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2021 Fishing Year Limited Access Allocations for the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery

May 18, 2021

New measures for Limited Access vessels implemented through Framework Adjustment 33 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan and a summary of how they may affect fishing plans and activities for the 2021 fishing year. Effective May 19, 2021.

The following information describes new measures implemented through Framework Adjustment 33 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan and a summary of how they may affect your fishing plans and activities for the 2021 fishing year. We have also included reminders of some current requirements.

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Map of managed waters in sea scallop fishery management plan for FY 21
Atlantic Sea Scallop Managed Waters Fishing Year 2021

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Updated 2021 Days-At-Sea (DAS) Allocations

Scallop Open Area DAS Allocations

Permit Category

2021 DAS

Full-Time

24.0

Part-Time

9.6

 

2021 Access Area Closures

The following areas are closed for scallop fishing year 2021 (see map above and coordinates below):

  • Closed Area II-East
  • Nantucket Lightship-North
  • Nantucket Lightship-Triangle

Fishing Year 2021 Access Area Allocations

For fishing year 2021 and the start of 2022, Framework 33 keeps the Mid-Atlantic Access Area (MAAA), Nantucket Lightship-South-Deep Access Area, and Closed Area I Access Area open as access areas. However, Framework 33 will not allocate any additional landings from Closed Area I for the limited access fleet (see below). In addition, this action opens one new area, Closed Area II Access Area, formerly known as the Closed Area II-Southwest and Extension Closed Area.

Full-time Access Area Allocations:  The table below provides the limited access full-time allocations for all of the access areas, which can be taken in as many trips as needed, so long as you do not exceed the possession limit on each trip.

Access Area Full-Time Limited Access Vessel Allocations and Trip Possession Limits

Rotational access area

Scallop possession limit

2021 Scallop allocation

Closed Area II

18,000 lb per trip

27,000 lb

Nantucket Lightship-South-Deep

27,000 lb

Mid-Atlantic

18,000 lb

Total

 

72,000 lb

 

Extension of Closed Area II Seasonal Closure to Mitigate Flatfish Bycatch: Framework 33 continues the extension of the existing seasonal closure in Closed Area II to reduce bycatch of northern windowpane flounder and Georges Bank yellowtail flounder. For the 2021 fishing year, the seasonal closure in Closed Area II will occur from August 15-November 30.

**CAII will be closed from August 15 - November 30 for the 2021 fishing year.**

Crew Restrictions for Trips in Nantucket Lightship South-Deep:  The scallops in the Nantucket Lightship-South-Deep are expected to have lower yield than similar sized scallops in other areas. Because these scallops are smaller than those normally harvested in the area rotation program, for fishing year 2021, vessels are allowed two additional crew members aboard both limited access full-time (10 in total) and limited access full-time small dredge vessels (8 in total).

Closed Area I:  Access only for RSA Compensation and Limited Access General Category

Because of the limited amount of biomass in the Closed Area I to support a full limited access trip, Framework 33 will not allocate any landings from Closed Area I to the limited access fleet. Closed Area I will only be available for limited access general category access area trips and RSA compensation fishing. 

Part-time Access Area Allocations:  The table below provides the limited access part-time allocations for two of the access areas, which can be taken in as many trips as needed, so long as you do not exceed the possession limit on each trip.

Access Area Part-Time Limited Access Vessel Allocations and Trip Possession Limits

Rotational access area

Scallop possession limit

2021 Scallop allocation

Closed Area II or Nantucket Lightship-South1

14,400 lb per trip

14,400 lb

Mid-Atlantic

14,400 lb

Total

 

28,800 lb

1 Part-time vessels must choose to take this trip in either Closed Area II or Nantucket Lightship-South-Deep.  Once a vessel declares a trip into either area, the entirety of the 14,400-lb allocation can only be taken from the same area. 

Access Area Carryover

Beginning April 1, 2021, and through the first 60 days of the fishing year, limited access vessels may fish their remaining unharvested 2020 access area scallop allocation. These trips must begin no later than May 30, 2021. After that date, any unused 2020 access area allocation expires. Full-time and part-time vessels are subject to the fishing 2021 possession limits (i.e., 18,000 lb for full-time and 14,400 lb for part-time) on all access area trips. A vessel can combine carryover trips and 2021 trips provided there is 2021 allocation available in that area and it does not exceed the possession limit on any one trip.

