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Northeast Multispecies Common Pool Vessels Possession and Trip Limit Increase for Gulf of Maine Cod and Witch Flounder

March 12, 2019

From March 13 through April 30, common pool fishermen in the Northeast groundfish fishery can catch more Gulf of Maine cod and witch flounder.

Effective at 0001 hours on March 13, 2019, the possession and trip limits for Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod and witch flounder are increased, as summarized in the table below, for the remainder of the 2018 fishing year, through April 30, 2019.





Gulf of Maine cod

A Days-at-Sea (DAS)

50 lb per DAS, up to 100 lb per trip

100 lb per DAS, up to 200 lb per trip

Handgear A

50 lb per trip

100 lb per trip

Handgear B

25 lb per trip

25 lb per trip

Small Vessel Category*

50 lb per trip

100 lb trip

Witch flounder


400 lb per trip

600 lb per trip

Handgear A

Handgear B

Small Vessel Category*

*The Small Vessel Category trip limit of 300 lb of cod, yellowtail flounder, and haddock combined remains in place.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this action being taken?

We are increasing the possession and trip limits to provide additional fishing opportunities and facilitate harvest of the quota for Gulf of Maine cod and witch flounder.

How much of the quota has been caught?

Based on recent catch information, only 44.9 percent of the Gulf of Maine cod annual quota has been caught, and only 28.2 percent of the witch flounder annual quota has been caught. Check the latest quota monitoring report.

Is there a chance that the trip limit will go back down?

We will set initial trip limits for the 2019 fishing year beginning on May 1, 2019, in a separate upcoming action based on the final annual catch limits approved.  

What happens if the Trimester TAC is underharvested?

Any unused portion of the Trimester 1 or Trimester 2 TAC for these stocks are carried forward to the following trimester. No unused portion of the total annual quota may be carried over to the following fishing year.


Last updated by Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office on March 12, 2019