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2023 Fishing Year Northern Gulf of Maine Sea Scallop Possession Limit and Total Allowable Landings

March 31, 2023

New measures for Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) scallop vessels and a summary of how they may affect fishing plans and activities for the 2023 fishing year. Effective April 1, 2023.

Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) Management for Fishing Year 2023

Map of Atlantic Sea Scallop Managed Waters for 2023
Click to Expand

Framework 36 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan implements total allowable landings (TAL) in the NGOM of 434,311 lb for fishing year 2023.  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 one 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 2023

Landings Limits



434,311 lb

1 percent NGOM ABC for Observers

10,538 lb

RSA Contribution

25,000 lb

NGOM Set-Aside

380,855 lb (1)

NGOM Annual Projected Landings (APL)


1 For fishing year 2023 the NGOM Set-Aside has been reduced by 17,918 lb (8,127 kg) to account for a limited access general category NGOM total allowable catch overage in 2021.

2 NGOM APL is set when the NGOM Set-Aside is above 800,000 lb .

**NEW** Revisions to In-shell (Shell Stock) Possession Limits

  • The Framework 36 final rule changes the in-shell (shell stock) possession limit of scallops from a bushel conversion (1 bushel of in-shell scallops = 8 lb of scallop meats) to a weight conversion (8.33 lb of in-shell scallops = 1 lb of scallop meats).
  • Vessels issued an LAGC NGOM scallop permit and IFQ vessels fishing in the NGOM may possess no more than 1,666 lb in-shell scallops shoreward of the VMS demarcation line.

Set-Aside Compensation

If NMFS selects your vessel for an observed trip, and you are issued an observer, you will receive an 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 of 200 lb/trip (i.e., 325 lb/trip 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.

Survival Craft Requirements Regarding Capacity

Industry Funded Scallop Program Call-In Requirements

Industry Funded Scallop Call-In Guide

Important LAGC Program Reminders

Possession limit

The possession limit to vessels on a NGOM trip, unless otherwise increased due to observer coverage as noted above, is 200 lb/trip  (1,666 lb shell stock/trip)

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 IFQ and NGOM 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.

Protected Species Reminders

Commercial Fishing Reporting of Protected Species Takes

Protected Species Handling and Resuscitation Requirements and Guidelines

Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on March 31, 2023