must also notify the USCG and the Center for Coastal Studies or another organization authorized by the Regional Administrator of this transfer and comply with the conditions and restrictions of this part;

(3) The stand-by vessel must be available to answer questions on the condition of the animal, possible species identification, severity of entanglement, etc., and take photographs of the whale, if possible, regardless of the species of whale or whether the whale is alive or dead, during its stand-by status and after terminating its stand-by status. The stand-by vessel must remain on scene until the USCG or an authorized response team arrives, or the vessel is informed that an authorized response team will not arrive. If the vessel receives notice that a response team is not available, the vessel may discontinue standing-by the entangled whale and continue fishing operations; and

(4) To receive credit for standing by an entangled whale, a vessel must submit a written request to the Regional Administrator. This request must include at least the following information: Date and time when the vessel began its stand-by status, date of first communication with the USCG, and date and time when the vessel terminated its stand-by status. DAS credit shall not be granted for the time a vessel fishes when standing by an entangled whale. Upon a review of the request, NMFS shall consider granting the DAS credit based on information available at the time of the request, regardless of whether an authorized response team arrives on scene or a rescue is attempted. NMFS shall notify the permit holder of any DAS adjustment that is made or explain the reasons why an adjustment will not be made.

[69 FR 22969, Apr. 27, 2004, as amended at 69 FR 67798, Nov. 19, 2004; 69 FR 70923, Dec. 8, 2004; 70 FR 21942, Apr. 28, 2005; 70 FR 31340, June 1, 2005; 70 FR 76427, Dec. 27, 2005]

Effective Date Note:  At 71 FR 19376, Apr. 13, 2006, §648.82 was amended by suspending paragraphs (a)(1), (b), (c)(1) and (2), (d) through (k), (l)(1)(iv) and (v), and (m); and adding paragraphs (a)(3), (c)(3) and (4), (l)(1)(viii) and (ix), and (n) through (w); and, paragraph (s)(1)(iii) was corrected at 71 FR 25094, Apr. 28, 2006, effective May 1, 2006, through Oct. 10, 2006.

§ 648.83   Multispecies minimum fish sizes.
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(a) Minimum fish sizes. (1) Minimum fish sizes for recreational vessels and charter/party vessels that are not fishing under a NE multispecies DAS are specified in §648.89. Except as provided in §648.17, all other vessels are subject to the following minimum fish sizes, determined by total length (TL):

             Minimum Fish Sizes (TL) for Commercial Vessels------------------------------------------------------------------------                 Species                          Sizes  (inches)------------------------------------------------------------------------Cod......................................  22 (55.9 cm)Haddock..................................  19 (48.3 cm)Pollock..................................  19 (48.3 cm)Witch flounder (gray sole)...............  14 (35.6 cm)Yellowtail flounder......................  13 (33.0 cm)American plaice (dab)....................  14 (35.6 cm)Atlantic halibut.........................  36 (91.4 cm)Winter flounder (blackback)..............  12 (30.5 cm)Redfish..................................  9 (22.9 cm)------------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) The minimum fish size applies to whole fish or to any part of a fish while possessed on board a vessel, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, and to whole, whole-gutted or gilled fish only, after landing. For purposes of determining compliance with the possession limits in §648.86, the weight of fillets and parts of fish, other than whole-gutted or gilled fish, will be multiplied by 3. Fish fillets, or parts of fish, must have skin on while possessed on board a vessel and at the time of landing in order to meet minimum size requirements. “Skin on” means the entire portion of the skin normally attached to the portion of the fish or to fish parts possessed is still attached.

(b) Exceptions. (1) Each person aboard a vessel issued a NE multispecies limited access permit and fishing under the DAS program may possess up to 25 lb (11.3 kg) of fillets that measure less than the minimum size, if such fillets are from legal-sized fish and are not offered or intended for sale, trade, or barter. For purposes of determining compliance with the possession limits specified in §648.86, the weight of fillets and parts of fish, other than whole-gutted or gilled fish, will be multiplied by 3.

(2) Recreational, party, and charter vessels may possess fillets less than the minimum size specified, if the fillets are taken from legal-sized fish and are not offered or intended for sale, trade or barter.

(3) Vessels fishing exclusively with pot gear may possess NE multispecies frames used, or to be used, as bait, that measure less than the minimum fish size, if there is a receipt for purchase of those frames on board the vessel.

(4) Category 1 herring vessels may possess and land haddock and other regulated multispecies (cod, witch flounder, plaice, yellowtail flounder, pollock, winter flounder, windowpane flounder, redfish, and white hake) that are smaller than the minimum size specified under §648.83, consistent with the bycatch caps specified in §§648.86(a)(3) and 648.86 (j). Such fish may not be sold for human consumption.

(c) Adjustments. (1) At any time when information is available, the NEFMC will review the best available mesh selectivity information to determine the appropriate minimum size for the species listed in paragraph (a) of this section, except winter flounder, according to the length at which 25 percent of the regulated species would be retained by the applicable minimum mesh size.

(2) Upon determination of the appropriate minimum sizes, the NEFMC shall propose the minimum fish sizes to be implemented following the procedures specified in §648.90.

(3) Additional adjustments or changes to the minimum fish sizes specified in paragraph (a) of this section, and exemptions specified in paragraph (b) of this section, may be made at any time after implementation of the final rule as specified under §648.90.

[69 FR 22974, Apr. 27, 2004, as amended at 71 FR 46876, Aug. 15, 2006]

§ 648.84   Gear-marking requirements and gear restrictions.
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(a) Bottom-tending fixed gear, including, but not limited to, gillnets and longlines designed for, capable of, or fishing for NE multispecies or monkfish, must have the name of the owner or vessel or the official number of that vessel permanently affixed to any buoys, gillnets, longlines, or other appropriate gear so that the name of the owner or vessel or the official number of the vessel is visible on the surface of the water.

(b) Bottom-tending fixed gear, including, but not limited to gillnets or longline gear, must be marked so that the westernmost end (measuring the half compass circle from magnetic south through west to, and including, north) of the gear displays a standard 12-inch (30.5-cm) tetrahedral corner radar reflector and a pennant positioned on a staff at least 6 ft (1.8 m) above the buoy. The easternmost end (meaning the half compass circle from magnetic north through east to, and including, south) of the gear need display only the standard 12-inch (30.5-cm) tetrahedral radar reflector positioned in the same way.

(c) Continuous gillnets must not exceed 6,600 ft (2,011.7 m) between the end buoys.

(d) In the GOM and GB regulated mesh area specified in §648.80(a), gillnet gear set in an irregular pattern or in any way that deviates more than 30° from the original course of the set must be marked at the extremity of the deviation with an additional marker, which must display two or more visible streamers and may either be attached to or independent of the gear.

[69 FR 22974, Apr. 27, 2004]

§ 648.85   Special management programs.
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(a) U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding. No NE multispecies fishing vessel, or person on such vessel, may enter, fish in, or be in the U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding Management Areas (U.S./Canada Management Areas), as defined in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, unless the vessel is fishing in accordance with the restrictions and conditions of this section. These restrictions do not preclude fishing under an approved Special Access Program specified under paragraph (b) of this section.

(1) U.S./Canada Management Areas. A NE multispecies DAS vessel that meets the requirements of paragraph (a)(3) of this section, may fish in the U.S./Canada Management Areas described in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section.

(i) Western U.S./Canada Area. The Western U.S./Canada Area is the area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (a chart depicting this area is available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

                        Western U.S./Canada Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------USCA 1...........................  42°20[min]      68°50[min]USCA 2...........................  39°50[min]      68°50[min]USCA 3...........................  39°50[min]      66°40[min]USCA 4...........................  40°40[min]      66°40[min]USCA 5...........................  40°40[min]      66°50[min]USCA 6...........................  40°50[min]      66°50[min]USCA 7...........................  40°50[min]      67°00[min]USCA 8...........................  41°00[min]      67°00[min]USCA 9...........................  41°00[min]      67°20[min]USCA 10..........................  41°10[min]      67°20[min]USCA 11..........................  41°10[min]      67°40[min]USCA 12..........................  42°20[min]      67°40[min]USCA 1...........................  42°20[min]      68°50[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(ii) Eastern U.S./Canada Area. The Eastern U.S./Canada Area is the area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated (a chart depicting this area is available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

                        Eastern U.S./Canada Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------USCA 12..........................  42°20[min]      67°40[min]USCA 11..........................  41°10[min]      67°40[min]USCA 10..........................  41°10[min]      67°20[min]USCA 9...........................  41°00[min]      67°20[min]USCA 8...........................  41°00[min]      67°00[min]USCA 7...........................  41°50[min]      67°00[min]USCA 6...........................  41°50[min]      66°50[min]USCA 5...........................  41°40[min]      66°50[min]USCA 4...........................  41°40[min]      66°40[min]USCA 15..........................  40°30[min]      66°40[min]USCA 14..........................  40°30[min]      65°44.3[min]USCA 13..........................  42°20[min]      67°18.4[min]USCA 12..........................  42°20[min]      67°40[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) TAC allocation. (i) Except for the 2004 fishing year, the amount of GB cod and haddock TAC that may be harvested from the Eastern U.S./Canada Area described in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section, and the amount of GB yellowtail flounder TAC that may be harvested from the Western U.S./Canada Area and the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, as described in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, combined, shall be determined by the process specified in paragraphs (a)(2)(i)(A) through (E) of this section.

(A) By June 30 of each year, the Terms of Reference for the U.S./Canada shared resources for GB cod, haddock and yellowtail flounder shall be established by the Steering Committee and the Transboundary Management Guidance Committee (TMGC).

(B) By July 31 of each year, a Transboundary Resource Assessment Committee (TRAC) joint assessment of the U.S./Canada shared resources for GB cod, haddock and yellowtail flounder shall occur.

(C) By August 31 of each year, the TMGC shall recommend TACs for the U.S./Canada shared resources for GB cod, haddock and yellowtail flounder. Prior to October 31 of each year, the Council may refer any or all recommended TACs back to the TMGC and request changes to any or all TACs. The TMGC shall consider such recommendations and respond to the Council prior to October 31.

