Atlantic Sea Scallop Turtle Deflector Dredge and Chain Mat Regulated Areas
To protect sea turtles, chain mats and Turtle Deflector Dredges (TDDs) must be used when fishing for scallops in waters west of 71° W. long., from the shoreline to the outer boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone, from May 1 through November 30. The chain mat requirements apply to any vessel with a sea scallop dredge and required to have a Federal Atlantic sea scallop fishery permit; the TDD requirements apply to any limited access scallop vessel using a dredge, regardless of dredge size or vessel permit category, or any limited access Individual Fishing Quota scallop vessel fishing with a dredge with a width of 10.5 ft (3.2 m) or greater.
This regulation aligns two gear measures designed to protect sea turtles and implements other measures to improve the management of the scallop fishery. Aligning the gear measures designed to protect sea turtles involves modifying existing regulations implemented under the Endangered Species Act; therefore, this action is implemented under joint authority of the Endangered Species Act and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.