Proposed Rule; Request for Comments; Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan
NOAA Fisheries proposes to approve and implement through regulations measures included in Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan, which the New England Fishery Management Council adopted and submitted to us for approval. This action would allow for more controlled access to the scallop resource by the limited access and limited access general category fleets and increase monitoring to a growing directed scallop fishery in federal waters, including the Northern Gulf of Maine Management Area. These proposed management measures are intended to promote conservation of the scallop resource in the Northern Gulf of Maine Management Area and to manage total removals from the area by all fishery components. Amendment 21 would also expand flexibility in the limited access general category individual fishing quota fishery to reduce impacts of potential decreases in ex-vessel price and increases in operating costs.