(D) By October 31 of each year, the Council shall review the TMGC recommended TACs for the U.S. portion of the U.S./Canada Management Area resources for GB cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder. Based on the TMGC recommendations, the Council shall recommend to the Regional Administrator the U.S. TACs for the shared stocks for the subsequent fishing year. NMFS shall review the Council's recommendations and shall publish in the Federal Register the proposed TACs and provide a 30-day public comment period. NMFS shall make a final determination concerning the TACs and publish notification of the approved TACs and responses to public comments in the Federal Register. The Council, at this time, may also consider modification of management measures in order to ensure compliance with the U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding. Any changes to management measures will be modified pursuant to §648.90.

(E) For fishing year 2004, the amount of GB cod, haddock and yellowtail flounder TAC that may be harvested under this section will be published in the preamble of the proposed and final rules for Amendment 13.

(ii) Adjustments to TACs. Any overages of the GB cod, haddock, or yellowtail flounder TACs that occur in a given fishing year will be subtracted from the respective TAC in the following fishing year.

(3) Requirements for vessels in U.S./Canada Management Areas. Any NE multispecies vessel may fish in the U.S./Canada Management Areas, provided it complies with conditions and restrictions of this section. Vessels other than NE multispecies vessels may fish in the U.S./Canada Management Area, subject to the restrictions specified in paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(E) of this section and all other applicable regulations for such vessels.

(i) VMS requirement. A NE multispecies DAS vessel in the U.S./Canada Management Areas described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §§648.9 and 648.10. The VMS unit will be polled at least twice per hour in the U.S./Canada Management Areas, when the vessel has declared into the U.S./Canada Management Areas under a groundfish DAS, as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section.

(ii) Declaration. To fish in the U.S./Canada Management Area under a groundfish DAS, a NE multispecies DAS vessel, prior to leaving the dock, must declare through the VMS, in accordance with instructions to be provided by the Regional Administrator, which specific U.S./Canada Management Area described in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) or (ii) of this section, or which specific SAP, described in paragraph (b) of this section, within the U.S./Canada Management Area the vessel will fish in, and comply with the restrictions and conditions in paragraphs (a)(3)(ii)(A) through (C) of this section. Vessels other than NE multispecies DAS vessels are not required to declare into the U.S./Canada Areas.

(A) A vessel fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area may not fish, during the same trip, outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, and may not enter or exit the Eastern U.S./Canada Area more than once on any trip.

(B) A vessel fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Western U.S./Canada Area may fish inside and outside the Western U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, provided it complies with the more restrictive regulations applicable to the area fished for the entire trip (e.g., the possession restrictions specified in paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(C)(4) of this section), and the reporting requirements specified in §648.85(a)(3)(v).

(C) For the purposes of selecting vessels for observer deployment, a vessel fishing in either of the U.S./Canada Management Areas specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section must provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number for contact; and the date, time, and port of departure, at least 72 hours prior to the beginning of any trip that it declares into the U.S./Canada Management Area as required under this paragraph (a)(3)(ii).

(iii) NE multispecies vessels fishing with trawl gear in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area defined in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section must fish with a haddock separator trawl or a flounder trawl net, as described in paragraphs (a)(3)(iii)(A) and (B) of this section (both nets may be onboard the fishing vessel simultaneously). Other types of fishing gear may be on the vessel during a trip to the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, provided the gear is stowed according to the regulations at §648.23(b). The description of the haddock separator trawl and flounder trawl net in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section may be further specified by the Regional Administrator through publication of such specifications in the Federal Register, consistent with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.

(A) Haddock Separator Trawl. A haddock separator trawl is defined as a groundfish trawl modified to a vertically oriented trouser trawl configuration, with two extensions arranged one over the other, where a codend shall be attached only to the upper extension, and the bottom extension shall be left open and have no codend attached. A horizontal large mesh separating panel constructed with a minimum of 6.0 inch (15.2 cm) diamond mesh must be installed between the selvedges joining the upper and lower panels, as described in paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(A) and (B) of this section, extending forward from the front of the trouser junction to the aft edge of the first belly behind the fishing circle.

(1) Two-seam bottom trawl nets—For two seam nets, the separator panel will be constructed such that the width of the forward edge of the panel is 80-85 percent of the width of the after edge of the first belly of the net where the panel is attached. For example, if the belly is 200 meshes wide (from selvedge to selvedge), the separator panel must be no wider than 160-170 meshes wide.

(2) Four-seam bottom trawl nets—For four seam nets, the separator panel will be constructed such that the width of the forward edge of the panel is 90-95 percent of the width of the after edge of the first belly of the net where the panel is attached. For example, if the belly is 200 meshes wide (from selvedge to selvedge), the separator panel must be no wider than 180-190 meshes wide. The separator panel will be attached to both of the side panels of the net along the midpoint of the side panels. For example, if the side panel is 100 meshes tall, the separator panel must be attached at the 50th mesh.

(B) Flounder Trawl Net. A flounder trawl net is defined as bottom trawl gear meeting one of the following two net descriptions:

(1) A two-seam, low-rise net constructed with mesh size in compliance with §648.80(a)(4), where the maximum footrope length is not greater than 105 ft (32.0 m) and the headrope is at least 30 percent longer than the footrope. The footrope and headrope lengths shall be measured from the forward wing end.

(2) A two-seam, low-rise net constructed with mesh size in compliance with §648.80(a)(4), with the exception that the top panel of the net contains a section of mesh at least 10 ft (3.05 m) long and stretching from selvedge to selvedge, composed of at least 12–in (30.5–cm) mesh that is inserted no farther than 4.5 meshes behind the headrope.

(iv) Harvest controls. Vessels fishing in the U.S./Canada Management Areas are subject to the following restrictions, in addition to any other possession or landing limits applicable to vessels not fishing in the U.S./Canada Management Areas.

(A) Cod landing limit restrictions. Notwithstanding other applicable possession and landing restrictions under this part, a NE multispecies vessel fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area described in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section may not land more than 500 lb (226.8 kg) of cod per DAS, or any part of a DAS, up to 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) per trip, not to exceed 5 percent of the total catch on board, whichever is less, unless otherwise restricted under this part. A vessel fishing in both the Eastern U.S./Canada Area and either the CA II Yellowtail Flounder SAP or the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program on the same trip must comply with the cod possession restrictions for those programs for the entire trip, as specified in paragraphs (b)(3) and (8) of this section, respectively.

(B) Haddock landing limit—(1) Initial haddock landing limit. The initial haddock landing limit is specified in §648.86(a), unless adjusted pursuant to paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(B)(2) and (3) of this section.

(2) Implementation of haddock landing limit for Eastern U.S./Canada Area. When the Regional Administrator projects that 70 percent of the TAC allocation for haddock specified under paragraph (a)(2) of this section will be harvested, NMFS shall implement, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, a haddock trip limit for vessels fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area of 1,500 lb (680.4 kg) per day, and 15,000 lb (6,804.1 kg) per trip.

(3) Possession restriction when 100 percent of TAC is harvested. When the Regional Administrator projects that 100 percent of the TAC allocation for haddock specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section will be harvested, NMFS shall, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, close the Eastern U.S./Canada Area to groundfish DAS vessels as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(E) of this section and prohibit all vessels from harvesting, possessing, or landing haddock in or from the Eastern U.S./Canada Area.

(C) Yellowtail flounder landing limit—(1) Initial yellowtail flounder landing limit. The initial yellowtail flounder possession limit is specific to the CA II Yellowtail Flounder SAP as specified in paragraph (b)(3)(viii) if this section, unless adjusted pursuant to paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(C)(2) and (3) of this section.

(2) Implementation of yellowtail flounder landing limit for Western and Eastern U.S./Canada Areas. When the Regional Administrator projects that 70 percent of the TAC allocation for yellowtail flounder specified under paragraph (a)(2) of this section will be harvested, NMFS shall impose and/or adjust, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, the yellowtail flounder trip limit for vessels fishing in both the Western U.S./Canada Area and the Eastern U.S./Canada Area to 1,500 lb (680.4 kg) per day, and 15,000 lb (6,804.1 kg) per trip.

(3) Possession restriction when 100 percent of TAC is harvested. When the Regional Administrator projects that 100 percent of the TAC allocation for yellowtail flounder specified under paragraph (a)(2) of this section will be harvested, NMFS shall, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, close the Eastern U.S./Canada Area to groundfish DAS vessels as specified under paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(E) of this section and prohibit all vessels from harvesting, possessing, or landing yellowtail flounder from the U.S./Canada Management Area.

(4) Yellowtail flounder landing limit for vessels fishing both inside and outside the Western U.S./Canada Area on the same trip. A vessel fishing both inside and outside of the Western U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, as allowed under paragraph (a)(3)(ii)(B) of this section, is subject to the most restrictive landing limits that apply to any of the areas fished, for the entire trip.

(5) Initial yellowtail flounder landing limit. The initial yellowtail flounder possession limit for the U.S./Canada Area is 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) per trip. A separate yellowtail flounder trip limit for the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP is specified under paragraph (b)(3)(viii) of this section. The trip limits specified under this paragraph, or paragraph (b)(3)(viii) of this section, may be adjusted by the Regional Administrator pursuant to paragraphs (a)(3)(iv)(C)(3) and (6) of this section.

(6) Authority to further restrict yellowtail flounder landing limits. Unless further restricted by the initial yellowtail flounder landing limit as specified by paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(C)(5) of this section, when the Regional Administrator projects that 70 percent of the TAC allocation for yellowtail flounder specified under paragraph (a)(2) of this section will be harvested, NMFS shall implement and/or adjust, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, the yellowtail flounder trip limit for vessels fishing in both the Western and Eastern U.S./Canada Area to 1,500 lb (680.4 kg) per day, and 15,000 lb (6,804.1 kg) per trip.

(7) Yellowtail flounder landing limit for vessels fishing both inside and outside the Western U.S./Canada Area on the same trip. A vessel fishing both inside and outside of the Western U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, as allowed under paragraph (a)(3)(viii)(B) of this section, must comply with the most restrictive landing limits that apply to any of the areas fished, for the entire trip.

