Habitat Clam Dredge Exemption Framework
NOAA Fisheries is implementing the New England Fishery Management Council's Habitat Clam Dredge Exemption Framework Adjustment to its Fishery Management Plans.
This final rule allows the surfclam fishery to operate hydraulic dredge gear year-round in two small areas (McBlair and Fishing Rip) and seasonally in a third area (Old South) within the Great South Channel Habitat Management Area (HMA). Mussel dredge fishing is also be allowed in these exemption areas. These exemption areas were chosen to allow relatively limited access to some historical surfclam fishing grounds, while protecting the majority of the HMA.