Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery: Closure of the Northern Gulf of Maine Scallop Management Area for Limited Access General Category Vessels

May 22, 2020

The Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM) Scallop Management Area is closed to all federally permitted Limited Access General Category (LAGC) scallop vessels effective 0001 hr, on May 23, 2020.

The scallop regulations require that we close the NGOM Management Area once we project that 100 percent of the 2020 LAGC total allowable catch (TAC) for this area will be taken. This area is closed to all federally permited LAGC vessels except as exempted below. This closure is effective through March 31, 2021. 

LAGC vessels that have declared a trip into the NGOM Scallop Management Area using the correct Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) code and have crossed the VMS demarcation line before 0001 hr, May 23, 2020, may complete their trip and retain and land scallops caught from the NGOM Scallop Management Area. Except for vessels that have met these trip completion requirements, no LAGC scallop vessel fishing under federal scallop regulations subject to this closure may fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the NGOM Scallop Management Area. 

This closure does not apply to the Limited Access (LA) fleet. The LA TAC will be harvested solely by vessels who are participating in the 2020 scallop Research Set-Aside Program and have been issued letters of authorization to conduct compensation fishing activities.

Exemption for Maine and Massachusetts Vessels Fishing Exclusively State Waters

Vessels issued an LAGC NGOM (LAGC B) or Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) scallop permit (LAGC A) may continue to fish in the Maine and Massachusetts state waters portion of the NGOM Scallop Management Area under the State Waters Exemption program provided they have a valid Maine or Massachusetts state scallop permit and fish only in that state’s waters. 

IFQ Vessel Owners

Please Note:  An IFQ scallop vessel must have scallop IFQ allocation to fish for scallops at any time or place. For vessels fishing under an IFQ scallop permit (LAGC A), all scallop pounds landed, including scallops caught under a state waters only trip, will be deducted from the vessel’s IFQ allocation.

Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on May 22, 2020