(D) Other restrictions or in-season adjustments. In addition to the possession restrictions specified in this paragraph (a)(3)(iv), when 30 percent and/or 60 percent of the TAC allocations specified under paragraph (a)(2) of this section are projected to be, or have been, harvested, the Regional Administrator, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, may modify the gear requirements, modify or close access to the U.S./Canada Management Areas, increase or decrease the trip limits specified under paragraphs (a)(3)(iv)(A) through (C) of this section, or modify the total number of trips into the U.S./Canada Management Area, to prevent over-harvesting or under-harvesting the TAC allocations.

(E) Closure of Eastern U.S./Canada Area. When the Regional Administrator projects that the TAC allocations specified under paragraph (a)(2) of this section will be caught, NMFS shall close, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, the Eastern U.S./Canada Area to all groundfish DAS vessels, unless otherwise allowed under this paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(E). Should the Eastern U.S./Canada Area close as described in this paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(E), groundfish DAS vessels may continue to fish in a SAP within the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, provided that the TAC for the target stock identified for that particular SAP has not been fully harvested. For example, should the TAC allocation for GB cod specified under paragraph (a)(2) of this section be attained, and the Eastern U.S./Canada Area closure implemented, vessels could continue to fish for yellowtail flounder within the SAP identified as the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP, described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, in accordance with the requirements of that program. Upon closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, vessels may transit through this area as described in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section, provided that its gear is stowed in accordance with the provisions of §648.23(b), unless otherwise restricted under this part.

(v) Reporting. The owner or operator of a NE multispecies DAS vessel must submit reports via the VMS, in accordance with instructions to be provided by the Regional Administrator, for each day fished when declared into either of the U.S./Canada Management Areas. The reports must include at least the information specified in paragraphs (a)(3)(v)(A) and (B) of this section, depending on area fished. The reports must be submitted in 24–hr intervals for each day, beginning at 0000 hr and ending at 2400 hr, and must be submitted by 0900 hr of the following day.

(A) Eastern U.S./Canada Area. For a vessel declared into the Eastern U.S./Canada Area in accordance with paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section, the reports must include at least the following information: Total pounds of cod, haddock and yellowtail flounder kept; and total pounds of cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder discarded.

(B) Western U.S./Canada Area. For a vessel declared into the Western U.S./Canada Area in accordance with paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section, the reports must include at least the following information: Total pounds of yellowtail flounder kept and total pounds of yellowtail flounder discarded. In addition to these reporting requirements, a vessel that has declared that it intends to fish both inside and outside of the Western U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, in accordance with paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section, must report via VMS the following information when crossing the boundary into or out of the Western U.S./Canada Area: Total pounds of yellowtail flounder kept, by statistical area, and total pounds of yellowtail flounder discarded, by statistical area, since the last daily catch report.

(vi) Withdrawal from U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding. At any time, the Regional Administrator, in consultation with the Council, may withdraw from the provisions of the U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding described in this section, if the Understanding is determined to be inconsistent with the goals and objectives of the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, or other applicable law. If the United States withdraws from the Understanding, the implementing measures, including TACs, remain in place until changed through the framework or FMP amendment process.

(vii) Transiting. A multispecies DAS vessel declared into the Eastern U.S./Canada Area as defined in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section, and not fishing in the CA II Yellowtail Flounder SAP described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, may transit the CA II Yellowtail Flounder SAP as described in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section, provided all fishing gear is stowed in accordance with the regulations at §648.23(b).

(viii) Declaration. To fish in the U.S./Canada Management Area under a groundfish DAS, a NE multispecies DAS vessel, prior to leaving the dock, must declare through the VMS, in accordance with instructions to be provided by the Regional Administrator, which specific U.S./Canada Management Area described in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) or (ii) of this section, or which specific SAP, described in paragraph (b) of this section, within the U.S./Canada Management Area the vessel will fish in, and comply with the restrictions and conditions in paragraphs (a)(3)(viii)(A) through (C) of this section. Vessels other than NE multispecies DAS vessels are not required to declare into the U.S./Canada Management Area.

(A) A vessel fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area may fish both inside and outside the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, provided it complies with the most restrictive regulations applicable to the area fished for the entire trip and the requirements of paragraphs (a)(3)(viii)(A)(1) and (2) of this section and does not discard legal-sized yellowtail flounder. If a vessel is fishing inside the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, and possesses yellowtail flounder in excess of what is allowed in either the CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder Area or the SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder Area, as defined in §648.86(g), it may not fish outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on the same trip. On trips when the vessel operator elects to fish both inside and outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, all cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder caught on the trip will count toward the applicable hard TAC specified for the U.S./Canada Management Area.

(1) The vessel operator must notify NMFS via VMS that it is electing to fish outside the Eastern U.S./Canada Area either prior to leaving the dock, or prior to leaving the Eastern U.S./Canada Area. Category A DAS shall accrue for the entire duration of the trip, regardless of whether the vessel began its trip under a Category A or Category B DAS. If a vessel fishing within the Eastern U.S./Canada Area declares its intent to fish exclusively within the Eastern and Western U.S./Canada Areas on the same trip, pursuant to paragraph (a)(3)(viii) of this section, Category A DAS shall accrue in accordance with §§648.10(b)(2)(v) and 648.82(n)(2)(ii). If a vessel fishing within the Eastern U.S./Canada Area declares its intent to fish within the Eastern U.S./Canada Area and outside of the U.S./Canada Management Area on the same trip, Category A DAS shall accrue in accordance with §§648.10(b)(2)(v) and 648.82(n)(2)(i).

(2) The vessel must comply with the reporting requirements of the U.S./Canada Management Area specified under §648.85(a)(3)(ix) for the duration of the trip.

(B) A vessel fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Western U.S./Canada Area may fish inside and outside the Western U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, provided it declares its intent to do so via VMS prior to leaving the dock in accordance with instructions to be provided by the Regional Administrator, and complies with the most restrictive regulations applicable to the area fished for the entire trip (e.g., the possession restrictions specified in paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(C)(4) of this section), and the reporting requirements specified in §648.85(a)(3)(ix). Category A DAS shall accrue in accordance with the regulations at §648.82(n)(2)(ii) if the vessel fishes outside of the U.S./Canada Management Area on the same trip.

(C) For the purposes of selecting vessels for observer deployment, a vessel fishing in either of the U.S./Canada Management Areas specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section must provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number for contact; and the date, time, and port of departure, at least 72 hours prior to the beginning of any trip that it declares into the U.S./Canada Management Area as required under this paragraph (a)(3)(viii).

(ix) Reporting. The owner or operator of a NE multispecies DAS vessel must submit reports via the VMS, in accordance with instructions to be provided by the Regional Administrator, for each day fished when declared into either of the U.S./Canada Management Areas. The reports must include at least the information specified in paragraphs (a)(3)(ix)(A) and (B) of this section, depending on area fished. The reports must be submitted in 24-hr intervals for each day, beginning at 0000 hr and ending at 2400 hr, and must be submitted by 0900 hr of the following day.

(A) Eastern U.S./Canada Area. For a vessel declared into the Eastern U.S./Canada Area in accordance with paragraph (a)(3)(viii) of this section, the reports must include at least the following information: Total pounds of cod, haddock and yellowtail flounder kept; and total pounds of cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder discarded.

(B) Western U.S./Canada Area. For a vessel declared into the Western U.S./Canada Area in accordance with paragraph (a)(3)(viii) of this section, the reports must include at least the following information: Total pounds of yellowtail flounder kept and total pounds of yellowtail flounder discarded. In addition to these reporting requirements, a vessel that has declared that it intends to fish both inside and outside of the Western U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, in accordance with paragraph (a)(3)(viii) of this section, must report via VMS the following information when crossing the boundary into or out of the Western U.S./Canada Area: Total pounds of yellowtail flounder kept, by statistical area, and total pounds of yellowtail flounder discarded, by statistical area, since the last daily catch report.

(b) Special Access Programs. A SAP is a narrowly defined fishery that results in increased access to a stock that, in the absence of such authorization, would not be allowed due to broadly applied regulations. A SAP authorizes specific fisheries targeting either NE multispecies stocks or non-multispecies stocks in order to allow an increased yield of the target stock(s) without undermining the achievement of the goals of the NE Multispecies FMP. A SAP should result in a harvest level that more closely approaches OY, without compromising efforts to rebuild overfished stocks, end overfishing, minimize bycatch, or minimize impact on EFH. Development of a SAP requires a relatively high level of fishery dependent and fishery independent information in order to be consistent with this rationale.

(1) SAPs harvesting NE multispecies. A SAP to harvest NE multispecies may be proposed by the Council and approved by NMFS through the framework process described under §648.90.

(2) SAPs harvesting stocks other than NE multispecies. A SAP to harvest stocks of fish other than NE multispecies (non-multispecies SAP) may be proposed by the Council and approved by NMFS through the framework process described under §648.90.

(3) Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP—(i) Eligibility. Vessels issued a valid limited access NE multispecies DAS permit are eligible to participate in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP, and may fish in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder Access Area, as described in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section, for the period specified in paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this section, when fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, provided such vessels comply with the requirements of this section, and provided the Eastern U.S./Canada Area described in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) is not closed according to the provisions specified under paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this section. Vessels are required to comply with the no discarding and DAS flip requirements specified in paragraph (b)(3)(xi) of this section, and the DAS balance requirements specified in paragraph (b)(3)(xii) of this section.

(ii) Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder Access Area. The Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder Access Area is the area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

             Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder Access Area------------------------------------------------------------------------              Point                      N. lat.            W. long.------------------------------------------------------------------------Ytail 1..........................  41°30[min]      67°20[min]Ytail 2..........................  41°30[min]      66°34.8[min]G5...............................  41°18.6[min]    66°24.8[min]                                                        \1\CII 2............................  41°00[min]      66°35.8[min]CII 1............................  41°00[min]      67°20[min]Ytail 1..........................  41°30[min]      67°20[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ The U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

(iii) Season. Eligible vessels may fish in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP during the period July 1 through December 31.

(iv) VMS requirement. All NE multispecies DAS vessels in the U.S./Canada Management Areas described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §§648.9 and 648.10.

