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2022 Fishing Year Northern Gulf of Maine Sea Scallop Possession Limit and Total Allowable Landings

March 29, 2022

New measures for Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) scallop vessels and a summary of how they may affect fishing plans and activities for the 2022 fishing year. Effective April 1, 2022.

Map of managed waters from sea scallop fishery management plan for FY 2022
Atlantic Sea Scallop Managed Waters Fishing Year 2022 (click image to enlarge and download)

Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) Management for Fishing Year 2022

Framework 34 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan implements total allowable landings (TAL) in the NGOM of 661,387 lb for fishing year 2022.  This action deducts 25,000 lb of scallops from the NGOM TAL to increase the overall Scallop Research Set-Aside (RSA) that funds scallop research. In addition, this action deducts 1 percent of the NGOM Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) from the NGOM TAL to support the Industry-Funded Scallop (IFS) Observer Program to help defray the cost to scallop vessels that carry an observer.

NGOM Scallop Fishery Landing Limits for Fishing Year 2022

Landings Limits



661,387 lb

1 percent NGOM ABC for Observers

15,080 lb

RSA Contribution

25,000 lb

NGOM Set-Aside

621,307 lb

NGOM Annual Projected Landings (APL)

0 lb

1 The landings limits for the 2023 fishing year are subject to change through a future specifications action or framework adjustment.

Amendment 21 developed landing limits for all permit categories in the NGOM and established an 800,000-lb NGOM Set-Aside trigger for the NGOM directed fishery, with a sharing agreement for access by all permit categories for allocation above the trigger. Allocation above the trigger (i.e., the NGOM APL) will be split 5 percent for the NGOM fleet and 95 percent for limited access and limited access general category (LAGC) individual fishing quota (IFQ) fleets. Framework 34 sets an NGOM Set-Aside of 621,307 lb for fishing year 2022. Because the NGOM Set-Aside for fishing year 2022 is below the 800,000-lb trigger, Framework 34 does not allocate any landings to the NGOM APL. 

 ** Framework 34 opens the former Stellwagen Bank Closed Area to NGOM fishing.** 

NOAA Fisheries, in conjunction with NOAA Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (Sanctuary), requests that vessels avoid shipwreck sites on southern Stellwagen Bank within the Sanctuary by keeping gear 400 feet away from each of the site locations listed below. For details on the location of the wrecks please visit the Stellwagen Historic Shipwreck Avoidance Webpage.

**NEW** Industry-Funded Observer Program Requirement

Amendment 21 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan requires vessels in the NGOM fishery to participate in the Industry-Funded Scallop (IFS) Observer Program. Framework Adjustment 34 implements this requirement at the start of the 2022 scallop fishing year (April 1, 2022). Vessels participating in the NGOM fishery must equip their vessels to meet the requirements to carry an observer and learn about the IFS call-in requirements. Please read the flyer and call-in guide for more details.

Set-Aside Compensation

If we select your vessel for an observed trip, you will receive observer compensation credit of 125 lb per trip if the observer set-aside has not been fully harvested. You can only fish those additional pounds on the observed trip above the regular possession limit (325 lb total).

We monitor the compensation rates and observer set-aside use closely throughout the year. If 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.

Important LAGC Program Reminders

Possession limit

The possession limit to vessels on a NGOM trip is 200 lb/trip (25 BU/day). See the shellstock conversion sheet at the bottom of this page for more details.

Possession of NGOM Scallops

Vessels fishing with NGOM scallop permits may not possess scallops outside of the NGOM scallop management area (i.e., they cannot land scallops south of 42° 20' N Lat).

IFQ vessels fishing in the NGOM can land scallops south of 42° 20' N Lat., but they must fish entirely in the NGOM.

IFQ Requirement for IFQ Vessels

For IFQ vessels, all scallop harvest counts against your IFQ, regardless of where it is caught, including state waters and the NGOM.

LAGC Calendar Day Landing Restriction

LAGC vessels may not land scallops more than once per calendar day.  For example, an LAGC vessel that lands scallops on Monday may depart on a second trip on the same day it landed scallops (Monday), but cannot land scallops again until Tuesday.

Scallop Pre-Landing Notification

LAGC IFQ and NGOM vessels must send a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Scallop Pre-Landing Notification form at least 6 hours before arrival on the way back to port, or immediately after fishing ends if less than 6 hours before arrival.  In addition, you must submit this form on trips that are not declared as scallop trips, but on which scallops are kept incidentally.  

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;
  • Port city and state at which the scallops will be landed; and
  • Whether any scallops were caught in the NGOM.

Shell Stock Restrictions

  • Vessels issued an LAGC NGOM scallop permit and IFQ vessels fishing in the NGOM may possess no more than 25 bu in-shell scallops shoreward of the VMS demarcation line.
  • See the shellstock conversion sheet for additional information.

Protected Species Reminders

Atlantic Scallop Possession Limits and In-Shell Equivalents


Scallop In Shell Possession Conversion Sheet Page 2
Scallop Possession Limits and Shellstock Equivalents

This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.

Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on August 03, 2023