For example, if a full-time vessel has 2,000 lb of 2020 MAAA allocation remaining and it makes a MAAA trip for 18,000 lb.  The first 2,000 lb would come off of the 2020 MAAA allocation, and the remaining 16,000 lb would come off of the 2021 MAAA allocation.

**IMPORTANT** Fishing Year 2020 Carryover for Closed Area II (now called Closed Area II-East)

Because the boundaries of 2020 Closed Area II (now known as Closed Area II-East) and 2021 Closed Area II are different, to land 2020 Closed Area II carryover allocation you must take a dedicated trip into the 2020 Closed Area II area (i.e., Closed Area II-East). If you are taking a fishing year 2020 carryover Closed Area II trip you must DECLARE Nantucket Lightship-West TRIP ON YOUR VMS UNIT

From the implementation of Framework 33, through May 30, 2021, the pounds landed on trips declared in Nantucket Lightship-West (that take place in Closed Area II-East) will be charged to your fishing year 2020 Closed Area II allocation.

Important Access Area Program Reminders

Crew Limits:  Limited access vessels are restricted to eight individuals (10 individuals in Nantucket Lightship-South-Deep), including the captain. Limited access vessels fishing in the small dredge program are limited to six individuals (8 individuals in Nantucket Lightship-South-Deep), including the captain. Crew limits for vessels on open area DAS trips remain at seven individuals for both full-time and part-time vessels and five individuals for small dredge vessels.

Reporting Requirements for All Scallop Trips:  You need to submit a scallop pre-landing notification form through your Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) unit prior to returning to port at the end of each access area and DAS trip, including trips where no scallops are landed.

Access Area Allocation Monitoring:  Although vessel owners are ultimately responsible for tracking their own scallop access area landings and ensuring they do not exceed their annual allocations, we will compile dealer-reported scallop landing records with access area trip declarations. The information will be available on the web-based allocation monitoring tool, Fish Online, which each vessel owner can access and review. If vessel owners/operators have questions about the data they are seeing in Fish Online then they should contact our Vessel Trip Reporting Office at 978-281-9246. Questions on the accounting rules should be directed to the Sustainable Fisheries Division at 978-281-9315.

Observer Program Updates:

Set-Aside Compensation

The access area compensation credit for limited access vessels is 250 lb per day, in addition to the vessel’s possession limit for each day or part of a day an observer is on board.  The observer compensation credit can be harvested on a subsequent trip; however, you must remain within the trip’s possession limit when an observer is not onboard.  The open area compensation rate for limited access vessels fishing under DAS is 0.13 DAS per DAS fished (the vessel is charged 0.88 DAS for each DAS fished with an observer onboard).  We monitor the compensation rates and the observer set-aside use closely throughout the year.  If information suggests that a different rate is necessary to account for unexpected fishery conditions, we will change the compensation rate as appropriate and necessary. 

Call In and Survival Craft Requirements

Please read the following letters regarding important information and updates.

Survival Craft Requirements Regarding Capacity

Industry Funded Scallop Program Call-In Requirements

Industry Funded Scallop Call-In Guide

Fishing Year 2021 Flatfish ACLs in the Scallop Fishery:

Stock

Scallop sub-ACL

Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder

26,455 lb

SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder

4,409 lb

Northern Windowpane Flounder

68,343 lb

Southern Windowpane Flounder

284,396 lb

 

Other Reminders

Shell Stock Restrictions:

  • Vessels may not possess more than 50 bu of in-shell scallops shoreward of the VMS demarcation line, unless fishing under the state waters exemption program.
  • A vessel declared into the Sea Scallop Access Area Program may not possess more than 50 bu of in-shell scallops outside of the access area.
  • Vessels fishing in the Georges Bank paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) closure area may not retain in-shell scallops.

Scallop Pre-Landing Notification: You must send a VMS Scallop Pre-Landing Notification form on scallop trip at least 6 hours before arrival on the way back to port, or immediately after fishing ends if less than 6 hours before arrival.  Forms must include the:

  • Operator’s permit number;
  • Vessel trip report (VTR) serial number recorded from that trip's VTR;
  • Estimated amount of scallop meats and/or bushels to be landed;
  • Estimated time and date of arrival in port; and
  • Port city and state at which the scallops will be landed.