(v) Declaration. For the purposes of selecting vessels for observer deployment, a vessel must provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number for contact; date, time and port of departure; and special access program to be fished, at least 72 hours prior to the beginning of any trip which it declares into the Special Access Program as required under this paragraph (b)(3)(v). Prior to departure from port, a vessel intending to participate in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP must declare into this area through the VMS, in accordance with instructions provided by the Regional Administrator. In addition to fishing in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP, a vessel, on the same trip, may also declare its intent to fish in the area outside of Closed Area II that resides within the Eastern U.S./Canada Area as defined in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section, provided the vessel fishes in these areas under the most restrictive provisions of either the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP or the Eastern U.S./Canada Area.

(vi) Number of trips per vessel. Unless otherwise authorized by the Regional Administrator as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(D) of this section, eligible vessels are restricted to one trip per calendar month, during the season described in paragraph (b)(3)(iii) of this section.

(vii) Maximum number of trips per fishing year. Unless otherwise authorized by the Regional Administrator as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(D) of this section, the total number of allowed trips by all vessels combined that may be declared into the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP shall be as announced by the Regional Administrator, after consultation with the Council, for each fishing year, prior to June 1, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act. The total number of trips by all vessels combined that may be declared into this SAP shall not exceed 320 trips per year. When determining the total number of trips, the Regional Administrator shall consider the available yellowtail flounder TAC under the U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding, the potential catch of GB yellowtail flounder by all vessels fishing outside of the SAP, recent discard estimates in all fisheries that catch yellowtail flounder, and the expected number of SAP participants. If the Regional Administrator determines that the available catch, as determined by subtracting the potential catch of GB yellowtail flounder by all vessels outside of the SAP from the GB yellowtail flounder TAC allocation specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, is insufficient to allow for at least 150 trips with a possession limit of 15,000 lb (6,804 kg) of yellowtail flounder per trip, the Regional Administrator may choose not to authorize any trips into the SAP during a fishing year.

(viii) Trip limits—(A) Yellowtail flounder trip limit. Unless otherwise authorized by the Regional Administrator as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(D) of this section, a vessel fishing in the CA II Yellowtail Flounder SAP may fish for, possess, and land up to 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) of yellowtail flounder per trip. The Regional Administrator may adjust this limit to a maximum of 30,000 lb (13,608 kg) per trip after considering the factors listed in paragraph (b)(3)(vii) of this section for the maximum number of trips.

(B) Cod and haddock trip limit. Unless otherwise restricted, a NE multispecies vessel fishing any portion of a trip in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP may not fish for, possess, or land more than 1,000 lb (453.6 kg) of cod per trip, regardless of trip length. A NE multispecies vessel fishing in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP is subject to the haddock requirements described under §648.86(a), unless further restricted under paragraph (a)(3)(iv) of this section.

(ix) Area fished. Eligible vessels that have declared a trip into the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP, and other areas as specified under paragraph (b)(3)(v) of this section, may not fish, during the same trip, outside of the declared area, and may not enter or exit the area more than once per trip.

(x) Gear requirements. NE multispecies vessels fishing with trawl gear under a NE multispecies DAS in the Eastern U.S./Canada Areas defined in paragraph (a)(1) of this section must fish with a haddock separator trawl or a flounder trawl net, as described in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section (both nets may be onboard the fishing vessel simultaneously). Gear other than the haddock separator trawl or the flounder trawl net as described in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section may be on board the vessel during a trip to the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, provided the gear is stowed according to the regulations at §648.23(b).

(xi) No-discard provision and DAS flips. A vessel fishing in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP, under a B DAS (Regular or Reserve) may not discard legal-sized cod. If such a vessel harvests and brings on board more legal sized cod than the applicable maximum landing limit per trip specified under paragraph (b)(3)(viii) of this section, the vessel operator must notify NMFS prior to crossing the demarcation line via VMS on its return trip to port to initiate a DAS flip. Once this notification has been received by NMFS, the vessel will automatically be switched by NMFS to fishing under a Category A DAS. For a vessel that notified NMFS of a DAS flip, the Category B DAS that have accrued between the time the vessel started accruing Category B DAS at the beginning of the trip (i.e., at the time the vessel crossed into the Eastern U.S./Canada Area) and the time the vessel declared its DAS flip will be accrued as Category A DAS, and not Category B DAS. Once such vessel has initiated the DAS flip and is fishing under a Category A DAS, the prohibition on discarding legal-sized cod no longer applies.

(xii) Minimum Category A DAS. For vessels fishing under a Category B DAS, the number of Category B DAS that can be used on a trip cannot exceed the number of available Category A DAS the vessel has at the start of the trip.

(4) SNE/MA Winter Flounder SAP. A limited access NE multispecies vessel fishing for summer flounder west of 72°30' W. lat., using mesh required under §648.104(a), may retain and land up to 200 lb (90.7 kg) of winter flounder while not under an NE multispecies DAS, provided the vessel complies with the following restrictions:

(i) The vessel must possess a valid summer flounder permit as required under §648.4(a)(3), and be in compliance with the restrictions of subpart G of this part;

(ii) The total amount of winter flounder on board must not exceed the amount of summer flounder on board;

(iii) The vessel must not be fishing under an NE multispecies DAS; and

(iv) Fishing for, retention, and possession of regulated species other than winter flounder is prohibited.

(5) Incidental TACs. Unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (b)(5), incidental TACs will be specified through the periodic adjustment process described in §648.90, and allocated as described in paragraph (b)(5) of this section, for each of the following stocks: GOM cod, GB cod, CC/GOM yellowtail flounder, American plaice, white hake, SNE/MA yellowtail flounder, SNE/MA winter flounder, and witch flounder. NMFS will send letters to limited access NE multispecies permit holders notifying them of such TACs.

(i) Stocks other than GB cod. With the exception of GB cod, the incidental TACs specified under this paragraph (b)(5) shall be allocated to the Regular B DAS Pilot Program described in paragraph (b)(6) of this section.

(ii) GB cod. The incidental TAC for GB cod specified in this paragraph (b)(5), shall be subdivided as follows: 50 percent to the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, described in paragraph (b)(6) of this section; 16 percent to the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, described in paragraph (b)(7) of this section; and 34 percent to the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program, described in paragraph (b)(8) of this section.

(6) Regular B DAS Pilot Program—(i) Eligibility. Vessels issued a valid limited access NE multispecies DAS permit and allocated Regular B DAS are eligible to participate in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program for the period specified in paragraph (b)(6)(ii) of this section, and may elect to fish under a Regular B DAS, provided they comply with the requirements and restrictions of this paragraph (b)(6), and provided the use of Regular B DAS is not restricted according to paragraphs (b)(6)(iv)(G) or (H), or paragraph (b)(6)(vi) of this section. Vessels are required to comply with the no discarding and DAS flip requirements specified in paragraph (b)(6)(iv)(E) of this section, and the DAS balance and accrual requirements specified in paragraph (b)(6)(iv)(F) of this section. Vessels may fish under the B Regular DAS Pilot Program and in the U.S./Canada Management Area on the same trip, but may not fish under the Regular B DAS Pilot Program and in a SAP on the same trip.

(ii) Duration of program. Fishing under this program may only occur from November 19, 2004 through October 31, 2005.

(iii) Quarterly incidental catch TACs. The incidental catch TACs specified in accordance with paragraph (b)(5) of this section shall be divided into quarterly catch TACs. NMFS will send letters to limited access multispecies permit holders notifying them of such TACs.

(iv) Program requirements—(A) VMS requirement. A NE multispecies DAS vessel fishing in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program described in paragraph (b)(6)(i) of this section must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §§648.9 and 648.10.

(B) Observer notification. For the purposes of selecting vessels for observer deployment, a vessel must provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number for contact; the date, time, and port of departure; and the planned fishing area or areas (GOM, GB, or SNE/MA) at least 72 hr prior to the beginning of any trip that it declares into the Regular B DAS Pilot Program as required under paragraph (b)(6)(iv)(C) of this section, and in accordance with instructions provided by the Regional Administrator. Providing notice of the area that the vessel intends to fish does not restrict the vessel's activity to only that area on that trip (i.e., the vessel operator may change his/her plans regarding planned fishing area).

(C) VMS declaration. To participate in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program under a Regular B DAS, a vessel must declare into the Program via the VMS, prior to departure from port, in accordance with instructions provided by the Regional Administrator. A vessel declared into the Regular B DAS Pilot Program cannot fish in an approved SAP described under this section on the same trip.

(D) Landing limits. A NE multispecies vessel fishing in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program described in this paragraph (b)(6), and fishing under a Regular B DAS, may not land more than 100 lb (45.5 kg) per DAS, or any part of a DAS, up to a maximum of 1,000 lb (454 kg) per trip, of any of the following species: Cod, American plaice, white hake, witch flounder, ocean pout, winter flounder and windowpane flounder. Such vessels may not land more than 25 lb (11.3 kg) per DAS, or any part of a DAS, up to a maximum of 250 lb (113 kg) per trip of yellowtail flounder, unless fishing the entire trip in the U.S./Canada Management Area as specified under paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(E) No-discard provision and DAS flips. A vessel fishing in the Regular B DAS Pilot Program under a Regular B DAS may not discard legal-sized regulated groundfish. This prohibition on discarding does not apply in areas or times where the possession or landing of such groundfish is prohibited. If such a vessel harvests and brings on board more legal sized regulated groundfish than the applicable maximum landing limit per trip specified under paragraph (b)(6)(iv)(D) of this section, the vessel operator must notify NMFS prior to crossing the demarcation line via VMS on its return trip to port to initiate a DAS flip. Once this notification has been received by NMFS, the vessel will automatically be switched by NMFS to fishing under a Category A DAS. For a vessel that notifies NMFS of a DAS flip, the Category B DAS that have accrued between the time the vessel started accruing Regular B DAS at the beginning of the trip (i.e., at the time the vessel crossed the demarcation line at the beginning of the trip) and the time the vessel declared its DAS flip will be accrued as Category A DAS, and not Regular B DAS. Once such vessel has initiated the DAS flip and is fishing under a Category A DAS, the prohibition on discarding legal-sized regulated groundfish no longer applies. A vessel that has declared a DAS flip will be subject to the landing restrictions specified under §648.86.

(F) Minimum Category A DAS and B DAS accrual. For a vessel fishing under the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, the number of Regular B DAS that can be used on a trip cannot exceed the number of Category A DAS the vessel has available at the start of the trip. The vessel will accrue DAS in accordance with §648.82(e)(3).

