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Framework Adjustment 13 to the Monkfish Fishery Management Plan

August 10, 2023

We have approved Framework Adjustment 13 to the Monkfish FMP. This action sets monkfish catch limits for fishing years 2023–2025, adjusts to the annual monkfish days-at-sea allocation, and establishes a future change to the minimum mesh size for gillnets.

Framework 13 Monkfish Catch Limits

Table 1

Catch Limits

Northern Area

Southern Area

2023-2025 Specs (mt)

Percent Change from 2022*

2023-2025 Specs (mt)

Percent Change from 2022*

Acceptable Biological Catch





Annual Catch Limit





Management Uncertainty (3%)





Annual Catch Target (Total Allowable Landings + discards)





Expected Discards





Total Allowable Landings






Days-at-Sea (DAS) allocations

Framework Adjustment 13 changes the yearly DAS allocation for limited access monkfish vessels (Table 2). The new DAS allocations are split into separate DAS allocations for each of the Northern Fishery Management Area (NFMA) and Southern Fishery Management Area (SFMA) and there is an overall limit on the total number of DAS a limited access vessel can use. Each limited access vessel is allocated 35 DAS in the NFMA and 37 DAS in the SFMA. No vessel may use more than 46 allocated DAS total during each fishing year.

DAS that have already been used this fishing year will be charged to the appropriate allocation based on the FMA in which they were fished.


A vessel that has fished 35 DAS in the NFMA in the 2023 fishing year, it may only fish its remaining 11 DAS in the SFMA in the 2023 fishing year.

A vessel that has fished 37 DAS in the SFMA and has fished 9 DAS in the NFMA may not fish any more monkfish DAS in the 2023 fishing year.

Note that RSA and carryover DAS, which remain unchanged, do not count towards the 46 DAS usage restriction.


Table 2 – Summary of DAS Allocation Changes


New DAS allocation

DAS allocated

35 DAS in NFMA

37 DAS in SFMA

DAS usage restrictions

No more than 46 allocated DAS during fishing year


Future Minimum Gillnet Mesh Size

In three years, starting on May 1, 2026, the minimum gillnet mesh size for vessels on a monkfish DAS or fishing in the Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank Dogfish and Monkfish Gillnet Fishery Exemption from 10-inches to 12-inches diamond mesh.  This change is intended to reduce bycatch of small monkfish. This mesh-size adjustment is delayed to fishing year 2026 to provide time for any affected vessels not already using the larger mesh size to make the transition as part of normal fishing operations and replacement of worn nets.  Vessel owners and operators already using gillnet gear with 12-inch mesh may continue to do so.

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