Daily Scallop Catch Reports: Scallop catch reports are required to be submitted daily for vessels that fish for, possess, or retain scallops and not also fishing under a Northeast multispecies DAS or sector allocation. These reports must be submitted in 24-hour intervals for each day of fishing that begins at 0000 hours and ends at 2400 hours. The reports must be submitted before 9:00 a.m. local time each day for the previous day’s catch. Each report must include the:

  • Operator’s permit number
  • VTR serial number
  • Date fish were caught
  • Total pounds of scallop meets kept
  • Total pounds of all other fish kept

Groundfish Possession Limits on Access Area Trips: Unless otherwise prohibited, limited access scallop vessels, also issued a valid groundfish permit, that have declared into a trip and that are fishing within the Sea Scallop Access Areas, may possess and land, per trip, up to a maximum of 1,000 lb of all groundfish combined. Additionally, the restrictions for Atlantic cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder are as follows:

  • Atlantic cod - Vessels may possess up to 100 lb of Atlantic cod per trip, provided such fish is for personal use only (you cannot sell, trade, or barter cod caught from access areas).
  • Haddock - Vessels may possess and land haddock up to the overall possession limit of all groundfish combined, except that vessels cannot possess or land haddock from January 1 through June 30.
  • Yellowtail flounder - PROHIBITED

Groundfish Possession Limits on Scallop DAS Trips: Unless otherwise prohibited, limited access scallop vessels also issued a valid groundfish permit that have declared into the scallop DAS program may possess and land, per trip:

  • Groundfish - A maximum of 300 lb of all species combined.
  • Yellowtail flounder - PROHIBITED.

Fishing Year 2021 Rotational Area Coordinates

Access Areas for Fishing Year 2021

Closed Area I Access Area (RSA Only)

 Point

N latitude

W longitude

CAIA1

41°30′

68°30′

CAIA2

40°58′

68°30′

CAIA3

40°54.95′

68°53.37′

CAIA4

41°30′

69°23′

CAIA1

41°30′

68°30′

 

Mid-Atlantic Access Area

Point

N latitude

W longitude

MAA1

39°30′

73°10′

MAA2

39°30′

72°30′

MAA3

38°30′

73°30'

MAA4

38°10′

73°30'

MAA5

38°10′

74°20′

MAA6

38°50′

74°20′

MAA7

38°50′

73°42′

MAA1

39°30′

73°10′

 

Nantucket Lightship-South-Deep Access Area

Point

N latitude

W longitude

NLSSD1

40°22′

69°30′

NLSSD2

40°15′

69°30′

NLSSD3

40°15′

69°00′

NLSSD4

40°28′

69°00′

NLSSD5

40°28′

69°17′

NLSSD1

40°22′

69°30′

 

Closed Area II Access Area

Point

N latitude

W longitude

Note

CAII1

41°11′

67°20′

 

CAII2

41°11′

66°41′

 

CAII3

41°0′

66°41′

 

CAII4

41°0′

1)

2)

CAII5

40°40′

3)

2)

CAII6

40°40′

67°20′

 

CAII1

41°11′

67°20′

 

1 The intersection of 41°0′ N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41°0′ N lat. and 66°09.33′ W long.

2 From Point CAIISWE 4 connected to Point CAIISWE5 along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

3 The intersection of 40°40′ N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 40°40′ N lat. and 65°52.61′ W long.

Closed Areas for Fishing Year 2021

Closed Area II-East Closed Area

Point

N latitude

W longitude

Note

CAIIE1

41°30′

67°20′

 

CAIIE2

41°30′

1)

2)

CAIIE3

41°00′

3)

2)

CAIIE4

41°00′

66°41′

 

CAIIE5

41°11′

66°41′

 

CAIIE6

41°11′

67°20′

 

CAIIE1

41°30′

67°20′

 

1 The intersection of 41°30′ N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41°30′ N lat., 66°34.73′ W long.

2 From Point CAIIE2 connected to Point CAIIE3 along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

3 The intersection of 41°00′ N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41°00′ N lat. and 66°09.33′ W long.

Nantucket Lightship-Triangle Closed Area

Point

N latitude

W longitude

NLST1

40°28′

69°30′

NLST2

40°28′

69°17′

NLST3

40°22′

69°30′

NLST1

40°28′

69°30′

  

Nantucket Lightship-North Closed Area

Point

N latitude

W longitude

NLSN1

40°50′

69°30′

NLSN2

40°50′

69°00′

NLSN3

40°28′

69°00′

NLSN4

40°28′

69°30′

NLSN1

40°50′

69°30′

 

Stellwagen Bank Closed Area

Point

N latitude

W longitude

SB1

42°26′

70°27′

SB2

42°26′

70°15′

SB3

42°20′

70°15′

SB4

42°20′

70°27′

SB1

42°26′

70°27′

 

Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on May 19, 2021