Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery: Limited Access Scallop Vessel Allocations for Fishing Year 2019

March 27, 2019

The following information describes new measures implemented through Framework 30 and a summary of how they may affect your fishing plans and activities for the 2019 fishing year.

The following information describes new measures implemented through Framework 30 and a summary of how they may affect your fishing plans and activities for the 2019 fishing year. We have also included reminders of some current requirements. Please read through each section carefully, and distribute this letter to your vessel operators. This summary is not a substitute for the actual regulations, and we encourage you to review the full text of the regulations.

If you would like to learn more about these and other measures, or details about recent actions, we have posted additional information on our website.

Updated 2019 Days-At-Sea (DAS) Allocations

Scallop Open Area DAS Allocations

Permit Category

2019 DAS

Full-Time

24.00

Part-Time

9.60

 

2019 Access Area Closures

The following areas are closed for scallop fishing year 2019 (see map and coordinates):

  • Closed Area 2
    • PROHIBITION: Vessels are prohibited from transiting CA2 when on a declared scallop trip.
  • Nantucket Lightship-North
  • Nantucket Lightship-Hatchet
  • Nantucket Lightship-South (NLS-S) (with the exception of 2018 carryover trips declared prior to May 31, 2019)

Fishing Year 2019 Access Area Allocations

Framework 30 allocates effort into three rotational access areas (Mid-Atlantic Access Area (MAAA), Nantucket Lightship-West Access Area (NLS-W), and Closed Area 1 Access Area (CA1)). There are no seasonal closures in any of the available access areas in 2019. (See map and coordinates.)

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

2019 Scallop allocation

2020 Scallop allocation (default)

Closed Area 1 Flex*

18,000 lb per trip

18,000 lb

0 lb

Nantucket Lightship-West

54,000 lb

18,000 lb

Mid-Atlantic

54,000 lb

18,000 lb

Total

126,000 lb

36,000 lb

*Closed Area 1 flex allocation can be landed in any available access area.

Part-time Access Area Allocations: The table below provides the limited access part-time allocations for three 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

2019 Scallop allocation

2020 Scallop allocation (default)

Closed Area 1 Flex*

17,000 lb per trip

17,000 lb

0 lb

Nantucket Lightship-West

17,000 lb

7,200 lb

Mid-Atlantic

17,000 lb

7,200 lb

Total

51,000 lb

14,400 lb

*Closed Area 1 flex allocation can be landed in any available access area.

Closed Area 1 Flex Allocation

A limited access vessel’s CA1 scallop allocations can be landed from any available access area. For the 2019 fishing year and the first 60 days of the 2020 fishing year, limited access vessels may choose to land CA1 flex allocation from any access area available in fishing year 2019 (i.e., CA1, MAAA, and/or NLS-W). However, vessels may only fish in a single access area on a given trip.

For example, a full-time vessel can take a trip in the CA1 and land 10,000 lb from that area, leaving the vessel with 8,000 lb of the CA1 flex allocation available, which can be landed from CA1, MAAA, and/or NLS-W. Trips can be combined with allocation dedicated to other areas, provided the 18,000-lb possession limit is not exceeded on any one trip.

Framework 30 allocates this new type of flexible allocation in CA1 because of uncertainty about the condition of the resource in CA1.

Access Area Carryover

Beginning April 1, 2019, and through the first 60 days of the fishing year, limited access vessels may fish their remaining unharvested 2018 access area scallop allocation the area is was designated (i.e., CA1, NLS-S (carryover only), NLS-W, or MAAA). These trips must begin no later than May 30, 2019. After that date, any unused 2018 access area allocation expires. You are still subject to the 18,000-lb possession limit on all access area trips. A vessel can combine carryover trips and 2019 trips provided there is 2019 allocation available in that area and it does not exceed the 18,000-lb possession limit on any one trip.

For example, a vessel has 2,000 lb of 2018 MAAA allocation remaining and it makes a MAAA trip for 18,000 lb. The first 2,000 lb would come off of the 2018 MAAA allocation, and the remaining 16,000 lb would come off of the 2019 MAAA allocation.

Standardized Default DAS Allocations

Each year the Scallop Fishery Management Plan allocates fishery specifications, including open-area DAS. Default specifications are developed in this annual process so that the fishery may continue to operate at a conservative level if updated specifications are not in place by April 1 (start of the fishing year). Framework 30 standardizes the default DAS allocations for the limited access fleet. During the specifications setting process, each limited access permit type receives 75 percent of Fishing Year 1 open area DAS to begin the subsequent fishing year.

Important Access Area Program Reminders

Crew Limits

Limited access vessels are restricted to eight individuals, including the captain. Limited access vessels fishing in the small dredge program are limited to six individuals, 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. These numbers exclude any observers that may be present.

Reporting Requirements for Access Area 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 trip, including trips where no scallops are landed (more details in the Reminders section below).

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, NOAA Fisheries 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-On-Line, which each vessel owner can access and review. Access Fish-On-Line.

Observer Set-Aside Compensation 

The access area compensation credit for limited access vessels is 250 pounds 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 compensations 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 0.12 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.

Fishing Year 2019 Groundfish ACL in the Scallop Fishery

Stock

Scallop sub-ACL

Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder

17 mt (34,479 lb)

SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder

15 mt (33,069 lb)

Northern Windowpane Flounder

18 mt (36,683 lb)

Southern Windowpane Flounder

158 mt (348,330 lb)

These limits apply to both the limited access and limited access general category fleets. Get more information about yellowtail flounder and windowpane flounder catch limits in the scallop fishery.

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 Access Area Pre-Landing Notification 

You must send a VMS Scallop Pre-Landing Notification form on any access area 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:

  • 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

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:

  • 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 Northeast multispecies 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 NE multispecies 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.

Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on September 26, 2019