(G) Restrictions when 100 percent of the incidental catch TAC is harvested. With the exception of white hake, when the Regional Administrator provides notification through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, that 100 percent of one or more of quarterly incidental TACs specified under paragraph (b)(6)(iii) of this section has projected to have been harvested, the use of Regular B DAS shall be prohibited in the pertinent stock area(s) as defined under paragraph (b)(6)(v) of this section for the duration of the calendar quarter. The closure of a stock area to all Regular B DAS use will occur even if the quarterly incidental catch TACs for other stocks in that stock area have not been completely harvested. When the Regional Administrator projects that 100 percent of the quarterly white hake incidental catch TAC specified under paragraph (b)(6)(iii) of this section has been harvested, vessels fishing under a Regular B DAS, or that complete a trip under a Regular B DAS, will be prohibited from retaining white hake.

(H) Closure of Regular B DAS program and quarterly DAS limit. Unless otherwise closed as a result of the harvest of all incidental TACs as described in paragraph (b)(6)(iv)(G) of this section, or as result of an action by the Regional Administrator under paragraph (b)(6)(vi) of this section, the use of Regular B DAS shall, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, be prohibited when 1,000 Regular B DAS have been used during the calendar quarter, in accordance with §648.82(e)(3).

(I) Reporting requirements. The owner or operator of a NE multispecies DAS vessel must submit catch reports via VMS in accordance with instructions provided by the Regional Administrator, for each day fished when declared into the Regular B DAS Pilot Program. The reports must be submitted in 24–hr intervals for each day, beginning at 0000 hr and ending at 2400 hr. The reports must be submitted by 0900 hr of the following day. For vessels that have declared into the Regular B DAS Pilot Program in accordance with paragraph (b)(6)(iv)(C) of this section, the reports must include at least the following information: Statistical area fished, total weight (lb/kg) of cod, yellowtail flounder, American plaice, white hake, winter flounder, and witch flounder kept; and total weight (lb/kg) of cod, yellowtail flounder, American plaice, white hake, winter flounder, and witch flounder discarded. All NE multispecies permit holders will be sent a letter informing them of the statistical areas.

(v) Definition of incidental TAC stock areas. For the purposes of the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, the species stock areas associated with the incidental TACs are defined below. Copies of a chart depicting these areas are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(A) GOM cod stock area. The GOM cod stock area is the area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                      Gulf of Maine Cod Stock Area------------------------------------------------------------------------                 Point                      N. Lat.          W. Long.------------------------------------------------------------------------GOM1..................................           \(1)\      70° 00'GOM2..................................  42° 20[min]  70° 00[min]GOM3..................................  42° 20[min]  67° 40[min]GOM4..................................  43° 50[min]  67° 40[min]GOM5..................................  43° 50[min]  66° 50[min]GOM6..................................  44° 20[min]  66° 50[min]GOM7..................................  44° 20[min]  67° 00[min]GOM8..................................           \(2)\   67° 00[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------\(1)\ Intersection of the north-facing coastline of Cape Cod, MA, and  70° 00[min] W. Long.\(2)\ Intersection of the south-facing Maine coastline and 67°  00[min] W. Long.

(B) GB cod stock area. The GB cod stock area is the area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                       Georges Bank Cod Stock Area------------------------------------------------------------------------                 Point                      N. Lat.          W. Long.------------------------------------------------------------------------GB1...................................           \(1)\   70° 00[min]GB2...................................  42° 20[min]  70° 00[min]GB3...................................  42° 20[min]  66° 00[min]GB4...................................  42° 10[min]  66° 00[min]GB5...................................  42° 10[min]  65° 50[min]GB6...................................  42° 00[min]  65° 50[min]GB7...................................  42° 00[min]  65° 40[min]GB8...................................  40° 30[min]  65° 40[min]GB9...................................  39° 00[min]  65° 40[min]GB10..................................  39° 00[min]  70° 00[min]GB11..................................  35° 00[min]  70° 0[min]GB12..................................  35° 00[min]           \(2)\------------------------------------------------------------------------\(1)\ Intersection of the north-facing coastline of Cape Cod, MA, and  70° 00[min] W. Long.\(2)\ Intersection of east-facing coastline of Outer Banks, NC, and  35° 00[min] N. Lat.

(C) CC/GOM yellowtail flounder stock area. The CC/GOM yellowtail flounder stock area is the area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

          Cape Cod/Gulf of Maine Yellowtail Flounder Stock Area------------------------------------------------------------------------                 Point                      N. Lat.          W. Long.------------------------------------------------------------------------CCGOM1................................           \(1)\   70° 00[min]CCGOM2................................  41° 20[min]           \(2)\CCGOM3................................  41° 20[min]  69° 50[min]CCGOM4................................  41° 10[min]  69° 50[min]CCGOM5................................  41° 10[min]  69° 30[min]CCGOM6................................  41° 00[min]  69° 30[min]CCGOM7................................  41° 00[min]  68° 50[min]CCGOM8................................  42° 20[min]  68° 50[min]CCGOM9................................  42° 20[min]  67° 40[min]CCGOM10...............................  43° 50[min]  67° 40[min]CCGOM11...............................  43° 50[min]  66° 50[min]CCGOM12...............................  44° 20[min]  66° 50[min]CCGOM13...............................  44° 20[min]  67° 00[min]CCGOM14...............................           \(3)\   67° 00[min] ------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) Intersection of south-facing coastline of Cape Cod, MA, and 70°  00[min] W. Long.(2) Intersection of east-facing coastline of Nantucket, MA, and 41°  20[min] N. Lat.(3) Intersection of south-facing Maine coastline and 67° 00[min] W.  Long.

(D) American plaice stock area. The American plaice stock area is the area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                       American Plaice Stock Area------------------------------------------------------------------------                 Point                      N. Lat.          W. Long.------------------------------------------------------------------------AMP1..................................           \(1)\   67° 00[min]AMP2..................................  44° 20[min]  67° 00[min]AMP3..................................  44° 20[min]  66° 50[min]AMP4..................................  43° 50[min]  66° 50[min]AMP5..................................  43° 50[min]  67° 40[min]AMP6..................................  42° 30[min]  67° 40[min]AMP7..................................  42° 30[min]  66° 00[min]AMP8..................................  42° 10[min]  66° 00[min]AMP9..................................  42° 10[min]  65° 50[min]AMP10.................................  42° 00[min]  65° 50[min]AMP11.................................  42° 00[min]  65° 40[min]AMP12.................................  40° 30[min]  65° 40[min]AMP13.................................  39° 00[min]  65° 40[min]AMP14.................................  39° 00[min]  70° 00[min]AMP15.................................  35° 00[min]  70° 00[min]AMP16.................................  35° 00[min]          \(2)\------------------------------------------------------------------------\(1)\ Intersection of south-facing Maine coastline and 67° 00[min]  W. Long.\(2)\ Intersection of east-facing coastline of Outer Banks, NC, and  35° 00[min] N. Lat.

(E) SNE/MA yellowtail flounder stock area. The SNE/MA yellowtail flounder stock area is the area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

    Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic Yellowtail Flounder Stock Area------------------------------------------------------------------------                 Point                      N. Lat.          W. Long.------------------------------------------------------------------------SNE1..................................  35° 00[min]           \(1)\SNE2..................................  35° 00[min]  70° 00[min]SNE3..................................  39° 00[min]  70° 00[min]SNE4..................................  39° 00[min]  71° 40[min]SNE5..................................  39° 50[min]  71° 40[min]SNE6..................................  39° 50[min]  68° 50[min]SNE7..................................  41° 00[min]  68° 50[min]SNE8..................................  41° 00[min]  69° 30[min]SNE9..................................  41° 10[min]  69° 30[min]SNE10.................................  41° 10[min]  69° 50[min]SNE11.................................  41° 20[min]  69° 50[min]SNE12.................................           \(2)\   70° 00[min]SNE13.................................           \(3)\   70° 00[min]SNE14.................................           \(4)\   70° 00[min] ------------------------------------------------------------------------\(1)\ Intersection of east-facing coastline of Outer Banks, NC, and  35° 00[min] N. Lat.\(2)\ Intersection of south-facing coastline of Nantucket, MA, and  70° 00[min] W. Long.\(3)\ Intersection of north-facing coastline of Nantucket, MA, and  70° 00[min] W. Long.\(4)\Intersection of south-facing coastline of Cape Cod, MA, and 70°  00[min] W. Long.

(F) SNE/MA winter flounder stock area. The SNE/MA winter flounder stock area is the area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

      Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic Winter Flounder Stock Area------------------------------------------------------------------------                 Point                      N. Lat.          W. Long.------------------------------------------------------------------------SNEW1.................................           \(1)\   70° 00[min]SNEW2.................................  42° 20[min]  70° 00[min]SNEW3.................................  42° 20[min]  68° 50[min]SNEW4.................................  39° 50[min]  68° 50[min]SNEW5.................................  39° 50[min]  71° 40[min]SNEW6.................................  39° 50[min]  70° 00[min]SNEW7.................................  35° 00[min]  70° 00[min]SNEW8.................................  35° 00[min]          \(2)\------------------------------------------------------------------------\(1)\ Intersection of north-facing coastline of Cape Cod, MA, and  70° 00[min] W. Long.\(2)\ Intersection of east-facing coastline of Outer Banks, NC, and  35° 00[min] N. Lat.

(G) Witch flounder stock area. The witch flounder stock area is the area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                        Witch Flounder Stock Area------------------------------------------------------------------------                 Point                      N. Lat.          W. Long.------------------------------------------------------------------------WF1...................................           \(1)\   67° 00[min]WF2...................................  44° 20[min]  67° 00[min]WF3...................................  44° 20[min]  66° 50[min]WF4...................................  43° 50[min]  66° 50[min]WF5...................................  43° 50[min]  67° 40[min]WF6...................................  42° 20[min]  67° 40[min]WF7...................................  42° 20[min]  66° 00[min]WF8...................................  42° 10[min]  66° 00[min]WF9...................................  42° 10[min]  65° 50[min]WF10..................................  42° 00[min]  65° 50[min]WF11..................................  42° 00[min]  65° 40[min]WF12..................................  40° 30[min]  65° 40[min]WF13..................................  40° 30[min]  66° 40[min]WF14..................................  39° 50[min]  66° 40[min]WF15..................................  39° 50[min]  70° 00[min]WF16..................................           \(2)\   70° 00[min]WF17..................................           \(3)\   70° 00[min]WF18..................................           \(4)\   70° 00[min] ------------------------------------------------------------------------\(1)\ Intersection of south-facing Maine coastline and 67° 00[min]  W. Long.\(2)\ Intersection of south-facing coastline of Nantucket, MA, and  70° 00[min] W. Long.\(3)\ Intersection of north-facing coastline of Nantucket, MA, and  70° 00[min] W. Long.\(4)\Intersection of south-facing coastline of Cape Cod, MA, and 70°  00[min] W. Long.

(vi) Closure of the Regular B DAS Pilot Program. The Regional Administrator, based upon information required under §§648.7, 648.9, 648.10, or 648.85, and any other relevant information, may, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, prohibit the use of Regular B DAS for the duration of a quarter or fishing year, if it is projected that continuation of the Regular B DAS Pilot Program would undermine the achievement of the objectives of the FMP or Regular B DAS Pilot Program.

(7) CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP—(i) Eligibility. Vessels issued a valid limited access NE multispecies DAS permit are eligible to participate in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, and may fish in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area, as described in paragraph (b)(7)(ii) of this section, for the season specified in paragraph (b)(7)(iii) of this section, provided such vessels comply with the requirements of this section, and provided the SAP is not closed according to the provisions specified under paragraph (b)(7)(iv)(I) or (b)(7)(vi)(F) of this section. Copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(ii) CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area. The CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area is the area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

               Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area------------------------------------------------------------------------                 Point                      N. Lat.          W. Long.------------------------------------------------------------------------Hook 1................................         41°          69°                                             25.6[min]        20.2[min]Hook 2................................         41°          69°                                             29.2[min]        08.1[min]Hook 3................................         41°          68°                                             08.5[min]        50.2[min]Hook 4................................         41°          69°                                             06.4[min]        03.3[min]------------------------------------------------------------------------

(iii) Season. The overall season for the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP is October 1 through December 31, which is divided into two participation periods, one for Sector and one for non-Sector vessels. For the 2005 fishing year, the only participation period in which eligible Sector vessels may fish in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP is from October 1 through November 15. For the 2005 fishing year, the only participation period in which eligible non-Sector vessels may fish in the SAP is from November 16 through December 31. For the 2006 fishing year and beyond, these participation periods shall alternate between Sector and non-Sector vessels such that, in fishing year 2006, the participation period for non-Sector vessels is October 1 through November 15, and the participation period for Sector vessels is November 16 through December 31. The Regional Administrator may adjust the start date of the second participation period prior to November 16 if the haddock TAC for the first participation period specified in paragraph (b)(7)(iv)(G) of this section is harvested prior to November 15.

(iv) General program restrictions. General program restrictions specified in this paragraph (b)(7)(iv) apply to all eligible vessels as specified in paragraph (b)(7)(i) of this section. Further program restrictions specific to Sector and non-Sector vessels are specified in paragraphs (b)(7)(iii), (v), and (vi) of this section.

(A) DAS use restrictions. A vessel fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP may not initiate a DAS flip. A vessel is prohibited from fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP while making a trip under the Regular B DAS Pilot Program described under paragraph (b)(6) of this section.

(B) VMS requirement. An eligible NE multispecies DAS vessel fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in this paragraph (b)(7) must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §§648.9 and 648.10.

(C) Observer notifications. Starting in the 2006 fishing year, to be eligible to participate in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, a vessel must notify the NMFS Observer Program by September 1 of its intent to participate in that year. For the 2005 fishing year, for non-Sector vessels to be eligible to participate, non-Sector vessels must notify the NMFS Observer Program by October 24. This notification need not include specific information about the date of the trip. For the purpose of selecting vessels for observer deployment, a vessel must provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number for contact; and date, time, and port of departure at least 72 hours prior to the beginning of any trip that it declares into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, as required in paragraph (b)(7)(iv)(D) of this section, and in accordance with instructions provided by the Regional Administrator.

(D) VMS declaration. Prior to departure from port, a vessel intending to participate in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP must declare into the SAP via VMS, and indicate the type of DAS that it intends to fish. A vessel declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP may fish only on a declared trip in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Area described under paragraph (b)(7)(ii) of this section.

(E) Gear restrictions. A vessel declared into and fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP may fish with and possess on board demersal longline gear or tub trawl gear only, unless further restricted as specified under paragraph (b)(7)(v)(B) of this section.

(F) Haddock TAC. The maximum total amount of haddock that may be caught (landings and discards) in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP Area in any fishing year is 1,000 mt. The maximum amount of haddock that may be caught is divided between the two participation periods as follows: 500 mt for the October 1 - November 15 participation period, and 500 mt for the November 16 - December 31 participation period, as specified in paragraph (b)(7)(iii) of this section. The Regional Administrator may adjust the 500–mt quota for the second participation period to account for under- or over-harvest of the 500–mt haddock quota (landings and discards) that occurred in the first participation period, not to exceed the overall haddock TAC specified in this paragraph (b)(7)(iv)(F).

(G) Trip restrictions. A vessel is prohibited from deploying fishing gear outside of the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP Area on the same fishing trip on which it is declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP.

(H) Landing limits. For all eligible vessels declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP described in paragraph (b)(7)(i) of this section, landing limits for NE multispecies other than cod, which are specified at paragraphs (b)(7)(v)(C) and (b)(7)(vi)(C) of this section, are as specified at §648.86.

(I) Mandatory closure of CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area. When the Regional Administrator determines that the haddock TAC specified in paragraph (b)(7)(iv)(F) of this section has been caught, NMFS shall close, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP Area as specified in paragraph (b)(7)(ii) of this section, to all eligible vessels.

(J) DAS use restrictions. A vessel fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP may not initiate a DAS flip. A vessel is prohibited from fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP while making a trip under the Regular B DAS Program described under paragraph (b)(10) of this section.

(v) Sector vessel program restrictions. In addition to the general program restrictions specified at paragraph (b)(7)(iv) of this section, the restrictions specified in this paragraph (b)(7)(v) apply only to Sector vessels declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP.

(A) DAS use restrictions. Sector vessels fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP may use Category A, Regular B, or Reserve B DAS, in accordance with §648.82(d).

(B) Gear restrictions. A vessel enrolled in the Sector is subject to the gear requirements of the Sector Operations Plan as approved under §648.87(d).

(C) Landing limits. A Sector vessel declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP described in paragraph (b)(7)(i) of this section is subject to the cod landing limit in effect under the Sector's Operations Plan as approved under §648.87(d).

(D) Reporting requirements. The owner or operator of a Sector vessel declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP must submit reports to the Sector Manager, with instructions to be provided by the Sector Manager, for each day fished in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP Area. The Sector Manager will provide daily reports to NMFS, including at least the following information: Total weight (lb/kg) of cod and haddock kept, and total weight (lb/kg) of cod and haddock discarded.

(E) GB cod incidental catch TAC. There is no GB cod incidental catch TAC specified for Sector vessels declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP. All cod caught by Sector vessels fishing in the SAP count toward the Sector's annual GB cod TAC, specified in §648.87(d)(1)(iii).

(F) DAS use restrictions. A Sector vessel fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP may use Category A, Regular B, or Reserve B DAS, in accordance with §648.82(v).

(vi) Non-Sector vessel program restrictions. In addition to the general program restrictions specified in paragraph (b)(7)(iv) of this section, the restrictions specified in this paragraph (b)(7)(vi) apply only to non-Sector vessels declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP.

(A) DAS use restrictions. Non-Sector vessels fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP may use Regular B or Reserve B DAS, in accordance with §648.82(d)(2)(i)(A) and (d)(2)(ii)(A). A non-Sector vessel is prohibited from using A DAS when declared into the SAP.

(B) Gear restrictions. A non-Sector vessel declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP is exempt from the maximum number of hooks restriction specified in §648.80(a)(4)(v).

(C) Landing limits. A non-Sector vessel declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP described in paragraph (b)(7)(i) of this section may not land, fish for, or possess on board more than 1,000 lb (453.6 kg) of cod per trip. A non-Sector vessel is not permitted to discard legal-sized cod prior to reaching the landing limit, and is required to end its trip if the cod trip limit is achieved or exceeded.

(D) Reporting requirements. The owner or operator of a non-Sector vessel declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP must submit reports via VMS, in accordance with instructions to be provided by the Regional Administrator, for each day fished in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP Area. The reports must be submitted in 24–hr intervals for each day fished, beginning at 0000 hr and ending at 2400 hr. The reports must be submitted by 0900 hr of the day following fishing. The reports must include at least the following information: Total weight (lb/kg) of cod and haddock kept, and total weight (lb/kg) of cod and haddock discarded.

(E) GB cod incidental catch TAC. The maximum amount of GB cod (landings and discards) that may be cumulatively caught by non-Sector vessels from the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area in a fishing year is the amount specified under paragraph (b)(5)(ii) of this section.

(F) Mandatory closure of CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area due to catch of GB cod incidental catch TAC. When the Regional Administrator determines that the GB cod incidental catch TAC specified in paragraph (b)(7)(vi)(E) of this section has been caught, NMFS shall close, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area to all non-Sector fishing vessels.

(G) DAS use restrictions. A non-Sector vessel fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP may use Regular B or Reserve B DAS, in accordance with §648.82(v)(2)(i)(C) and (v)(2)(ii)(A). A non-Sector vessel is prohibited from using A DAS when declared into the SAP.

(H) GB cod incidental catch TAC. The maximum amount of GB cod (landings and discards) that may be cumulatively caught by a non-Sector vessel from the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area in a fishing year is the amount specified under paragraph (b)(9)(ii) of this section.

(I) Mandatory closure of CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area due to catch of GB cod incidental catch TAC. When the Regional Administrator determines that the GB cod incidental catch TAC specified in paragraph (b)(7)(vi)(H) of this section has been caught, NMFS shall close, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area to all non-Sector fishing vessels.

(8) Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program—(i) Eligibility. Vessels issued a valid limited access NE multispecies DAS permit, and fishing with trawl gear as specified in paragraph (b)(8)(v)(E) of this section, are eligible to participate in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program, and may fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area, as described in paragraph (b)(8)(ii) of this section, during the program duration and season specified in paragraphs (b)(8)(iii) and (iv) of this section, provided such vessels comply with the requirements of this section, and provided the SAP is not closed according to the provisions specified in paragraphs (b)(8)(v)(K) or (L) of this section. Copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(ii) Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area. The Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area is the area defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                  Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area------------------------------------------------------------------------                 Point                      N. Lat.          W. Long.------------------------------------------------------------------------CAII3.................................  42° 22[min]  67° 20[min]                                                                  \(1)\SAP1..................................  42° 20[min]  67° 20[min]SAP2..................................  42° 20[min]  67° 40[min]SAP3..................................  41° 10[min]  67° 40[min]SAP4..................................  41° 10[min]  67° 20[min]SAP5..................................  42° 10[min]  67° 20[min]SAP6..................................  42° 10[min]  67° 10[min]CAII3.................................  42° 22[min]  67° 20[min]                                                                 \(1)\------------------------------------------------------------------------\(1)\ U.S./Canada maritime boundary.

(iii) Duration of program. The Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program is in effect from November 19, 2004 through November 20, 2006.

(iv) Season. Eligible vessels may fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program from May 1 through December 31.

(v) Program restrictions—(A) DAS use restrictions. A vessel fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program may elect to fish under a Category A, or Category B DAS, in accordance with §648.82(d)(2)(i)(A) and the restrictions of this paragraph (b)(8)(v)(A).

(1) If fishing under a Category B DAS, a vessel is required to comply with the no discarding and DAS flip requirements specified in paragraph (b)(8)(v)(I) of this section, and the minimum Category A DAS requirements of paragraph (b)(8)(v)(J) of this section.

(2) A vessel that is declared into the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program, described in paragraph (b)(8)(i) of this section, may fish, on the same trip, in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area and in the CA II Yellowtail Flounder Access Area, described in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section, under either a Category A DAS or a Category B DAS.

(3) A vessel may choose, on the same trip, to fish in either/both the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program and the CA II Yellowtail Flounder Access Area, and in that portion of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area described in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section that lies outside of these two SAPs, provided the vessel fishes under a Category A DAS and abides by the VMS restrictions of paragraph (b)(8)(v)(D) of this section.

(4) Vessels that elect to fish in multiple areas, as described in this paragraph (b)(8)(v)(A), must fish under the most restrictive trip provisions of any of the areas fished for the entire trip.

(B) VMS requirement. A NE multispecies DAS vessel fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program specified under paragraph (b)(8)(i) of this section, must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §§648.9 and 648.10.

(C) Observer notifications. For the purpose of selecting vessels for observer deployment, a vessel must provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number for contact; areas to be fished; and date, time, and port of departure at least 72 hours prior to the beginning of any trip that it declares into the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program specified in paragraph (b)(8)(i) of this section, as required under paragraph (b)(8)(v)(D) of this section, and in accordance with instructions provided by the Regional Administrator.

(D) VMS declaration. Prior to departure from port, a vessel intending to participate in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP must declare into the SAP via VMS and provide information on the type of DAS (Category A, Regular B, or Reserve B) that it intends to fish, and on the areas within the Eastern U.S./Canada Area that it intends to fish, in accordance with paragraph (b)(8)(v)(A) of this section and instructions provided by the Regional Administrator.

(E) Gear restrictions. A NE multispecies vessel fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program must use one of the haddock separator trawl nets authorized for the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(A) of this section. No other type of fishing gear may be on the vessel when participating on a trip in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program, with the exception of a flounder net as described in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section, provided the flounder net is stowed in accordance with §648.23(b).

(F) Landing limits. Unless otherwise restricted, NE multispecies vessel fishing any portion of a trip in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program may not fish for, possess, or land more than 1,000 lb (453.6 kg) of cod per trip, regardless of trip length. A NE multispecies vessel fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program is subject to the haddock requirements described under §648.86(a), unless further restricted under paragraph (a)(3)(iv) of this section.

(G) Reporting requirements. The owner or operator of a vessel declared into the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP, as described in paragraph (b)(8) of this section, must submit reports in accordance with the reporting requirements described in paragraph (a)(3)(v) of this section.

(H) Incidental cod TAC. The maximum amount of GB cod (landings and discards) that may be caught when fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program in a fishing year, by vessels fishing under a Category B DAS, as authorized in paragraph (b)(8)(v)(A) of this section, is the amount specified in paragraph (b)(5)(ii) of this section.

(I) No discard provision and DAS flips. A vessel fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program under a Category B DAS may not discard legal-sized cod. If a vessel fishing under a Category B DAS harvests and brings on board more legal-sized cod than the landing limit specified under paragraph (b)(8)(v)(F) of this section, the vessel operator must notify NMFS prior to crossing the demarcation line via VMS on its return trip to port to initiate a DAS flip to Category A DAS. Once this notification has been received by NMFS, the vessel will automatically be switched to fishing under a Category A DAS. For a vessel that notifies NMFS of a DAS flip, the Category B DAS that have accrued between the time the vessel started accruing Category B DAS at the beginning of the trip (i.e., at the time the vessel crossed into the Eastern U.S./Canada Area at the beginning of the trip) and the time the vessel declared its DAS flip will be accrued as Category A DAS, and not Category B DAS. Once such vessel has initiated the DAS flip and is fishing under a Category A DAS, the prohibition on discarding legal-sized cod no longer applies.

(J) Minimum Category A DAS. To fish under a Category B DAS, the number of Category B DAS that can be used on a trip cannot exceed the number of available Category A DAS the vessel has at the start of the trip.

(K) Mandatory closure of Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program. When the Regional Administrator projects that the TAC allocation specified in paragraph (b)(8)(v)(H) of this section has been caught by vessels fishing under Category B DAS, NMFS shall prohibit the use of Category B DAS in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program, through notice in the Federal Register, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act. In addition, the closure regulations described in paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(E) of this section shall apply to the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program.

(L) General closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area. The Regional Administrator, based upon information required under §648.7, 648.9, 648.10, or 648.85, and any other relevant information may, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, close the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program for the duration of the season, if it is determined that continuation of the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program would undermine the achievement of the objectives of the FMP or the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program.

(vi) Eligibility. A vessel issued a valid limited access NE multispecies DAS permit, and fishing with trawl gear as specified in paragraph (b)(8)(viii)(E) of this section, is eligible to participate in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program, and may fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area, as described in paragraph (b)(8)(ii) of this section, during the program duration and season specified in paragraphs (b)(8)(iii) and (vii) of this section, provided such vessel complies with the requirements of this section, and provided the SAP is not closed according to the provisions specified in paragraphs (b)(8)(viii)(K) or (L) of this section. Copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(vii) Season. Eligible vessels may fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program only from August 1 through December 31.

(viii) Program restrictions—(A) DAS use restrictions. A vessel fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program may elect to fish under a Category A, or Category B DAS, in accordance with §648.82(v)(2)(i)(A) and the restrictions of this paragraph (b)(8)(viii)(A).

(1) If fishing under a Category B DAS, a vessel is required to comply with the no discarding and DAS flip requirements specified in paragraph (b)(8)(viii)(I) of this section, and the minimum Category A DAS requirements of paragraph (b)(8)(viii)(J) of this section.

(2) A vessel that is declared into the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program, described in paragraph (b)(8)(vi) of this section, may fish, on the same trip, in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area and in the CA II Yellowtail Flounder Access Area, described in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section, under either a Category A DAS or a Category B DAS.

(3) A vessel may choose, on the same trip, to fish in either/both the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program and the CA II Yellowtail Flounder Access Area, and in that portion of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area described in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section that lies outside of these two SAPs, provided the vessel fishes under a Category A DAS and abides by the VMS restrictions of paragraph (b)(8)(viii)(D) of this section.

(4) A vessel that elects to fish in multiple areas, as described in this paragraph (b)(8)(viii)(A), must fish under the most restrictive trip provisions of any of the areas fished for the entire trip.

(B) VMS requirement. A NE multispecies DAS vessel fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program specified under paragraph (b)(8)(vi) of this section, must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §§648.9 and 648.10.

(C) Observer notifications. For the purpose of selecting vessels for observer deployment, a vessel must provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number for contact; areas to be fished; and date, time, and port of departure at least 72 hours prior to the beginning of any trip that it declares into the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program specified in paragraph (b)(8)(vi) of this section, as required under paragraph (b)(8)(viii)(D) of this section, and in accordance with instructions provided by the Regional Administrator.

(D) VMS declaration. Prior to departure from port, a vessel intending to participate in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP must declare into the SAP via VMS and provide information on the type of DAS (Category A, Regular B, or Reserve B) that it intends to fish, and on the areas within the Eastern U.S./Canada Area that it intends to fish, in accordance with paragraph (b)(8)(viii)(A) of this section and instructions provided by the Regional Administrator.

(E) Gear restrictions. A NE multispecies vessel fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program must use one of the haddock separator trawl nets authorized for the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(A) of this section. Other types of fishing gear may be on the vessel when participating on a trip in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program, provided the other gear is stowed in accordance with §648.23(b).

(F) Landing limits. Unless otherwise restricted, a NE multispecies vessel fishing any portion of a trip in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program may not fish for, possess, or land more than 1,000 lb (453.6 kg) of cod, per trip, regardless of trip length. A NE multispecies vessel fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program is subject to the haddock requirements described under §648.86(a), unless further restricted under paragraph (a)(3)(iv) of this section. A NE multispecies vessel fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program, and fishing under a Category B DAS, may not land more than 100 lb (45.5 kg) per DAS, or any part of a DAS, of GB yellowtail flounder or GB winter flounder, and no more than 500 lb (227 kg) of all flounder species, combined. Possession of monkfish (whole weight), and skates is limited to 500 lb (227 kg) each and possession of lobsters is prohibited.

(G) Reporting requirements. The owner or operator of a vessel declared into the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP, as described in paragraph (b)(8) of this section, must submit reports in accordance with the reporting requirements described in paragraph (a)(3)(ix) of this section.

(H) Incidental TACs. The maximum amount of GB cod, GB yellowtail flounder, and GB winter flounder (landings and discards) that may be caught when fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program in a fishing year, by a vessel fishing under a Category B DAS, as authorized in paragraph (b)(8)(viii)(A) is the amount specified in paragraph (b)(9)(ii) and (iii), respectively.

(I) No discard provision and DAS flips. A vessel fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program under a Category B DAS may not discard legal-sized cod, yellowtail flounder, or winter flounder. If a vessel fishing under a Category B DAS harvests and brings on board more legal-sized cod, yellowtail flounder, or winter flounder than the landing limits specified under paragraph (b)(8)(viii)(F) of this section, the vessel operator must notify NMFS immediately via VMS to initiate a DAS flip to Category A DAS. For a vessel that notifies NMFS of a DAS flip, the Category B DAS that have accrued between the time the vessel started accruing Category B DAS at the beginning of the trip (i.e., at the time the vessel crossed into the Eastern U.S./Canada Area at the beginning of the trip) and the time the vessel declared its DAS flip will be accrued as Category A DAS, and not Category B DAS, according to the regulations at §648.82(n)(2). Once such vessel has initiated the DAS flip and is fishing under a Category A DAS, the prohibition on discarding legal-sized cod, yellowtail flounder, and winter flounder no longer applies.

(J) Minimum Category A DAS. To fish under a Category B DAS, the number of Category B DAS that can be used on a trip cannot exceed the number of available Category A DAS that the vessel has at the start of the trip divided by 1.4.

(K) Mandatory closure of Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program. When the Regional Administrator projects that one or more of the TAC allocations specified in paragraph (b)(8)(viii)(H) of this section has been caught by vessels fishing under Category B DAS, NMFS shall prohibit the use of Category B DAS in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program, through notice in the Federal Register, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act. In addition, the closure regulations described in paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(E) of this section shall apply to the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program.

(L) General closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area. The Regional Administrator, based upon information required under §648.7, 648.9, 648.10, or 648.85, and any other relevant information may, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, close the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program for the duration of the season, if it is determined that continuation of the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program would undermine the achievement of the objectives of the FMP or the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program.

(9) Incidental TACs. Unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (b)(9), incidental TACs shall be specified through the periodic adjustment process described in §648.90, and allocated as described in paragraph (b)(9) of this section, for each of the following stocks: GOM cod, GB cod, GB yellowtail flounder, GB winter flounder, CC/GOM yellowtail flounder, American plaice, white hake, SNE/MA yellowtail flounder, SNE/MA winter flounder, and witch flounder. NMFS shall send letters to limited access NE multispecies permit holders notifying them of such TACs.

(i) Stocks other than GB cod, GB yellowtail flounder and GB winter flounder. With the exception of GB cod, GB yellowtail flounder and GB winter flounder, the incidental TACs specified under this paragraph (b)(9) shall be allocated to the Regular B DAS Program described in paragraph (b)(10) of this section.

(ii) GB cod. The incidental TAC for GB cod specified in this paragraph (b)(9), shall be subdivided as follows: 50 percent to the Regular B DAS Program, described in paragraph (b)(10) of this section; 16 percent to the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, described in paragraph (b)(7) of this section; and 34 percent to the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program, described in paragraph (b)(8) of this section.

(iii) GB yellowtail flounder and GB winter flounder. The incidental TACs for GB yellowtail flounder and GB winter flounder specified under this paragraph (b)(9) shall be subdivided as follows: 50 percent to the Regular B DAS Program, described in paragraph (b)(10) of this section; and 50 percent to the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program, described in paragraph (b)(8) of this section.

(10) Regular B DAS Program—(i) Eligibility. A vessel issued a valid limited access NE multispecies DAS permit and allocated Regular B DAS is eligible to participate in the Regular B DAS Program in the area specified in paragraph (b)(10)(ii) of this section, and may elect to fish under a Regular B DAS, provided it complies with the requirements and restrictions of this paragraph (b)(10), and provided the use of Regular B DAS is not restricted according to paragraphs (b)(10)(iv)(G) or (H), or paragraph (b)(10)(vi) of this section. An eligible vessel is required to comply with the no discarding and DAS flip requirements specified in paragraph (b)(10)(iv)(E) of this section, and the DAS balance and accrual requirements specified in paragraph (b)(10)(iv)(F) of this section. An eligible vessel may fish under the Regular B DAS Program and in the U.S./Canada Management Area on the same trip, but may not fish under the Regular B DAS Program and in a SAP on the same trip. A Category C, D, or F monkfish vessel may only participate in this program if fishing under a NE multispecies DAS only (i.e., a Category C, D, or F monkfish vessel may not use a Regular B DAS and a monkfish DAS on the same trip under the Regular B DAS Program).

(ii) Scope of the program. Fishing under this program may occur only in the geographic area defined for the U.S./Canada Management Areas, described under paragraph (a)(1), of this section.

(iii) Quarterly incidental catch TACs. The incidental catch TACs specified in accordance with paragraph (b)(9) of this section shall be divided into quarterly catch TACs, as follows: The first quarter shall receive 13 percent of the incidental TACs and the remaining quarters shall receive 29 percent of the quarterly TACs each. NMFS shall send letters to limited access NE multispecies permit holders notifying them of such TACs.

(iv) Program requirements—(A) VMS requirement. A NE multispecies DAS vessel fishing in the Regular B DAS Program described in paragraph (b)(10)(i) of this section must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §§648.9 and 648.10.

(B) Observer notification. For the purposes of selecting a vessel for observer deployment, a vessel must provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number for contact; the date, time, and port of departure; at least 72 hr prior to the beginning of any trip that it declares into the Regular B DAS Program as required under paragraph (b)(10)(iv)(C) of this section, and in accordance with instructions provided by the Regional Administrator.

(C) VMS declaration. To participate in the Regular B DAS Program under a Regular B DAS, a vessel must declare into the Program via the VMS prior to departure from port, in accordance with instructions provided by the Regional Administrator. A vessel declared into the Regular B DAS Program cannot fish in an approved SAP described under this section on the same trip.

(D) Landing limits. A NE multispecies vessel fishing in the Regular B DAS Program described in this paragraph (b)(10), and fishing under a Regular B DAS, may not land more than 100 lb (45.5 kg) per DAS, or any part of a DAS, up to a maximum of 1,000 lb (454 kg) per trip, of any of the following species: Cod, American plaice, white hake, witch flounder, ocean pout, winter flounder, yellowtail flounder and windowpane flounder, with a maximum limit of 500 lb (227 kg) of all flatfish species (American plaice, witch flounder, winter flounder, windowpane flounder and yellowtail flounder), combined. If fishing with trawl gear, possession of monkfish (whole weight) and skates is limited to 500 lb (227 kg) per trip each and possession of lobsters is prohibited. For vessels fishing with gear other than trawl gear, possession of monkfish is restricted by the regulations at §648.94(b)(7).

(E) No-discard provision and DAS flips. A vessel fishing in the Regular B DAS Program under a Regular B DAS may not discard legal-sized regulated groundfish or monkfish. This prohibition on discarding does not apply in areas or times where the possession or landing of such groundfish or monkfish is prohibited. If such a vessel harvests and brings on board more legal-sized regulated groundfish or monkfish than the applicable maximum landing limit per trip specified under paragraph (b)(10)(iv)(D) of this section, the vessel operator must notify NMFS immediately via VMS to initiate a DAS flip. Once this notification has been received by NMFS, the vessel will automatically be switched by NMFS to fishing under a Category A DAS. For a vessel that notifies NMFS of a DAS flip, the Category B DAS that have accrued between the time the vessel started accruing Regular B DAS at the beginning of the trip (i.e., at the time the vessel crossed the demarcation line at the beginning of the trip) and the time the vessel declared it DAS flip will be accrued as Category A DAS, and not Regular B DAS. Once such vessel has initiated the DAS flip and is fishing under a Category A DAS, the prohibition on discarding legal-sized regulated groundfish and monkfish no longer applies. A vessel that has declared a DAS flip will be subject to the most restrictive landing restrictions specified under paragraph (a)(3)(iv) of this section and paragraph §648.86. Category C, D, or F monkfish vessels that have declared a DAS flip will be subject to the monkfish possession limits at §648.94(b)(3).

(F) Minimum Category A DAS and B DAS accrual. For a vessel fishing under the Regular B DAS Program, the number of Regular B DAS that can be used on a trip cannot exceed the number of Category A DAS divided by 1.4 that the vessel has available at the start of the trip. The vessel will accrue DAS in accordance with §648.82(n)(3).

(G) Restrictions when 100 percent of the incidental catch TAC is harvested. When the Regional Administrator determines, and provides notification through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, that 100 percent of one or more of the quarterly incidental TACs specified under paragraph (b)(10)(iii) of this section is projected to have been harvested, Regular B DAS may not be used in the Regular B DAS Program for the duration of the calendar quarter. The closure of the Regular B DAS Program will occur even if the quarterly incidental TACs for other stocks have not been completely harvested.

(H) Closure of Regular B DAS program and quarterly DAS limits. Unless otherwise closed as a result of the harvest of an incidental TAC as described in paragraph (b)(10)(iv)(G) of this section, or as a result of an action by the Regional Administrator under paragraph (b)(10)(v) of this section, when the Regional Administrator determines, and provides notification through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, that 500 Regular B DAS have been used during the May–July quarter, or when 1,000 Regular B DAS have been used during any other calendar quarter of the fishing year, in accordance with §648.82(n)(3), Regular B DAS may not be used for the duration of the calendar quarter.

(I) Reporting requirements. The owner or operator of a NE multispecies DAS vessel must submit catch reports via VMS in accordance with instructions provided by the Regional Administrator, for each day fished when declared into the Regular B DAS Program. The reports must be submitted in 24-hr intervals for each day, beginning at 0000 hr and ending at 2400 hr. The reports must be submitted by 0900 hr of the following day. For vessels that have declared into the Regular B DAS Program in accordance with paragraph (b)(10)(iv)(c) of this section, the reports must include at least the following information: Statistical area fished, total weight (lb/kg) of cod, yellowtail flounder, American plaice, white hake, winter flounder, and witch flounder kept; and total weight (lb/kg) of cod, yellowtail flounder, American plaice, white hake, winter flounder, and witch flounder discarded. All NE multispecies permit holders will be sent a letter informing them of the statistic